Thursday, April 05, 2007

Grid 3 - More Stitching

Today's work made me feel like a rank amateur. It is very difficult to quilt a perfectly straight line. Hand quilting is much more forgiving of wobbles and waves while the harsh line of machine quilting shows every bobble. Choose a high contrast thread and, with either method, your errors glare back at you.

The outer lines quilted yesterday are about 3/4" apart. This picture shows 2 lines of quilting added in between, and so spaced 1/4" apart. However, in spite of careful marking, those outer lines were not always equal distance apart. I opted to use the right one as a guide when quilting the center two, which may or may not have been a good idea. This thread, these quilting lines are showing up so much darker and distinct than I'd intended. It reminded me of what Cynthia Corbin said about the value of the thread being more important than the actual color of it. I'm not sure that choosing the teal over the purple made any difference. What I needed what a lighter value, but I didn't have any on hand. One thing I did like, though, was the texture that was starting to building between the lines of stitching. The bumps reminded me of corduroy wales.

As I was quilting in these lines, it came to me what my plan had been. I intended to quilt lines between these initial 4 using a second color of thread. I think I'd planned to alternate the teal and the purple, but I was pretty sure now that I didn't want to do that. So I cast about for alternatives while wondering if I could just continue on with the teal. In the picture above you see the two gold threads I'm considering for the vertical and horizontal lines of embroidery. I briefly wondered if I could bring some life to this piece by using one of them for the alternating lines in the diagonal quilting. No, a bit much, I decided. Looking through my Oliver Twist threads again, I spotted this green one below. Now why hadn't I thought that was an option before? Well, perhaps it's too light to have been effective as the main color in the diagonal gridwork, but maybe it would work as alternating lines. I also laid a bit of the yellow thread along the square satin stitching - this could be my choice for quilting a bit of accent on either side.

Well, there was nothing for it but to try a small sample of both the light and dark teal. I was still unsure about the light, but fairly sure more dark was not what I wanted. I plunged ahead, all the while thinking it really wasn't working. Too often you can't get an accurate idea of how color is working until you see it in the actual proportions it will be used.

I gave up on any "accurate" gauging of distance between quilting lines and just eyeballed down the center between lines, giving me approximate 1/8" spacing between all stitching. I seemed to be getting a plaid effect, which didn't thrill me. Good thing this is a practice, learning piece, I thought.

It wasn't until I finished stitching and pulled it out of the machine that I began to warm to my choices. Once on the table and a distance from me, I was less put off with the effect of the darker thread and the lighter green did seem to be toning down the pink in the background fabric. This may come together ok yet.

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