Thursday, April 02, 2009

Jockeying for Space

Having a bit of a whoohoo moment here. After getting sidetracked with the row robin project, I finally got back to finishing Jockeying for Space, i.e., stretching the finished quilt onto stretcher bars. You may recall I ended up with a somewhat awkward size of 13 inches square and had to search the Internet for stretchers that length.

What I ended up getting were not the usual artist stretchers, mitered at the corners, but needlework stretchers. To be honest, I like the way these join at the corners better. The whole frame is much more stable and holds its squareness better than the mitered bars I tried.

Since this was cut generously for a 12 x 12 frame, it just barely wrapped to the back of the 13 x 13 bars. I used a combination of tacks and staples to secure the fabric, backed with Decor Bond. Since I am not fitting this in a frame, I think it would have been better to use staples all the way around. But since I was so close to the edge, the stapler was a little difficult to use. Next time I'll plan better, right?

I was pretty happy with the folds I managed at the corners. I have a method I want to try where you actually stitch a seam at each corner, but I wasn't about to try it on this today.

While this has been waiting for stretcher bars and time, I came across this yarn. I know I auditioned it before and rejected it, but now it seemed to be just what I needed to make me happier about the first line of couched yarn. I considered gluing it on, but I wasn't 100% sure that I was going to like the effect.

The yarn is thick & thin and I could envision having lots of trouble positioning it without getting glue all over my fingers and other places I didn't want it. I certainly wasn't going to machine couch it on after my disappointment with the way the yarn looked. Sometimes hand stitching is the only and best way to get the kind of control and reversibility one needs. Waiting to do this until it was stretched was a bit of unforeseen brilliance. It was very easy to lay the yarn in place and couch it with invisible thread. In order to get the colors to fall where I wanted, I had to double the yarn on the corners, and the hand stitching made it a lot easier to manipulate that and make it look natural.

The picture at the top is a quick pic I took to show this addition of yarn and see if you too think it was a good move. Go here to see what it looked like before adding this. I'm not sure the color in that picture is quite right - the batik always looks more intense to me in these pictures than in reality. Also, the lighting isn't very even. But I really couldn't wait one more day to share it with you.

By the way, the yarn is Waikiki by Crystal Palace Yarns, a 62% viscose, 38% cotton blend. Because the color changes every few inches, it knits up fabulously. Here's a slightly different colorway knit using a lace stitch and #10 needles - this scarf is about 8 inches wide.

1 comment:

Chris said...

Nice work! I agree, Sometimes you've got to hand sew.It calms me down, too.