February 22, 2009

Leave as is or rip out?

Deciding on the quilting of the quilt is one of the most challenging aspects of quilting for me. Here's a small hanging (20 x 27) I worked on last week. I sometimes think that putting more stitching on a top is ruining it. Here's the top before stitching:

When I showed Mary Beth this top along with another one with small rectangles, she suggested trying out some decorative stitching in the black borders. I was putting off trying something out, but then Kay asked if I would donate something for a raffle at her place of work, Brockton Family and Community Services, and I offered this quilt. Knowing now that "Waves" would be in a raffle, and so would go to someone I don't know, I was freed up to experiment. I tried out some hand embroidery with a lovely, heavy silk thread. First I did some a traditional "open cretan" stitch in turquoise and green.

Then I decided to try out something wavy in the borders. I let some thread fall onto the black, and liked the random squiggles it fell into, so I drew along the squiggly lines and embroidered them with backstitch. The combination of the controlled and loose stitches didn't work, so I took out the controlled ones. Then I machine-quilted the waves with various designs, using a small loopy stitch in the black borders. You can see the quilting in the strips here on the back. Hmm, maybe this should be the front:

So, the question is: Looking again at the completed top, with the bright squiggles in the right and left borders, should the squiggles stay, or should I take them out and leave the black borders plain? (I am happy with the four-color binding. I first tried a pieced binding, but that was distracting.)

I welcome your comments! (By the way, if you wonder what to do next after you click "comment," it seems that you have to select a profile. Should you want to comment some other time: To leave your name--which is nicer for me than anonymous--under "Select Profile" choose "Name/URL". In the window that pops up, putting just a name is fine; no URL is needed. Then click "continue.")

I originally made this top to try out curved strip piecing, following instructions by Brenda Gael Smith in her "Ripples" pattern (published in Down Under Quilts, Issue 113, Oct 2007). It was a lovely coincidence that I won some patterns on her blog last week, just when I was working on this quilt again. Here's her quilt—you can see how I adapted it to a smaller piece (image posted with Brenda's consent):

Brenda Gael Smith, "Ripples"

1 comment:

  1. I admit I like both, but the plain black is very appealing to the eye.