Friday, February 27, 2015

Overhanging Oak Branches and Start of "Come Walk with me"

Overhanging Oak Branches
 All Done. I had a lot of fun quilting this time and I think the quilt turned out beautifully. (Though I'm not sure it looks like the branches are hanging over pond water.) I just love the color combination.  And I don't think I've had enough of a 'autumn color fix' for now, so I'm starting another fall quilt.
But first, I'll show you some closeups of the quilting.
Detail, Overhanging Oaks
 I quilted the water with long wavy back and forth motions and in some areas, I created highlights and different colors with thread painting. (The blue in the above photo.) The highlights in white and yellow on the photo below. 

Detail, Overhanging Oaks
 I thought I'd show you a bit of the bark quilting, this back and forth/up and down zig zagging worked really well. The oak branches aren't puckered in the front and there is a lot of texture between the quilting and the fabric print. 

Bark quilting from the back 

 I had an up and down week of sorts. The 'up' was a wonderful review that someone posted on amazon about my latest book (Lovely Landscape Quilts). It brought tears to my eyes actually, it was so sweet.  Someone out there really likes me and my quilts. 
 (And my book!)

On the other hand; the 'down'. For the first time, a quilt I entered wasn't accepted into the AQS Paducah show. I will admit to being very surprised about this.
 And disappointed obviously.

Sometimes you win a ribbon, sometimes you don't even get into the show. I guess that is the way of things.  Oh well.

I mentioned earlier that I'm not done with my fall color fix. Sooooo, I'm starting another quilt.  After 3-4? years, I'm going to make another watercolor landscape quilt.  This time I'll be working with 1 inch finished squares.  I plan on bringing in a LOT of texture to the leafy canopy and using this technique is perfect for the effect I want.

I'm going to be showing you how you can use a tear away foundation to piece squares and triangles. Piecing one inch finished is just as easy as piecing bigger squares. 

All this material is covered in my first book (Watercolor Landscape Quilts, 2006.)

So to start - a graph paper drawing. In my sketch, each square on the graph paper is 4 one inch finished squares.
I just plopped by sketch down with me on the floor as I lay out the forest path.

I cut 1-3/8 inch squares of fabric. This is a few threads short of 1-1/2 inches, and I cut them this way for a reason.

Eventually I'll be using a glue stick and gluing the patches to a tear away foundation which will be marked with a 1-1/2 inch grid. The slightly smaller squares of fabric will fit nicely into that grid. 

My sketch and a few shadow fabrics

Progress so far

You can see that I'm starting my design from the bottom up. I've forgotten how much fun it is to make these, yes they are work but the work is kind of like building a jigsaw puzzle. 

Well, that is all for me today, time to feed the baby fish and get back to work arranging tiny squares of fabric.

In case you are interested, I don't cut up all the fabric in the beginning of making the quilt. I cut fabrics as needed so right now my sewing room is littered with neutral path colors and the greens for the foliage on the bottom and left.

As always, comments are welcome. Have fun on your own quilting adventures!


  1. Lovely contrast between the background and your oak. The tree reminds me of a bonsai.

    1. Yes - it does look oriental in the sculptural qualities of the thick branches. It's kind a cool how it turned out. I don't always get the look I want when I'm making something, but this is one time - at least!- I did. Thanks for writing to me. :)

  2. I just got the same rejection email from AQS for Paducah. It felt like a punch in the gut. I'm sorry. Your work is so beautiful and amazing.

    1. I"m sorry to hear that Rachel, is this the quilt you had in Albuquerque? (The won you had a ribbon on...) I entered Night Hunter, the one with the hawk and moon.

      You have me wondering who the judges were this year? Maybe they were hyper traditionalists? Maybe AQS is trying to keep the Paducah show more traditional and less artsy? Someone wrote to me on facebook about it and said that they've had quilts rejected one year and accepted the next, it's all subjective I suppose.

      But we create for the fun and beauty not the ribbon so hang in there! And quilt on. :)

  3. Your Overhanging Oak Branches is beautiful. And I'll enjoy watching your new 'fall' quilt come together. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Thanks Julia! While I'm having fun arranging all those squares, I'm beginning to remember why I stopped making those types of quilts - LABOR INTENSIVE - lol. I worked for 4-5 hours yesterday and have a foot or two to show for it.

      AND, *insert sigh* once I sew it all together it will be pretty small.

      Thanks for writing and telling me you like the quilt. Have a good weekend!

  4. I love your quilt! The colors, they design, the way the quilting enhances the design...all amazing. And the new quilt is looking wonderful as well. I look forward to seeing your progress on it. So inspiring!

    1. Thank you! I'm glad you are getting something out of my blog!