Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Bear Paw Barn Quilt

Bear Claws Quilt Canvas Farm Barn by Billy Jacobs

My mom is going to commission a barn quilt for the side of their machine shed in the country.  If they still had the old barn (which is just down the road), you can bet it would hang there on the old homestead ...   I was even thinking about building it and presenting it to her for Christmas, but I wasn't sure how to transport it without a truck ...  I even found some good directions for making your own here.   But she beat me to the punch.  Now we're just planning to chip in to cover the costs for her.   She says she wants it to be a Tree Block, since my dad has a Christmas Tree Farm there on their land.

They don't have to be the 8 x 8 ft size.  If your hanging space is smaller, by all means, you can make a smaller barn quilt.   And these instructions recommend a material that is used for making signs--instead of plywood.  That seems smart--It might stand up to the elements better.    Then I started to think about : If I made my own, what quilt block would I use?  Pin WheelTea Leaves?  Crossed Canoes?  Bear Paw--That's one of the quilts on my bucket list that I need to make some day.  So I started looking for examples ...  What color schemes?  How did they lay it out?  Square or on point?

That's when I stumbled upon the artwork above.   I bought it on eBay this week--an impulse buy, but not expensive.  ;-)    This way, not only do I have the Bear Paw barn quilt, I have the barn to go with it!  And I can hang it inside and enjoy it myself!    Perfect!

My Quilting friend, Laura R. built a potting shed this summer, and made a Barn Quilt to go with it.  She chose The Lady of the Lake quilt block.  That's the patron saint, shall we say, of the local Oshkosh Quilt Guild, Lakeside Quilters, which she helped to found so many years ago. 

Do you have a Barn Quilt?
Did you make it yourself?
Do you want a Barn Quilt?
What Quilt Block did you choose?  Why?

I might still make a real Bear Paw Barn Quilt some day.  It would be neat for people to look across the park and see it hanging on the side of our house ...   But maybe I should make the quilt first!

In the meantime, here's a whole Library of blocks to whet your appetite for barn quilt possibilities!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Progress on the Disappearing 9-Patch

After it was done last week, I realized one of the blocks was turned the wrong way.  I had an eerie feeling when I was putting it together -- a few things literally didn't FEEL right, but I didn't stop to investigate right then either.  Do you see it?

At first, I thought I'd go ahead and rip out the offending block, set it properly and re-sew the seams.  But my friend Sheila gently suggested that I might want to leave it as is.  She cited the Amish Quilters who are famous for always including a mistake in their quilts.  In their humble POV, only God is perfect.  The mistake keeps them humble.  [My husband who grew up in Lancaster, PA--Amish country-- debunked that story as a myth.  Quilting has become a profitable business for the Amish, and a story like that helps sell quilts -- even quilts that are imperfect.]  It's still a good story. ;-)

Now I just need to decide if that little accidental design change is going to drive me crazy, or if I can live with it.  I know that leaps of innovation can happen with mistakes like this ...  but I think I prefer my mistakes to be a little more subtle.  Ok--a lot more subtle.

Nope--I had to go ahead and fix it :

Corrected Quilt Top.
There -- Isn't that better?

I still need to work out the borders.  Don't worry : There'll be more chances for mistakes!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Texture Tuesday : Geese at Sunset

Sunset Geese

This photo was taken on an evening walk in Marshfield, WI, on a nature preserve there.  The geese were congregating atop a berm.  There was a pond on the other side, so they were not far from water.

This is a great example of why Kim Klassen  calls these black textures "magic."

Here's the original image from my iPhone.  Not bad ...

The super simple recipe in Photoshop Elements :
Layer 1) Background image
Layer 2) Kim Klassen's Flourish Magic (black) Texture - Overlay 92% opacity
Layer 3) Kim Klassen's Wonderful Magic Scripted - Soft Light 34% opacity (this layer adds a subtle frame to the edges, and some words to the clouds in the upper left corner.

The black magic textures deepen the colors and add drama -- like a sunset if you stay long enough to see it!  Very different from the  dark shadows you might expect with black textures.  These are amazing!

Linking up with The Texture Artists FaceBook Group and Kim Klassen's Texture Tuesday. 
Come join us!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Fabric Post Cards : Moons and Trees

October Trees - as a Fabric Post Card

At Quilt Camp last weekend, I made 3 fabric postcards based on recent photographs I worked up here and here.

By the 2nd round, I simplified the tree silhouette a bit.

Blood Moon - Fabric Post Card
For this one, I also decided that the moon wasn't going to accidentally slip out from under the tree, especially with the tree branches sewn down securely.  

I finally learned to use my satin edge foot to do the edges on these postcards.  It really helps to keep a straight and even edge.

This weekend, I got the disappearing 9-patch blocks together, but before I show you, I need to fix one of the blocks that got turned the wrong way.  I didn't notice it until I had everything sewn together, but now I need to set it right before I continue.    

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Harvest Moon

Harvest Moon

Here's the one I was really working on the other day ...  It's the same tree silhouette, an old oak tree here in Oshkosh.  I was trying to figure out how to limit the orange color to just the circle of the moon.  I finally figured it out by clipping the orange texture layer to the moon brush with layer mask layer.  It worked!

I was also thinking about my friend Sheila's Strawberry Moon art quilt, and thinking that I'd like to do a whole series of moons ...   Then last weekend, there was a story about Fleetwood Mac and they showed a neat moon on one of their stage sets back in the day.  Indigo Moon was just the beginning!  Thank you for the inspiration, Sheila! 

Maybe it will also inspire a journal quilt, too?

Photo Processing Layer-by-Layer :
Layer 1) Karen White's Midnight Blues Texture for background
Layer 2) Nancy Clayes Xeveria Texture - Normal Blend Mose at 49% opacity
Layer 3) Moon Brush with Layer Mask
Layer 4) Copy Layer 3
Layer 5) 2LO Fairy Tales 19 Texture - Multiply 100% (Tied to Moon Brush Layer with Mask)
Layer 6) 2LO Fairy Tales 19 Texture over whole piece (to warm up the blues) - Soft Light 20%
Layer 7) Kim Klassen's Jacob Texture - Soft Light 68%
Layer 8) Tree Silhouette (mine) - Multiply

Moody Harvest Moon
 Here's another version -- just a little moodier.  It reminds me of some of those old backgrounds in the Charlie Brown Halloween special.   Bruised.
The only difference is that I copied Layer 6 and set it at Multiply 31%.

Sharing with The Texture Artists FaceBook Group and Kim Klassen's Texture Tuesday.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Disappearing 9-Patch Blocks

I'm off to Quilt Camp this weekend.  [BIG Smile!]  One of the projects I have planned to work on is a Disappearing 9-Patch.  You know : the one where you make regular 9-patch blocks, then cut them up, turn two blocks, and put 'em back together again.   It makes a really simple block much more interesting.  And it looks like you spent many more hours than you actually did on the piecing. 

At the top of this post, you see one of the blocks.  On the left is the un-cut block; On the right is the cut and "re-formatted" block.  I like to make sample blocks to use as a model, otherwise, it's too easy to go on auto-pilot at Quilt Camp, and discover you've made enough blocks for an entire quilt -- all wrong.  This way, I have a visual sample to compare with to keep me on track.

Here's the other block : 1 whole and 1 cut apart and put back together again.  I really like this color combination, and I'm excited to see how it all comes together ...  Stay tuned!   Gotta go cut strips to get ready ...

Marilyn Campbell demonstrated this super-simple technique at Quilt Camp several years ago, and she piqued my interest.  I'm finally going to make one myself!  Unfortunately, Marilyn is not attending Quilt Camp this year due to health reasons.  I will miss her.  This photo is from 2012.  Did I mention, she's also a great cook?  Especially with blueberries!

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

October Trees

Photo Processing Layer-by-Layer
Layer 1) Sweet Leaf Orange Texture - (One of my own National Geographic Citrasolve Textures)
Layer 2) Copy Layer 1 - Blurred multiple times
Layer 3) 2LO Fairy Tale 19 Texture - Soft Light Blend Mode at 75% opacity (to bring in some yellows)
Layer 4) Tree Silhouette  - Multiply 100%

The tree silhouette is from a great old oak tree right here in town.  I cropped it down to an interesting window, and made it black and white.

The background is one of my very own National Geographic Citrasolve textures from a few years ago -- before I ever even thought of playing with PhotoShop ...  But then, what do you do with all those textures if NOT PhotoShop?

Here's the original version : 

Photo Processing Layer-by-Layer
Layer 1) Sweet Leaf Orange Texture - (One of my National Geographic Citrasolve Textures)
Layer 2) Tree Silhouette  - Multiply 100%

I wanted the sharper focus to be on the shadow of the tree, rather than the texture in the background, so I decided to blur the orange background to arrive at the image at the top of this post.

I was working on this image on the way to another one ...  This was just a warmup. 
Stay tuned!

Sharing with the Texture Artists Facebook Group this week.