Quilt class and farming revisited

Last weekend, I took another landscape quilt class with my sister.  The class was taught be Linda Schmidt and was hosted by my sister's quilt guild.  We learned all kinds of cool techniques to build landscapes with fabric and how to use various kinds of embellishments.  Here are my little class quilts ... WIP.

Seascape (rocks in foreground made out of Tydek envelopes!)

Beach Scene (I have yet to add the water at top)

It was a full day class but we had to be cleaned up and out of the facility by 4:30, and there was SO much going on (demos, painting, drying, heating, etc.), that I didn't stop to take any pictures.  I learned so much, and excited with the prospect of utilizing all of the things I've learned such as painting fabric, using puff paint, various embellishments (Angelina fibers, liquid beads, etc.).


This weekend, I decided I needed to catch up with my Farmer's Wife blocks.  I've made a few here and there without documenting/blogging about them and put together several more over the last two days.

This is my little collection for 2012.  I'm up to 61, with 50 to go.  Ahhhhhrrrrgh.  I'm happy to have passed the halfway mark, but this is definitely a "love/hate" sort of project.  I really hate paper piecing tiny little pieces, so all of my recents are pieced with templates.  In cases where the templates aren't conventional sizes, I use freezer paper to cut out the shapes.  What I've lost in accuracy, I've surely made up in maintaining my sanity.  LOL.

Individual blocks can be found in my flickr stream.  Here are a few of my favorites:

Individually, they look kind of funky, but seeing them together is something else entirely; it's a spectacular jumble of quilt-y goodness.  This keeps me going, as well as seeing some amazing finished quilts in the flickr group.  I would be interested in hearing how others keep inspired while working on long-range projects.  ????  Leave a comment on what keeps you going.

Wishing everyone a great rest of the weekend and good start to the week!

Saturday walk at Oyster Point


Switching Gears

I  sweated bullets over getting the fancy borders on my Liberty Fields quilt, just "so".  Once I had the skinny scrappy border assembled and on sewn on the top and bottom of the quilt, I realized that my diamond borders would have to fit exactly or else it was going to be a disaster.

You can't really see those skinny borders in the picture above, but by some minor miracle, the borders are on and match up pretty well.  This is just one of many frustrating instances where better instructions (Material Obsession I) would've been SO helpful.  The smart thing to do would have been to cut the scraps used in the skinny borders an extra .5 to 1" wider and then trim them down to match the diamond border.  But of course this didn't occur to me until after I had cut all my pieces! If it hadn't gone together well, the thought of chucking it out the window crossed my mind.

I still need to add plain white borders around the entire quilt and then it will be ready for quilting.  I haven't purchased backing fabric yet but I'm considering this elephant print by Valori Wells:

What do you think?

With this quilt so close to completion, I needed a change of pace, so I pulled out the oceanscape quilt I started in a class taught by Kathy McNeil in October.  I had all of the bits and fabric tossed in a plastic bag for months.  It felt liberating to do something with fabric that is 180 degrees different from an old-fashioned pieced quilt.

The quilt is constructed a little differently than I would've thought.  Instead of creating the background first, you build your pieces that create the land masses, rocks and foreground and these are not backed with any fabric.  Each individual piece is cut, edges turned, clipped and pressed into shape and then pinned together with some glue (just a plain old glue stick) to help keep things together until they are hand sewn.  Spay sizing is a must.  Just looking at the photo, it looks like I could slap something together like this in minutes if I had chosen to use a fusible product instead of constructing by hand.  But there's something about this process.  With some music playing on Pandora, it's meditative and makes for a very relaxing afternoon of sewing.  Plus, most of the shapes are free-form, so no worrying about strictly following a pattern, matching seams, etc.

There is a rough pattern to follow which you can see it in the photo above.  I laid out some cloud fabric to audition it with my pieces.

Here's an idea of how it will look with the water.  I'm actually going to piece the sky and water from several different fabrics.  Not sure how to do this, but will figure it out once I have all of my land pieces together.

I'm using batiks from my stash and swapped some fabric with my sister but I also had to shop for some really "uncool, non-designer" fabrics and it's been FUN.  Kind of like painting with fabric.

On a personal note, I was off for my kids' spring break two weeks ago.  My daughter and I spent a day at the California Academy of Sciences.  Here she is, posing with her ancestors.