Make your own free website on
Lesson 4
To Pattern Page

Hummingbird 1

The hummingbird pattern is sewn in two sections and is the most traditional of all these patterns. You should be able to handle it with few problems (but ask if you need to, of course.)

If you wish this to represent a male ruby-throated hummingbird, you might want to try some exotic fabric--a shimmering organza overlay or perhaps a metallic green. The underbody is gray and the throat is a ruby red.

Just be aware that a very vivid coloring will call attention to your bird and make it a focal point, so keep that in mind as you select those fabrics.

Garden Sampler

By now you probably have a variety of blocks and must decide what to do next. Even if you don't want to make a small Garden Sampler at this point, please follow along with this part because we're going to be talking about the kind of thinking needed to combine these separate blocks into a garden-like whole.

As I tell my adult painting classes, there is no way they are going to put a tree into their painting. All they can possibly do is create the illusion of a tree--a set of lines, shapes, spaces, textures, patterns, colors and values that, hopefully, will make people think "tree" as they look at the painting. That's what we are doing with these blocks--making a "garden" illusion. So let's look at some of the effects we are trying to create.


Where in the illustration above do you see the effects of background/foreground? How are these effects created--shape, size, color, value? How are shapes made to seem to overlap?


How can you give the impression that this is one large image rather than just a set of blocks set side by side?

Use the EQ4 .pj4 file if you can or print the thumbnails on the pattern page. Cut them out and paste them side by side in any order. Color this as a single block, ignoring block lines.

If you need to create a transition block to bridge between two blocks you have already made, lay a pattern (any block) between them to help you figure how to carry the color across from one block to the next.

Remember, you don't have to follow the pattern lines I've given you. If you need to make a color cross the block lines a bit higher or lower or at a different angle--change the pattern!

Light and Shadow

In this illustration, the light seems to come from the upper left, leaving the lower right side of the sampler in deep shadow. That is a conventional kind of lighting.

Another option would be to make the leaves and flowers (all or part of them) much lighter as if they are in the sunlight and are being observed against a background that is in deep shadow. You can make all four corners dark with both the brightest and darkest in the very center. If you keep in mind a general rule that the center of interest is where you will see the greatest contrast, you can put your center of interest (also called focal point) anywhere you chose.

Let your intuition be your guide. If something bothers you about your block arrangement, look for something that could be changed and experiment until you find something that does satisfy you. You might need to change a fabric, a value or a color, or even use a different block in that place. There is no absolutely right or wrong way to do it--just different and more or less satisfying.

By the way, if you have been wondering how to make use of those short Random Rose blocks you started with, check the Discussion Forum for a tip.

I hope you have had fun with these blocks. Please do send a picture if you possible can. This is an important part of learning. Wouldn't you feel a bit cheated, in a regular classroom, if everyone kept their work secret and you never got to see what anyone else was doing? It doesn't have to be a finished piece if that is difficult for you. You can send a photo, a scan, an image from your computer quilting program or even the finished block (if you include a self addressed stamped envelope for its return.)

Just a reminder, this classroom will be open an additional three weeks after this one, so check back to see what other members of the class have added to the Discussion Forum or the Gallery. If we have enough block images to make a "Virtual Quilt" project, I'll announce that in the Discussion Forum, too.

Ozark Garden II will begin January 15. Most of those blocks are a little more complex, but no more difficult than what you have already made. Pictures of the Samplers for that session will be posted later. Join us if you can, (but it won't hurt my feelings a bit if you now feel confident enough to design your own set of new blocks to finish your quilt--just send us a picture!)