Here's a quilt I finished a day or two ago. It is marvelously pieced so I wanted to do a nice job on the quilting for her. She's been so gracious to send me seven (7!!) quilts to quilt. The background fabric is just busy enough, though, that it did not seem to warrant intricate quilting. In fact, I tried something and ended up picking it out because it fought with the fabric's pattern.
What I ended up doing was mimicking the ribbon-like swirling of the fabric's pattern, in a way that mimicked water. Afterall, they are Mariner's compasses, so water seemed appropriate.
The background stitching is done with a coral color thread - I wanted it to be in a darker shade than ivory, which I used to microstipple within the compasses. Though the thread was not really brown, it did blend well, leaving the quilting to appear as mostly textural. Swirls were placed strategically in the triangles as well as randomly throughout the background. I consulted the owner about possibly outlining the mariners stars too, and much to my complete delight, she didn't think they needed it. Phew... too time consuming for my taste!!The best surprise came when I took it off the frame. The stars in a sea of waves on the front translated to snowflakes in a blizzard on the back. I think that the back, which is a beige soft print, has the most interesting textural effect. This would have been totally lost had I done any ditch-stitch outlining.
I hope you all have your ham hocks and black eye peas today (as the old Southern tradition goes for another year of good luck). Happy sewing-