I've been trawling around the internet for months now looking at what is out there and today had an AHA moment.
Heather Lair does some fabulous landscapes. She combines fairly simple layouts with some gorgeous abstract quilting borders. I am definitely feeling inspired by what I saw.
It always goes back to some form of hand applique.
You would think that with all the sewing I've done over the years that machine quilting would not be a problem. Not so :)
To help me overcome my machine quilting neurosis I ordered "60 Machine Quilting Patterns" by Pat Holly and Sue Nickels. It arrived in the mail a couple of days ago and I am in hog heaven. For a dunderhead like myself the layouts show you where to place the needle, what direction to go, where to start and end, and what it looks like when it's done. I'll be cutting up a lot of muslin fairly soon to start practicing. I also had John retrieve my other sewing machine from the back of the closet because I want to try using it for this project. I think this will also work well with the blocks I plan on putting together from "Grandma's Best Full Size Quilt Blocks."