Monday, February 04, 2008

Grid #4: Almost There

Just when I make up my mind about one thing, another question arises. This is a quick picture of what I thought would be the finished Grid 4: Off the Grid. But now I don't know if I like the way the yarn looks around the outside of the quilted part. I've lost the clean lines and look with those little circles of yarn. I need opinions - please comment away!

Let me back up and talk a bit about how I got to this point. The "border" is really a separate piece that I call a mount: Decor Bond is cut the exact finished size and fused to the fabric which is cut larger to include a seam allowance. I've tried something different here, only fusing around the outer edge so that I can cut away the fabric in the center, exposing the Decor Bond. Not only does that save a bit of fabric, but it allows me to attach the center of my quilted section to the mount by fusing, not stitching. Wouldn't want it pooching away from the center when hung.

Then I cut a backing a hair smaller than the fabric for the front, fuse a strip of Wonder Under to the wrong side where the sleeve will be sewn and cut a slit through it. This will be my opening for turning and the sleeve will cover it. The front and back are then sewn right sides together around the outside using the edge of the Decor Bond as a guide. Corners are trimmed, the piece is turned inside out, corners poked out and edges pressed so that the backing rolls to the back and can't be seen from the front. The back is smoothed in place and the slit fused shut. The mount is now ready.

I don't believe I mentioned that I quilted the main portion without backing. The Warm and Natural cotton batting is durable enough to run through the machine, so there was no sense in adding another layer. When I centered it on the mount, the batting gripped nicely. Still, I felt I should secure it before putting it back under the machine, so I used a little glue baste around the edges.

My plan was to couch the two twisted yarns along the edge of the quilted section which would at the same time attach the top to the mount. I decided a better plan would be to zigzag the top in place first with clear thread, then glue baste the yarns before couching them down. I'd applied Fray Check around the edges of the painted fabric before layering for quilting, knowing I'd not be trimming much, if any off. What I forgot was that when I trimmed away the excess batting, I'd be clipping the quilting stitches too, and they were not secured. You can see how some of them started to unravel. So I put additional Fray Check on all the ends and hoped the zigzagging and couching stitches would keep all thread ends in place.

I made a sample to try a couple of ideas for the couching. I didn't like the look of the zigzag with the clear thread at all, and the blanket stitch with the purple thread changed the whole nature of the yarns, flattening them down and obscuring the fuzzyness of the commercial yarn. Well, heck, I thought. I was going to glue baste the yarn anyway. Why not just glue it on with a permanent glue and forget about the couching stitch? So that is what I did.

And now I'm not sure I like the look. I can lasso those curls of yarn, I think, with the couching stitch - that's what was happening on my sample here on the left. The left side is couched with the clear thread and zigzag, the right with the blanket stitch.

I'll let it sit overnight, hope a bunch of you weigh in with your opinions, and make up my mind later.


Exuberant Color said...

I like the loopy yarn because I think it echoes the soft lines in the dyed fabric. It softens the whole piece and gives it an added texture.

carrie said...

ummm I think it needs something and on the main photo it doesn't show up too much. I am less keen on the loops when looking at the close-ups though

Linda Teddlie Minton said...

I like the idea of the yarn, but feel that it needs more "body" ... maybe add some thicker or curlier strands to what you already have? The thinness of the yarn may be what is bothering you ...
Otherwise, a very cool piece!

The Wittering Rainbow said...

If I had to be really picky, I think I prefer it without the loops. It's all subjective though and you're the only one who knows if it's right! If I'm not sure about something I put it away for a few days and concentrate on something else. Usually when I come back to it, I can get a more objective viewpoint which helps me decide. If this doesn't work, you could always make 2!!