Sunday, January 18, 2015


Hindsight...  The ability to have knowledge of an event only after it has occurred.   

The path many of us take in our quilting is often a journey in hindsight.   Why does it take doing something one way only to realize it should have been done another.  At least in this case the redo does not involve picking out stitches.  Putting more stitches in is much faster!!
So almost immediately after posting the original quilt pics on Friday, my client agreed that the quilt looked like it needed more quilting.  I knew in my mind it needed more also.  I so often am caught between that desire to put more to the quilt design and wanting to watch that cost.  I had already put a high number of hours into the quilting, making the PSI on this 52" quilt twice what most might think a quilt this size ought to be charged.  I am not an inefficient quilter either.  I had not had thread issues which can slow the process, or any picking out.  It just, plain and simple, has a ton of detail, lots of stitch in the ditch and LOTS of stop and start on those gold circles.  I will take the resulting PSI as learnings to the next highly detailed quilt I am asked to quote.
So, what was added??...The purple stars were densely quilted with a purple Glide thread.  It is a tight stipple, nothing fancy.  The sole purpose was to push the purple to the background, so that the petal arcs can be brought to the forefront more.  Quilting is constantly a game of using one mode of stitching to create visible relief to another.  Ying and yang sort of.
The other thing I proposed to Carol was possibly adding a petal-like stitching to the outer edge of the gold circles.  She bit on that option as well.   I like this stitching because it brings a different look to these circles.  They are no longer dinner plates, but now more flower-like.  There are plenty of long sweeping curves on this quilt.  It needed something smaller-scale and ruffly.
 My cloudy Maine day makes it rather challenging to get great photos of the "after" quilt, but it is much more textural and lays much flatter.  It will make a better show quilt.  I discussed with Carol one last design detail -- the addition of 1/2" circles at the centers of the petals.  There are small imperfections in the piecing (in all honesty, her hand piecing of these quilts is so spectacular, and clean), as all of us would be prone to.  She discounted this option earlier on in the process, thinking it would be viewed as a coverup.  I convinced her that I truly thought it was a great design decision, bringing a different look to the quilt.  Yes, it does hide a few things, and who is not into that?!  But she's already taken a modern twist on a very old-fashioned pattern, so there is no sacrilege in taking that vision a little further.  Just to model the notion...Yesterday, I snapped the next picture.  It was before I did the scallop ruffles on the circles, but I wanted to show the look of the dots.
Since removing the quilt from the frame, however, I believe my initial thought of red dots and red binding really ought to be a deep orange (like Hoffman 1895 Singapore#240).   A deep purple would also be nice, but I like the idea of pulling another complimentary color into the quilt.
All's well that ends well.  I over think and rethink my own personal quilts all the time.  Occasionally, it happens on your's as well!  This is all part of the design process.  It is how better designs and more creativity are borne.


Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

I love the circles added to the quilt - I did a quilt some thing like this using oval shapes and used Inklingo - a Joseph's Coat pattern, my centers just didn't come together as well as I hoped they would the and the circles hid that - it worked and have had great complements on the work.

Susan Lawson said...

Beautiful additions! Amazing how it makes such a difference.

kathy said...

Love the quilting and the fabric choices. Just stunning. Thanks for sharing.

kathy said...

Love the quilting and the fabric choices. Just stunning. Thanks for sharing.

kathy said...

Love the quilting and the fabric choices. Just stunning. Thanks for sharing.

Busy Quilting said...

I thought from your initial photos that something more was needed in the larger "plates" Love what you have done to them and the purple. Those little circles will lift the whole quilt.

Quiltdivajulie said...

I'm glad you added the additional stitches - what a beautiful (!!) finish! I hope the owner is thrilled.

ChristaQuilts said...

Beautiful work, Margaret! I enjoy seeing your process. You are right - more quilting definitely made it all pop!