Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Finished Blue Ridge Quilt

 I think I am finished with the Blue Ridge Quilt. My purpose in making this wall hanging was two fold. I wanted a nice thank you gift for our friends and I wanted to do a dry run on the four trees. In an earlier post I shared that the trees are from a McKenna Ryan pattern. I didn't want to just jump in and do the beautiful pattern without practicing on the trees first. I am so glad I did! I improved my technique... well, actually I didn't even have a technique :-)  I practiced free motion quilting ( don't look too closely). I  played with colors. One thing I am getting good at is mitered corners on the binding of my wall hangings. I like the blue binding and how it enhances the mountains.
Speaking of the mountains, I'm happy with the way they turned out. They appear to have the depth I was hoping for. I need to focus on shadows. When I visit other blogs, the real pros can do shadows beautifully and that's what makes it all look so real. I need to research how to do shadowing and light and dark areas of landscaped.  I used an irregular, small zig zag stitch to outline the mountains. I also used black thread to make them really pop. So much more to learn! 
I just keep giving it a go... hanging in there, trying to get better. It really is all so much fun. I'm up for the challenge!
Keep those finger busy,
Hugs from Mary

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Changes for the Blue Ridge Quilt

Today I concentrated on the gray/green spruce tree in the foreground. It is the one that I am most satisfied with in terms of thread sketching. However, the thread matches the background too closely and the details don't stand out enough. So, I am going to restitch with a darker green. I would prefer a variegated green thread in spruce colors... my nearest quilt store is one hour away. Make do with what I have is my motto today.

I've used an uneven, small zig zag stitch to add to the illusion of pine boughs. The darker green thread, in my opinion, really enhances the tree. I may even stitch in some pine cones. I now absolutely do not like the tree to the left. I learned so much from experimenting.

Another valuable tid bit I figured out, and every experienced landscape quilter knows... You build your picture from the top down! You add the details from the top down! I have to remind myself that I was just an elementary school teacher, mostly first grade. Yes, I did take some art classes in college, but they were more on the line of crafts for the elementary teacher. Landscape art quilts is a whole new ball game. I'm finding that I research "point of view", shadowing, hues, ... everything on line. It is just all so fascinating.

I'll report back when I finish this quilt.
Hugs to all,
Mary