|Auditioning King Tut variegated threads|
It's amazing to me how long some projects sit, waiting for me to get back to them. This week I've returned to textiles and am diving into the quilting of a lap quilt that, as I check my blog, has been layered for quilting since October 2014 - yes, 2 years! (See this post where I choose the backing and start the pin basting.) The last thing I did was set out some prospective threads for the quilting, bundling it all together into the closet until I thought through the quilting design and felt I could "afford" the time to start quilting it. I've gathered ideas for the quilting and in my head thought I had it worked out - a way to mimic the paisleys in the border and sashing fabric in a pleasing continuous design that would be quilted in top to bottom rows - an overall design as it were. This is a technique I learned in a workshop and decided this was the quilt top to try it out on. You'll have to click on the photo for a larger version and peer closely to see the stitching and design on the above sample sandwich which gave me a better clue than pooling the thread over the surface as to how each color would read.
|Bleh - not at all what I had in mind|
It also immediately showed me I did not like this juxtaposition of paisleys, which now just looked like badly quilted folk tulips. This is the back, using what thread was already in the machine. I actually may use it as the bobbin thread since the backing is a combination of the dark blue and a tan print. Again, click on the picture to see more clearly.
Part of the problem, I decided, was the size of the paisleys. I started off quite large and they slowly came down in size as I changed threads. But still, this is not what I wanted on this quilt.
|Either color works over the top, & there's the paisley in the fabric inspiring the quilting|
Time for a new thought. I studied the piecing in the top and could see a different way to approach this, an idea that a single paisley could show up in each small square, two in the larger one, keeping them more or less upright and quilting a graceful curve to connect them. And I'd pretty much narrowed the thread color choices to these two.
Time to draw out my thought. I placed a transparency sheet over those squares and drew a continuous line of paisleys through them. Then place the transparency on something white so I could see better what I'd drawn. Oh yes, this was more like it! Since I'd filled up my sample with stitching, I removed some of it in the middle so I could try this out with the two threads I was still considering.
My biggest concern after reviewing the quilting out of the 5 different colors was that whatever I chose would not overshadow the paisley in the print to the point you could not even see it. The darker brighter colors were definitely doing that. The blue seems a little distracting too, but I think that more sandy color, perhaps used to quilt around the paisleys in the border fabric, may be just the thing. I did try a dark blue but it didn't show up enough to see as I quilted, could not see where I'd already stitched. Not going bold this time, but not going completely into hiding either.
I still have the final decisions to make on thread color and whether or not I'll add a frilly echo around each paisley, but I am really excited now to get stitching on this. It will take awhile since this is a generous lap size. But I don't have the feeling I can't work on anything else until it's done. It feels more like something I can do a little quilting on each day, if only a row or two, a bit like my sketch a day challenge, before switching the rest of my studio time to a different project like more baskets or one of my art quilt ideas. Feels good to be enthusiastic again!