I recently shared the beginning of a new project using a scrap of printed sunflower fabric. I thought I had my direction well-defined and that this foot-square piece would be whipped out and on my wall in no time. Nope. That was not the way it was to be. I had some learning and stretching to do.
The image I shared with you earlier was actually the second start on this project. Here’s the first start:
When I put this up on my wall I did not like the leaves at all. I felt that they took away from the focus of the sunflower and I didn’t like that. And, in fact, I didn’t like the orange fabric I had chosen to surround the sunflower print. So this piece is now a “tester” scrap by my sewing machine. Lessons here: don’t over-do the design; get the color right.
I pieced a new scrap of fabric with a much lighter orange fabric and started quilting again.
I like the orange fabric much more. The lighter color allows the flower to show more easily. But, yuk! The piecing lines are not straight and, in fact, I don’t like those piecing lines at all. Like the leaves that I stitched on my first attempt, the piecing lines distract from the design on this diminutive piece. Lesson here: Carefully consider technique options for the quilt.
So, back to piecing a new top. This time I hand appliqued the sunflower scrap to the orange fabric and finally to the cream/white fabric. The cream fabric is a print but it acts more like a woven fabric, moving here and there when you least need it. I fused a light-weight stabilizer to the back of the quilt top to eliminate that problem.
I decided to rethink thread. I used a variegated thread on the orange fabric in the second attempt. It didn’t really add anything to the overall design. In fact, I decided it separated the center design element too much. I wanted the whole piece to be one integral design. I had used a 50 wt. white cotton and decided to change to a 60 wt. cream cotton for the over-all background quilting. I used the same orange poly sheen thread for the sunflowers but decided to stitch the leaves twice. Here it is blocked and trimmed to 12″ x 12″.
I am much happier with this quilt. Lesson: The small size of a quilt does not make the decision-making process smaller. Each element needs careful consideration to ensure good design and execution. All of the changes I made during the course of my three attempts were well worth the effort. As my grandmother Preston always said, “If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well.” Amen grandma!
Binding and beading are next. I can’t believe I don’t have the right beads! I’m off to shop.