This isn't the first month I've thought, "Thank goodness for the Art Group" as I hunkered down this weekend to get the binding on "Reverberations". Sure, I could have shown up at today's meeting without it sewn on, draping the strip along the edge to show what I had in mind. Sure, I could have asked what they thought about more beads without the binding having been sewn on. But I've been needlessly delaying these final touches to a quilt that won't be shown for another month and a half. And I really wanted a finished piece to show. The group declared it needed no more beads so it is done! Well, except for a sleeve and label.
I was so pleased to find this bit of hand-dyed fabric for the binding, and it played with the quilt exactly as I had envisioned. I'd dyed it years ago specifically for a tie for my father-in-law, and had used most of what was leftover in other projects. But after he died, the tie came back to me and what I had was all on the bias. Fine with me as I had this notion to round the corners on this quilt, and that would require bias binding. The only thing I was worried about was stretching along the edge. I SHOULD have worried about how those corners would work out. They were a puckered and stretched mess that required picking out, repinning and hand-stitching to get anything close to a smooth seam and turn. That total fail on the first try totally unnerved me, she who gained the reputation of "binding queen" early on in my quilting career. My fix would not pass muster were this going to a traditional quilt show. But it is not and it is good enough for ArtWalk, good enough not to embarrass me as I stand by it.
I also took my two Upward Ticks along. The group had not seen the sheer version (on the left) but at the last meeting had weighed in on the difficulty I was having making the other version work with the photo mount. That batik background just didn't work well, the circles were perhaps too bright, we all agreed I probably should stop fighting with it and either pick a different batik to put my circles on or a different photo or fabric for the mount. Defeated, deflated, and why I moved on to the sheer version. It was purely an accident that one day I stood with a piece of blue tulle in hand, right next to where I'd deposited this problem quilt. I did that look at the tulle, look at the quilt, look at the tulle, then lay the tulle on the quilt thing. It was like magic the way it transformed it and made me believe it would work with that mount. (You should be able to see the difference it makes in the picture above.) So I wanted to check with my ladies to see if they agreed (they did), then ask their advice on the technical aspect of doing this.
So it was a very beneficial session for me, pushing me to get some work done beforehand and giving me needed input so I can take off on the next round of work. Thanks ladies!