Saturday, May 05, 2007

Soliciting Opinions

Last week was a bit weird. My mother used to say: "The hurrier I go, the behinder I get." That's how I felt most of the week. I never got around to posting goals for the week, but that doesn't mean I didn't have any. In spite of it all, I did get most of the things on my list done.

Which brings me to my need for an opinion or two. I've started work on the quilt I plan to donate to my church. My original design is based on this angel from the chapel at Christ Church Cathedral in Eau Claire, WI.

Here is a very poor picture (pre-digital camera) of the quilt I made for the Cathedral's fundraiser about 5 years ago. The winner of the auction donated it back to the church to be hung there for all to enjoy. The sanctuary where it is displayed is a bit Gothic in nature and the angel rather glows in this dark space, much to my delight. Go here to read more about the history of the church. Scroll to the bottom of the page for specific information on the chapel and the angels.

So it seemed a simple thing, since I still had my patterns and most of the material on hand, to recreate this quilt with modifications for my new church, St. Agnes Episcopal Church. We are moving into a former Jehovah's Witnesses Kingdom Hall, more meeting hall than traditional church, and as we remodel and redecorate for our own use, some mention has been made of playing on the nature theme - trees and lakes and rivers being all around us. This angel on a black background just won't do, even if I was compelled to make a duplicate.

I'm hoping to have this done by June first, so I wanted to get the angel together and audition backgrounds by week's end, which I did. I'm fusing the applique, using Wonder Under. On the larger pieces, I trimmed away most of the fusible to avoid a totally stiff center. I learned about this the hard way. These fused areas do not draw up when quilted, so if the majority of the completed top is not fused, everything but the fused areas will draw up nicely with wonderful texture. The fused part just sits there flat, or worse, bulging.

The neat thing about fused applique is that you can construct it totally off the background if you use a Teflon applique sheet. Here you can see how I've placed the translucent sheet over my master pattern. Then I just positioned the pattern pieces on it, guided by the pattern showing through underneath, and lightly tack them together with a hot iron where they overlap. Now I can gently peel the applique off the Teflon sheet and place it on each background I wish to audition. I've turned back part of the angel so you can see the narrow bit of fusible on the larger pieces.

I had two fabrics I thought would work well as backgrounds, but in the meantime, I stumbled upon two more options. And thus the dilemma began. I can't tell what's swaying my opinion as I consider the merits of each. My "gut" feeling has led me astray before, as has thinking too hard about who will receive it or where it will be hanging. I need a second, or third or fourth opinion here. Please "vote" for the one you think most effective, and feel free to add why you think your choice is the one. Also feel free to suggest something different. I'm totally open at this point. Oh, and the strips of fabric along the sides of some of the pictures are ones I'm considering for the border.

Background 1:

Background 2:

Background 3:

Background 4:

All pictures appear to have their links intact, so you should be able to click on any of them for a larger view.


Anonymous said...

Hi Sheila,

I think I like no. 2 best. The background relates to the wings, it all looks celestrial. I don't care for the border fabrics, they seem too dark and heavy and not relating in feeling to the main background fabric, at least in the proportions they are in the photo.

Good luck, seems a big project!


Anonymous said...


Anne Wigfull said...

Sheila, I prefer the 'watery' background, the rest either don't work for me or are too dark. The fabric in the fourth picture which appears to be your choice for borders, is a lovely fabric, just not with this angel. It's 'too much' for this piece and fights with the tunic.
Have you considered not having a border of any kind, but a turned edge instead? I know it's hard to let go of some traditions :}. Or, what about on two sides only eg: top and left side. Another option would be to forego a border as such and applique leaves from the top left corner and radiating partway down and across. Or maybe a narrow *inner* border such as Ann Fahl uses. Better that I should stop, now!

Anonymous said...

Number 2 is what I like also. I will call you soon, cindy

Claire Joy said...

I pesonally liked 1 or 4... both are dark enough and quiet enough to show off the angel. However, I have never made a quilt so my opinion is not worth much... :)

Nikki said...

Have you thought about a light yellow-y green leafy-type background? Not too light because you don't want to lose the contrast of the wing. When you mentioned the "nature" theme I immediately pictured the angel in one of those big green north Idaho meadows surrounded by pine trees.