I am finally onto the handstitching of this quilt's binding. This is heading to IQA to be displayed at IQF in the fall. I was asked to quilt one of about a dozen of Frances Benton's applique tops. As the story goes, at some point she stopped making quilts and began making just tops. I just wonder when I die if I will have that many that are actually finished for quilting (versus being in a bunch of pieces, as the reality is!).
My best guess is that this top was made in the late 1980s, or early 1990s. I am just guessing based on the aqua print used for the sashing and the border. It's kind of thin, and has painted "calico" on it. It just reminds me of material I used WAY back when.
When I started on the quilt, I felt strongly that the quilting needed to fulfill two objectives. First, it should compliment the quilt, and secondly it should be in keeping with the era that I believe the quilt was made. Twenty years ago, quilting designs and motifs were simpler, and more traditional. Beyond that, time would tell. I double batted this with Hobbs polydown and Hobbs 80/20 battings. It gives a nice amount of lift beneath the appliques, and shows the relief of the quilting. I chose Filtec Glide ivory thread for most of it. I know in the era, it would have been hand quilted with cotton thread, but this is dull and I just wanted another element to the quilt. The slight sheen is good. There are touches of SoFine and Invisifil and monofilament on the baskets too.
So that it wouldn't be too boring, I placed the curved cross-hatch motifs in the corners of the border as well as the center of the borders. It ties together with the Xhatch in the blocks, and fits the space beautifully. There are free placed sprays of feathering along the grape vine too. I didn't go 100% overboard with feathers, as this IMHO lacks a sense of design. Good design incorporates a few key motifs, and then they are repeated to create cohesion...feathers, cross-hatching, and linework. I think it works; I just hope others do.
This is the before picture...I think it looks pretty nice finished! Hopefully the clients will as well.