Sunday, September 5, 2010

Little House Quilt - Selecting Landscaping Materials #6

Click on the photos to enlarge and see detail.
You are ready to put in some general landscaping.  WE ARE NOT FUSING ANYTHING TO OUR BACKGROUND AT THIS TIME.  Remember when you were a kid and the teacher had a felt board and she put things up on it and then took them down, or maybe you had one of those toys as a kid that would let you apply the plastic sticker to the background and then you could easily peel it up and place it somewhere else or remove it altogether?  We are going to do the same thing for right now.  Everything in our design is in flux.  We are like that boy in college that you thought you liked, not ready to commit.  You will be laying your pieces on the background to develop your Little House Quilt, but you will NOT be fusing them in place yet.
Just like the house, the fine detail can be done last.  This is a great time to go through your fabric stash, and that of your friends (share ladies, you know you covet her fabric...LOL).  Below are some examples of fabrics that would work in a landscape.  Think about making the fabric work for you, I plan some boulders in my landscape, so I will look at using some of the fabrics that have a mottled, hand dye look about them and mix it up a bit.  

The watery blue fabric in the center would make a great pond, or turned differently, a great water fall.  Leaves and ferns in the forest of course.  Don't rule out large print fabrics, you can fussy cut a leaf and it will become a shrub with delightful detail in your landscape.  One time I used cabbage leaves...they were great shrubs!   Think about how you want your Little House as you select fabric, are you going for reality, whimsy, ethereal, early American country...what ever you choose, it's your landscape and there is no wrong choice!  Let yourself explore all the possibilities that exist and then you can pare down to what please you.
Again, let the fabric do as much of the work for you as you can and don't think about details right now, you want a general flow, it's like, if you looked through a pair of foggy glasses, or squinted your eyes and just caught the general outlines of the trees, fences, shrubs, etc.  We are roughing it in.

When you have assemble the fabrics that you would like to work with, start cutting out some shapes and laying them on your Little House lot to see how they will look with your house.  It's okay to layer, we like layering, it's our friend.  Layering will give a sense of depth to your quilt.  Are there trees behind your house?  If you live in a big city, there may be other buildings or landmarks that would give your quilt a sense of placement.  Maybe you have a silver trailer with a pink flamingo in the front on some astro turf.   Do you live on a farm, think about row crops, bountiful harvest, the checker board landscape.  Maybe you live in the mountains, selecting a variety of fabrics and creating several ridge lines will give your quilt more depth and interest.  Do you live in the forest, like I do?  Well, your trees may be a mix like ours of madrone, a variety of pines, oaks, manzanita.  If you are going for whimsy or an early American folk country style, you can create conical trees, or circle trees with stick straight trunks.   Maybe you live on the east coast and the hills are ablaze with the glory of fall.  What about lavender fields, or beds of roses, maybe a trellis, poppies, tulips, daffodils...what's in your garden and what would you LIKE in your garden.   The point is to have fun with it and let your mind go.

If you have patience, I will be on vacation for a couple weeks and will return and post detailed instructions on finishing, along with photos. I will be returning September 20th.
For those of you who just can't wait and want to get hopping on are some basic finishing instructions.

Once you have all the basic components in place the way you want them, fuse them to your quilt.  Like that guy from college that you fell in love with, you both graduated, married and are now committed!

You can now start to place windows, doors and smaller details using the same technique of trying out different fabrics and then when you are certain that you like them, fusing them in place.

Next will come the detail stitching or if you don't want to stitch, you can embellish your Little House Quilt with a fine tip permanent marker, fabric paints, what ever your heart desires.  You can add crystals, beads, buttons, ribbons, yarn...think outside the box and have fun.

Layer your quilt with very thin cotton batting, select your backing, and then quilt your piece as desired.

Attach binding and a rod pocket if you wish.

You are ready to display or give as a gift.

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