Thursday, March 13, 2008

Going in circles...

...and that's a good thing. No matter how hard I try to foresee what will happen with each step of a quilt, invariably there will be some factor I haven't taken into account. With my February Take It Further challenge, I failed to consider that because the top blue fabric was not dyed through and through, the edges of my cutouts would show some white. Also, the Misty Fuse I used to hold the top to the batik underneath does not secure the edges in the same way as fusibles with adhesives. Thus there is more potential for fraying of raw edges, and in this case, the frays often were white threads. Something would have to be done to secure those raw edges.

Part of me was hoping I'd not have to quilt around the cutouts at all, but once the other quilting was in place, it was obvious that they needed quilting down. However I chose to do that would double as an edge finish for those less than perfect cut-outs. At first I thought a satin stitch would be the thing, done in a cotton embroidery thread to match. However, when I tested my theory on the sample above (far right circle), I didn't like it. Too heavy handed and too difficult to follow the edge. I tried a variation that varied the width of the stitch, thinking it might soften the effect, but it was no better (to the left of the satin stitched circle). I was about to go back to the satin stitch on the real thing when it occurred to me that a simple zigzag might work. I tried a 2 width, 2 length and it was perfect - easy to maneuver and nearly invisible, just what I wanted (left circle). Click on the picture for a larger view. Here's the back where the stitching is easier to see:

And so today I went round and round my circles and ovals. Going in circles can be a good thing! And it was a good thing I didn't use the satin stitch. Some of the cut-outs had little space between them and I would have been satin stitching over satin stitching in many places. That would have been a lumpy mess.

Theoretically, this is done, except for finishing the outer edge. However, it feels like it needs something to spark it up. It looks a bit washed out (although it looks fairly saturated in the pictures I've posted here). I'm wondering if I can dab some paint or stamp something over it to give it some depth. That's a scary prospect for me, but I have my little sample to try it out on. I also thought I would face this rather than bind it, but now I'm thinking it needs a binding in a slightly darker value to give it some presence. I've pulled a few things to try, but I don't think I have what it needs. This may require a trip to the fabric store...

1 comment:

Annabel said...

I agree with you about satin stitch. It can look very heavy and clumsy and so, well, stitched!! It's not easy to find an alternative. My own solution for cirlces is free machining round and round going over the circles themselves and the rest of the fabric until they're "seated".
btw - it's me the wittering rainbow. I've been rebranded!