I'm having a little difficulty getting back into the blogging swing of things after being gone and being sick. Since I got back from the course at Empty Spools I haven't done very much sewing.
I would strongly encourage anyone who is interested in designing landscape quilts to take one of Gloria Loughman's classes. It was really great to have five days to work with her- for me the class was the perfect combination of lecture/didactic material, one-on-one consultation with her, and independent work time. We had a nice large classroom with lots of light and windows, and my mom and I had tables in the back corner so our explosion of fabric and mess didn't get too much in the way of others.
The point of the class was to design and landscape with multiple images embedded in it, but she was very supportive of helping the students make whatever kind of project they were interested in. I think one of the best parts of the class was how much she helped us get into our quilt whatever it was that was in our minds. She taught us several of her construction techniques and left it to us whether to incorporate any (or all) of them. We also painted fabric (for example for use in skies) and talked a lot about color.
My original idea was to take these three pictures of my parent's home in New Mexico and incorporate them into a quilt. I was going to have our mountain (Sierra Blanca) in the background with the llama as an inset on the left and the apple orchard in the inset on the right. The llamas live just behind my parent's back fence and it's kind of fun to see them wander up.
I elected to do a watercolor sort of approach with squares of a bunch of different commercial fabrics for my sky, planning to use painted fabrics for the sky in the insets. After much trial and tribulation (I mean they're just squares, how hard can it be) I got the sky assembled and then started on the mountain. It's about 20X30", I thought any bigger was too big to start in the class (given the size of our design boards and work spaces and airplane suitcases). I finished the mountain on the second to last day and was getting ready to start on my insets but Gloria recommended that I leave my mountain as is, and put the insets into something else. My mountain is fairly detailed and a lot of what makes it look like our mountain would be obscured by insets so I decided to leave my apple orchard and llama for another quilt (and another blog post!).
I'm going to set this top aside until I have a chance to piece my apple orchard top since I have pieces of it floating around the studio that I don't want to lose, but I'm pleased with the direction it's heading. Hope you guys are doing some fun sewing!