Thursday, April 10, 2014

Pulling It Together

As hoped, I rallied on Monday, made the final positioning decisions, fused everything down and marked my quilting lines. There, that wasn't so hard, was it? Not when you're in the right frame of mind, feeling better and tired of your own indecision. To mark the lines to extend the truncated part of the kaleidescope, I first traced that part of the design and transferred it to freezer paper to make a template. I could line it up, iron it in place and trace around it with a primacolor verithin pencil. I've used the silver one of these for years to mark dark fabric; they sharpen to a fine point and the lines remove easily by rubbing with a piece of cloth. I now own a range of colors in these so picked one close to the color of the thread I'd be using. Once the rest of the marking was done, I used 505 spray baste to hold together the quilt sandwich. At approximate 20 x 22, it's small enough for the spray baste to work well, and avoids pin holes that safety pins would leave in the hand-dyed fabric. That was a good day's work for Monday.

Tuesday I saw my doctor again, who put me back on prednisone. So by Wednesday, I was feeling even better and full of nervous energy...time to quilt! I began by outlining each square and rectangle with fuchsia Essentials cotton thread. This is part of a bunch I ordered when Connecting Threads had a portion of their stock on sale. I remember thinking at the time it wasn't a color I'd likely use, then reminding myself how many other times I'd thought that about a color that turned out to be exactly what I needed. As I stitched around each one, so satisfied with the efffect, I was reminded too that it is important to stay true to one's aesthetic. For me, it is clean lines and often a certain simplicity. All my angst over adding design elements to those squares, even as I was marking quilting lines and remembering other art quilts with quilted spiral and sunburst motifs (oo - maybe THAT'S what I should do!), that may have been more influenced by the work of others, all the noise we are exposed to about more is more, the push for over-the-top designs, quilting and embellishments. I do try to listen to my quilts as I design, and as I added this simple quilting, I felt again my initial response as I tentatively put that first square on the background. It was one of liking that unadorned square that said all it needed to say. The feeling that it should say more came from some other place - me trying too hard, thinking I needed to repeat elements to make it look unified and more complex. Although I've done some rather complex designs that I've loved, this one did not need to be another one. So much of what this quilt evokes comes from the textures and patternings of the fabrics themselves. Let's not compete unnecessarily with them. Let's remember our personal aesthetic.

Next I moved to the kaleiscope, again using the fuchsia thread, just following the design elements. The center there is calling out for a bead - I hope I have the perfect one in my collection.

To quilt around the spikey ends, I switched to a dusty rose Sulky Ultra Twist rayon thread. Dang, I wish these were still available. This one has a bit of greenish grey twisted into it. No time to mess with it now, but I'm working on a way to color in those places that extend out onto the background fabric. I have a watercolor pencil that might be just the right color. I'm also thinking some beads might be called for along the base, just a few.

I did another round of stitching on the other side of the spikey pattern before changing threads to quilt rays across the rest of the quilt. Keying off the near white squiggle on the kaleidescope, I used an Oliver Twist hand-dyed cotton thread variegated from lightest to medium pink with some mint green thrown in. And with that, Reverberations was near enough finished for a photo shoot. Sometimes I don't realistically estimate the time it will take to do quilting so I was pretty relieved that it really did only take an afternoon.

So...I made my self-imposed deadline! This morning I took a picture, cropped it in Corel Paint Shop Pro where I also added a narrow "binding". Honestly, I've been thinking this would be faced, but as I looked at the cropped photo, it didn't look finished. That bit of border says, "done" to me. Hope I have that color in my stash...  I updated my artist bio, burned it and the jpgs of my three new quilts onto a cd (Tears of Mayo, Upward Tick & Reverberations), and filled out the brief ArtWalk application. My packet is ready to submit 6 days ahead of the official deadline - truly a relief. Time for a breather, and then back to REALLY finishing this quilt.  


Chris said...

Sheila, this looks great. I love how you decided to quilt it. Wonderful!

The Inside Stori said...

A winner....the quilting is perfecting intragated!

Connie Rose said...

This is really beautiful, Sheila!

JB said...

By George, I think you've got it!!


Sherrie Spangler said...

Wow, ahead of deadline! It looks beautiful.