I finished my mini-quilt for Jean, my partner from the Flickr group Swap 'til you Drop. The theme was Sweet, Sour or Savory.
Michael Miller Fairy Frost Solids
King Tut variegated thread for quilting (90/14 quilting needle)
Overall I really like it. Love the colors and the swirliness of it all and I enjoyed combining photography, paint and quilting. Still very much in learning mode on the free-motion, but it's becoming more fun and less terrifying.
Particularly thrilled with how the stenciled blue/green swirls worked. After all the piecing was finished it just didn't sing for me. It needed that something extra, and the idea of painting came in that proverbial flash. Before I could talk myself out of it I grabbed a stencil, foam brush and acrylics and took the plunge. Nothing like paining on your finished top to make you feel like a tightrope walker without a net!
I had my doubts mid-stream, but it makes me happy. Here's what I like about the stenciling:
- Adds visual interest.
- Breaks the boundaries between the discrete areas - adds motion and improves eye tracking.
- Carries the green/aqua color around the composition.
- Frames and complements, but doesn't overwhelm the photo (a little maybe, but not disastrously).
- Offers compositionally meaningful and natural free-motion quilting lines.
- Grows organically out of the swirls in the two patterns on each side - not "tacked on".
- Strengthens the circle theme and adds curves.
- Texture of the pounced paint balances the smooth surfaces and loosens the vibe.
Took photos in afternoon sun that emphasize the quilting. The colors really are this vibrant in person. I just love orange!
I went a little too far with the stitching in places, but I'm pushing myself to be brave and get an intuitive feel for free motion. Quit while you're ahead is a logical attitude for a lot of things, but this isn't real life - it's play. For me, it's more exciting to take chances rather than stick with safe choices dictated by a fear of messing up. Yeah, I might regret the result, but I've decided not to dampen the impulse. That's one of my New Year's Resolutions. Think I should print a bumper sticker? Quilt like no one's watching. That would mess with people's heads in traffic!