Friday, May 29, 2009

Azalea Series?

It certainly feels like I'm working on a series. Or maybe I'm just determined to use up all the leftovers from the original fused version of Azalea Mosaic. Whatever you call it, I'm having fun. This one will be named "Broken Promises" (about 5 x 7 inches). I'm very tempted just to mat and frame it as is, no stitching or quilting. Just really like the shapes and colors. There's one more yet to come, provided I can settle on an arrangement for the very last of the bits and pieces.

Still pondering whether I need to add stitching to the big piece before layering for quilting (see this post and Rhonda's excellent observation), I stitched out some additional pre-programmed embroidery stitches. After much staring, I'd decided that the meandering vines only needed to be over the green tiles, and that a King Tut green variegated thread I have in abundance should work as well or better than the Oliver Twist thread I used on Azalea Mosaic III.

I narrowed it down to two and stitched them across the small test piece on the left. I could pin this little piece to the quilt top and step back, to sort of see the effect. I decided too much light green was popping off the surface so tried my favorite stitch in a dark green Sulky Rayon. That last bit of stitching finally clarified for me why I'd been so uneasy about putting any of these machine embroidery stitches on the top: They are just too even, the repeats too perfect. They need to vary more, like the individual tiles, like nature itself, and that's just not going to happen with these programmed stitches. Click on the picture to better see what I'm talking about.

That was it, all I needed, enough information gathered, conclusive decision made. I pulled the top off the wall, layered it and safety pin-basted for quilting today. I'm still considering using one of those embroidery stitches for the quilting between the squares, but that can be easily tested on the quilt itself and removed without leaving holes if necessary. In the meantime, discarding the idea of using any of those embroidery stitches resulted in a sudden rush of other ways to add something more appropriate. Whether or not I'll pursue any of them is still up for debate.


Wil Opio Oguta said...

Sheila, I like this little azalea a lot. Maybe even more than her big sister.

The Idaho Beauty said...

I know what you mean. I guess that's the point of doing a series - you can keep working through ideas and break out of your original thinking which may have been in a bit of a rut. I can truly say I've been pretty uptight with the designing of "big sister" whereas on this little thing I was cutting loose a bit!