Sunday, February 27, 2011

Our Homes Together - #s 10 and 12

I completed two more of our homes today for my "Our Homes Together" quilt. This one was located at the end of Dogwood Drive in Forest Falls, California. It was a manufactured home, rectangular in shape, but had what anyone wants to have - location, location, location.  It sat at the edge of Mill Creek - with a large boulder wash between the house and the creek (which was a good thing, since Mill Creek often flooded in tremendous fashion). It had a deck that ran the entire front of the house and then into a larger deck area on the side. From the deck you could look up into the San Gorgonio Wilderness - the boundary is on the other side of the creek. We could sit on our deck and look in any direction and not see another house since everyone else lived further away from the creek.  It had 3 small bedrooms, a kitchen and a living room with a small wood stove. This one is a bit wonkier than I'd like - but since these blocks are supposed to be symbolic as opposed to photographic, it'll do just fine.

Home #10 - Dogwood Drive, Forest Falls, California

This next one was a bit more complicated to make due to the 2 stories that were just on one side of the house, and the extra gable above the garage. But once I figured out how to make it work, it came together just fine. The angles are pretty neat - I don't want everything to look "perfect!" We bought this house because it was in the center of town, and the kids were in middle and high school and were very active in sports. (Kenny:  water polo, swimming, and soccer, Theresa: soccer and track). That meant that not only was I 5 minutes from the school where I taught, we had mostly short drives to the kids' practices.
Home #12 - Lockwood Drive, Yucaipa, California

Three down, 11 to go.  I decided to do one of our trailer, since it's one of our homes, too.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

"Our Homes Together" Quilt-Block 1

This is my first post using Blogpress, an app for the iPad, since the iPad won't let you use Blogger. I got the iPad to take on our trips, since my laptop is 8 years old and will most likely die of old age in the near future. I'm pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to use.

I'm trying more and more "liberated" quilting, and one of my new projects is to create a quilt that has blocks representing all 14 of the homes Don & I have lived in together.

The first one is below. It was in a small town called Grafenhausen, in Germany. I was in the Air Force, stationed at Rhein-Main Air Base, arriving there in June of 1980. I rented a one-bedroom apartment that took up the top floor of this building-so I had to go up and down 3 flights of stairs. I met Don at the end of August, and he moved in sometime in October. (We were married in February of 1981, and just celebrated our 30th anniversary.)

Our bedroom was on the left side, and the bathroom on the right. Both had steeply slanted ceilings. The kitchen and the living room were in the middle and were much roomier. We had a balcony, which I depicted using the brown rectangle. The red rectangles represent the window boxes of geraniums that we saw in every house each spring.

Next up: our home in Walldorf, Germany.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

My First Landscape Quilt

In addition to all the shopping and the wonderful quilts on display, Road to California Quilt Show also offers classes. I wanted to learn a new technique, so I signed up for "The Art of Landscape" with Terry Waldron.We were to bring lots of fabric that we thought could be used for mountains and trees, and anything else we wanted. She showed us how to make the initial design board (simple:  foam core board and batting), how to cut fabric so that the edges were rough and ragged, and took us through some basic principals of design and perspective. She took us through the making of our mountains, and then our foregrounds.  Everyone else in the class made green-based foregrounds - but I wanted a desert landscape. When I realized around lunchtime that I needed more fabric, I visited several hand-dyed fabric and batik vendors and stocked up.

By about 1:30 pm, I had completed my mountains, canyons, and desert floor.  The stage was set, but I needed a leading actor.

Still in need of a focus
At one of the vendors I'd visited, I'd picked up a stash of fabric that could be used for rocks, trees, leaves, and such.  One of the pieces reminded me of the bark of an oak. It also looked like granite, but I decided to use it for the main part of the tree trunk.  I cut it out, and put it on the background, and thought it looked pretty good.  But Terry said it needed depth - and suggested filling in the inside of the trunk with darker colors.  An hour or so later, I had filled in the interior of the trunk with brown batiks and hand-dyed fabrics.We thought it looked really, really nice.

By then, it was 4:30 and the day was over - I couldn't believe I'd been working since 8:30 am.  I brought my piece home, and leaned it up on the couch where I could see it from my recliner. I looked at it for almost two weeks - thinking it still needed something else.  I initially thought I might need an animal of some kind, and looked at roadrunners and desert bighorn sheep.  But due to the requirements of perspective, they would have had to have been huge, and I didn't want to do that.  My husband eventually said to try leaves, and just put them on the ground. So that's what I did, and I was really pleased with the results.

Next came the quilting - and since I was doing it on a Featherweight, it was a bit dicey in places. But I pretty much just outlined all the pieces, and added lots of horizontal lines in the sky, mountains, and desert floor, and vertical lines in the canyon walls. Terry had said that these kinds of quilts didn't need borders, so I just added a dark brown binding.

From my vantage point in the recliner.

The final result.
I'm quite proud of it. I hope you like it, too!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Boomerang 4.0 - Set 3

I finished a lot more Boomerang Blocks:

#13 - Lover's Knot

#14 - King's Crown

#15 - Twinkle Star

#16 - Pennsylvania

#17 - Hand Weave

#18 - Alice's Favorite

#19 - July Fourth

#20 - Red Cross Variation

#21 - Air Castle

#22 - Whirlwind

#23 - Amish Diamond

#24 - Sawtooth Star

#25 - July Fourth

#26 - Road to Heaven

#27 - Hand Weave




Thursday, February 3, 2011

Love, Love, Love mini for S.T.U.D.

This mini is for Jody, who is my partner for this round in Swap Till You Drop (S.T.U.D.).  The theme was "Love, love, love."  This was my first attempt at a free-form, raw-edge mini.  I think I like doing these! 

Storm at Sea Block for a swap

I really didn't enjoy making this block.  The directions I used were from Quilters' Cache (the Marcia Hohn site), and required a step where I was to make a paper template, then measure out a plastic template 1/4" larger all around, and then cut out the fabric from there.  It turned out I could have a) rotary cut the rectangles, then b) cut them from one corner to the other for the corners, and could have made large rectangles and cut from the middles to the corners for the large diamonds.   At any rate, it's finished, and I think it looks pretty nice.

If you'd like to see what a whole (or nearly whole) quilt looks like using Storm at Sea blocks, visit Martha's blog Quiltcontemplation. This post shows them all put together.