Friday, April 7, 2017

Fall Finish

This week, at last, a finish for the fall woodland scene. This is one of those that came from my head. No photo involved---although that would have been extremely helpful.

42" x 35"  The right-hand side was slightly in shadow when photographed.
This landscape will stay with me. It's the only one I've kept other than my very first, and it will hang in the same room, on the opposite wall.

Here are some (slightly blurry) closeups:

There's more than one deer here. I enjoyed somewhat camouflaging most of the creatures in this quilt.

And for the first time in a landscape, I used some of the decorative machine stitches on my Janome 8900. (Other than those, everything was stitched in free motion.) Here are a couple of bad closeups of those:

I enjoyed the quilting far, far more than the piecing--which gave me all kinds of headaches. At left is an in-process shot, showing many of the threads being used. Also shown are some of the paint markers that came in handy for touch-ups that are necessary when stitching landscapes. For example, crossing a skinny tree branch with the light-colored thread you're using to stipple the sky...hardly worth breaking thread for. After stitching, just darken that section of thread with a brown or gray or black marker, and immediately it blends in and disappears. Despite these shortcuts, there are still literally hundreds of stops and starts in this quilt.

Below is an idea that sped up my binding handwork a bit. A sock hanger from the department store worked great for reeling my thread off the spool and threading it through the needle at the same time. Just clamp a little binder clip on the open end to keep the spool from falling off.

Have a great weekend!


Sunday, April 2, 2017

Fall into Spring

It's always obvious here when a landscape quilt has been pieced on the design wall...

Tracking all around the room (and down the stairs)

...and this was after all the larger scraps were picked up and thrown in the can! You can't worry about the fallout when you're in the middle of fussy-cutting and piecing, but the larger pieces do drive me crazy.

This project (see old post about it) has been a struggle from the get-go. Notice how long it's been since the start! I think that's because for the first time I'm making something that came from a self-imposed sense of obligation, instead of inspiration.

I knew better. And now I really know better. The entire project, every step of the way, has been like pulling teeth, with one obstacle after another, and has taken far longer to piece than it should have. But as has been mentioned before, I'm nothing if not stubborn, so finally it's basted and ready to go under the machine.

What turned me loose to make actual progress? Well, I gave myself permission to experiment with many different threads and some decorative machine stitches, and to leave knots on the back instead of burying them (there are sometimes several hundred knots to bury on a mid-to-large size landscape---which can be difficult at best due to very dense stitching, and extremely time-consuming).

Something tells me this quilt is destined for my own wall, over the twin bed (which used to have a cool poster hanging over it, but is now blank). The colors are perfect, and fall is my favorite season.

Happy spring!