Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Goals for Week of Feb 20th - Scary Movie Part II

I have only one goal for this week, considering the panic that set in today when I realized just how little time I have left to finish, photograph and complete the entry info for my Changing Perspectives piece. That goal would be to assemble and quilt the piece. If I could get the binding on too, that would be nice but not critical. Well, maybe critical, considering I'm going about this a little backward.

I spent a little time this morning sketching out different sizes and how the two not quite squares will be placed. Sometimes sketches just don't do it, but at least it gave me an idea of possible proportion and placement. So I moved on to cutting an oversized background piece. I want to completely quilt this in a grid, then machine applique my two squares on top. Have yet to decide if I will quilt those squares before or after they get sewn to the main quilt, but a thin batt will have to go in whichever sequence I choose. I'll decide on the final size of the piece after those squares get applied.

I thought today I could get the background layered and quilted. This was what I referred to yesterday as the "not so scary" part. But there were so many decisions to be made and I'm just not good at making decisions. First I got hung up on the batting. I want something quite firm, so when I ran across a piece of fleece, I thought this was the ticket. But I also got out a piece of Warm & Natural, which I've used successfully in wall quilts, it being relatively flat and stable. I probably would have dived right into the quilting were I not unsure about the threads to use. I have a set of Oliver Twist Hand dyed threads in wonderful browns, yellows, rusts and was leaning towards them rather than the heavier Valdani. Laying them across my fabric wasn't going to be enough to tell how they would work. And then I noticed how slippery the surface of the fleece was. Better be smart and quilt up a sample.

I think it was about this time that I decided to look at the calendar to see how much time I had left. Yikes! My mind had been saying 4 weeks, but the calendar confirmed I had more like two. Time to shift into high gear and become efficient! The only thing I didn't dither over was choosing a backing. I cut a piece for the quilt, then two smaller pieces for samples. I tried the fleece and Oliver twist threads first and was not happy at all. The fabric shifted (even though I used spray baste) which is unacceptable when working with a plaid, there was too much dimension and a bit of curling that I wasn't sure could be controlled in the final piece, and the thread really didn't show up unless you were fairly close. "I'm making another boring quilt," I thought to myself. Time to attempt a little more boldness.

The second sample is better. The Warm and Natural feels very firm when quilted this closely and is flatter so the thread does not disappear into the shadows. And the heavier Valdani thread has more and brighter variety in its variegation. The cotton grips the fabric better so there is little shifting. This is what I will go with. The quilting should go fast, then it will be on to the next scary part of the quilt - quilting and positioning the squares on the quilted background.

The fleece sample is on the right, the Warm & Natural sample is on the left. Click on the picture for a larger view. Yes, here I go making another dark quilt. It will take more work than my mind's eye envisioned to liven up this one.

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