Sunday, March 25, 2018

Someone Else's Design

Last year, I decided to try a different (for me) method of landscape quilting, and pulled my copy of art quilter Cathy Geier's Lovely Landscape Quilts off the shelf and started cutting and auditioning fabric strips. (Click on photos to enlarge.) This would be my first (and so far, only) time making a landscape quilt based on someone else's design.

The project came to a sudden halt when my machine went in the shop for four months, followed by the holidays, followed by a two-week bout with the flu for both me and VVHH, followed by his knee replacement and recovery. We're not quite back to our normal schedule, but there has finally been a little time in the studio to pick up where I left off (after a delayed finish for my Wyoming landscape quilt--see last post). 

Using one of the beautiful background designs in Cathy's book, I first sewed sky and mountain strips to a piece of fusible interfacing and a piece of tear-away stabilizer. The same was done for the water and foreground.
Lots of thread colors were needed
to blend in with the strips.

Since I chose to use raw-edge strips (no seams), each edge was zigzag-stitched. This proved to be tedious but necessary, as even after that, several pesky ravelings eventually popped up and had to be clipped. I still prefer that to seaming the strips.

The two halves of the quilt top were then joined by satin-stitching the water line. Then the sailboat applique was cut and pieced using Cathy's full-size pattern, which is included in the book along with some other applique patterns.

The sail edges were meant to be turned under, but again I chose raw-edge applique instead---forgetting my sails would consequently be a little too long for the mast. I compensated by zigzagging an extension of the mast top in white thread (not shown in the photo), which worked pretty well.
    Then it was time to tear off the stabilizer on the back. The quilted texture wouldn't have been nearly as obvious with that much stiffness left in the sandwich.

Deciding to spare my neck and shoulders as much strain as possible, I chose some decorative machine stitches for the quilting, so that the dual feed foot could do the work of moving the quilt. Only a bit of free motion stitching was done, some of it while using quilting rulers, where painters tape marked my stopping point at the arc of the sun's rays.

A sandy beach was added between the water and land, and shredded polyester batting served as foam at the water's edge, secured by white tulle and clear mono-poly thread.

A variegated boucle yarn was machine-couched
for some definition between the sand and the grasses.

The quilt needed more action, so two other sailboats and two eagles were cut and fused from fabrics in my stash. Clear mono-poly thread was used to quilt them, along with the large boat.

So here's the finished quilt...

...and a photo angle that shows the texture better.

Again, the background (except for the beach and waves) and the large boat are from Cathy Geier's Lovely Landscape Quilts. Detailed instructions and the applique pattern are in the book, and you can embellish the quilt as much as you want. All this one needs now is a label.

As mentioned before, my main sewing machine spent 4 months in the shop last year. I live in the South, yet on the first full day of spring this year, all of our kitchen appliances and one TV were fried when a tree branch bearing eight inches of heavy, unseasonable snow snapped a ground wire coming into the house---but my sewing machine survived! The surge-suppressor power strip it was plugged into did its job and died protecting the machine. Same for all the computers and other televisions in the house. Surge-suppressor power strips are well worth the investment, waaaaayy cheaper than replacing or repairing computers and appliances. Yes, we fortunately are covered by homeowner's insurance, but there's still the deductible to pay.

Have a great week, and here's wishing you true spring weather!



  1. Oh my gosh,, you have had a time of it! I'm glad your sewing machine survived the poser surge and I love the landscape!

    1. Thanks, Vicki. I do hope we are done with unseasonable weather, but I remember a surprise ice storm years ago on the first of April. Crossing fingers.

  2. Good heavens, this weather is crazy. Glad your machine & computer were saved. Your project is as always beautiful & the quilting really brings it to life!

    1. Thank you, Rhonda! Yeah, we are still getting tons of rain every time the weather even thinks about warming up. I guess that bodes well for the flowers, though.

  3. Wow, that's a sobering story about the tree frying your electrical system! Glad your machine survived so you could complete this awesome landscape. I love how you quilted the sun's rays and the ripples on the water :)

    1. Thank you, Louise. The machine stitching worked out better than I thought it would. I may do it again.

  4. Oh my goodness! If your machine had fried along with all the other things, you would have been SO upset after having waited so long to get it working. Wow. Your quilt is wonderful!

    1. Thank you! You aren't kidding, in fact I kind of went into a depression for a while during that 4 month period as it was (a return to knitting and all the great knitting podcasts out there brought me out of it), so that's all I'd need!


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