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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Little Landscapes

Middle son Jeremy asked for a little landscape something like one we have here at home for his new house.  Since you can't give something like this to one without the other two complaining of favoritism, all three children received an Accidental Landscape for Christmas this year.

Landscape quilts are something I've always wanted to do and Jeremy's request pushed me into doing something a little further out of my comfort zone.  They're not perfect by any means and I was futzing with them right up until they went in the gift bags.  Even now looking at the pictures, I can see things I'd change or places I would have added something.  Thank goodness for deadlines so I had to stop playing!

They were really fun to do and had some unforeseen benefits.  In order to find the fabrics I KNEW I had in my stash, the stash had to be sorted and organized.  While doing that, I managed to clean out a bunch of "What did I buy that for?" fabrics.  Cleaning and organizing the stash took longer than designing and sewing the landscapes!

They aren't very big - 18" x 20".  Perfect for a small wall or alcove.  I wanted them to think of home when they look at theirs so I thread painted Barnegat Lighthouse into all three.  They can pretty well imagine they're looking across the bay to the lighthouse.

I didn't work off a picture, although I looked at a bunch of them to get an idea of what I wanted to do.  I think it made it easier that it was just in my head and sort of like the one we have.  It definitely came in handy when I discovered I'd missed part of the seam on the horizon of one AFTER it was quilted and had to thread paint Island Beach State Park in to seal the hole!

For once I was thrilled I had 17 different fabrics for water.  Everything but the border came from my stash.  Rule of thumb - if you see a landscape fabric, buy it.  You'll probably never find it again and when you do a landscape quilt, it will haunt you that it would have been perfect, if you'd only bought some.  I don't even want to think about how old some of the fabrics are in these!

I like to free motion quilt and the thread stash provided some good threads to add dimension. I really wanted to jazz them up with beads, some lace or something for the whitecaps but I knew my very traditional children would have balked at the "bling".  And at some point, you have to step back from these and say "Enough" - especially when they're Christmas gifts.

You too can play with landscapes.  The thoughts for these came from a great book called Accidental Landscapes.  You can purchase a copy here if you'd like to try.  They're fun!

 I have hundreds of pictures from the gardens of years past.  All patiently waiting for a landscape quilt to hang on my kitchen wall during the winter to add some color to the bleary landscape outside.  Time to get cracking on that!

Till next time.

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