Thursday, August 10, 2017

Raw Nerve

Lately I'd been wanting to make a landscape quilt using a different method from my usual one. From my shelf, I pulled one of Cathy Geier's books, titled Lovely Landscape Quilts. These are strip/string-pieced landscapes built on a foundation of fusible interfacing or muslin.

For my initial foray into this method, I decided to use one of Cathy's patterns, included in the book. 

The quilt top is designed in two sections, which suited me fine for ease of machine work. However, me being me (stubborn), it wasn't long until Cathy and I parted ways on the directions. I decided that instead of auditioning strips for the foreground (water and land), I would just wing it (uh-oh!), choosing and fusing strips as I went.

The result isn't horrible, but something tells me that if the strips had been auditioned first, I'd have made better choices. There's too much similarity in tone here.

Lesson learned. For the upper half (mountains and sky), the strips were auditioned first. See what a difference it made? No tonal problems here, or at least not many.

But then there was another departure from Cathy's advice. (Donk!) I decided, despite her warning about using raw-edged strips vs. seamed, to use raw-edged anyway. Because (I figured) being experienced with raw-edged applique, I'd simply add a layer of tear-away stabilizer and zigzag all the strip edges after fusing.

Holy guacamole. Talk about tedious!! 

Yeah, multiply this (above) by about a thousand, and you get the picture. I was SO happy to be done with that step. Not to mention, changing top thread and bobbins to match every strip, because the threads needed to blend. And the raw edges (along with my nerves) were fraying faster than I could stitch them down. Lots of trimming was required afterward. Cathy knew what she was talking about.

Thread colors chosen for the different strips. Yikes!
Next came the sailboat in the pattern. I was happy with my piecing, but couldn't figure out why the sails ended up too big for the mast (you can't tell here, because I chopped off the mast top in the photo). Problem? THIRD departure from the recommended method---I used Cathy's sailboat pattern but fused the raw edges...which means I didn't allow for the 1/4" turn-under on the sails. DUH.

Anyway, it doesn't look too out-of-proportion, and I'll just add more mast with a white zigzag stitch at the top. Gotta do what'cha gotta do.

Next up...the little tulle pieces for the boat reflection on the water. I haven't figured out yet how to get around using the glue powder that is called for in that step (I have none and hadn't planned on buying any), but no doubt will come up with something (that'll probably take me 10 times as long). 

And next time, hopefully, the finished quilt, bordered and bound.

Have a great weekend!