What not to do, what to do, and a preview

I thought today I’d post on both ends of the spectrum what “not to do”, and what “to do”; as well as a preview.

I’ll start with the “what not to do”. Sometimes you have a quilt top and the thread choice is debatable. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. My friend who’s top this is, chose a heavy variegated thread for her top, and it didn’t work:

The problem here is the weight of the thread (poly quilter) for the design and colors of the top; along with tension issues (variegated top and bottom) and an overall design choice of relatively small leaves ( as well as some wobble issues that the quilter was having!). Although this may not look too bad from the picture, experience told me the quilting was going to both overwhelm the piecing and not compliment it. What not to do at this point ( 20″ across the first pass) what not to do is continue on! What to do, is always, always, call the person who’s top it is. In this case I called my friend last night and she stopped over this morning. Her first words were, oh, that doesn’t work! We’ve chosen another thread, a solid thread in a finer weight, to execute the same pattern in. I’ll be frogging out the bit I’ve done over the weekend.

Earlier this morning the painting bug bit again, it seems to do that a lot lately now that I’ve given myself permission to both succeed and fail at it. This morning, when it bit, I planned to paint a coneflower, in a background of grass on a canvas I had already washed with a blue background. Good plan, but poor execution….quickly my grass stems overtook the size and proportion of the coneflower stem and it was readily apparent this wasn’t working. Quick thinking…..WHAT TO DO …give yourself the freedom to follow wherever the design takes you. That grass quickly became swampland, and the coneflower stem became a pine tree. And at that stage it looked okay, not wonderful, but okay.

DH came home (after 3 weeks gone), and since he is my best critic (and I mean that with sincerity and appreciation), I asked him to look at it. After complimenting the things that looked good, and giving me some advice on brush strokes, then he made one comment. I had asked him for complete critique of this piece and his comment, you’ve flattened the composition. Well, by golly, I HAD!!!!! LOL

So, off to rework it again, and it has changed into a hilly wooded meadow scene:

Is it perfect, NO. Is it as gorgeous as my daylily painting was, NO. Was it a fun painting and did I learn anything with it…….YES. So, WHAT TO DO, give yourself permission to change course and learn the positive lesson that course change brings.

As many of you know, I am no longer longarm quilting for customers. It is not physically possible right now for me to quilt to a schedule, and as a responsible business person, responsible scheduling was one of the hallmarks I ran my business on. But I am still actively involved with quilting and hope to for many years, I love the entire process to much to quit totally. One of the changes this has brought is the opportunity to design quilts. Or rather to execute the sketches I’ve got drawn out from years of daydreams. This week I’m working on a pattern for a queen sized bed quilt. The picture below is a sneak peak at a sample I’ve made to determine the best piecing and cutting instructions for it.

I’m off now to revamp the piecing instructions for that odd sized block and to start construction of the actual quilt! Have a great weekend everyone!!!!!

5 thoughts on “What not to do, what to do, and a preview

  1. Boy, I wish I had a dollar for every time I thought, “I’ll just do a little more and maybe it will look OK.” Seems like it takes so long to take those out.

  2. Been there done that…a fall leafy wallhanging…the variegated I chose had all the right colors, but it was too thick and heavy. I ended up switching to a Rainbows thread, with more subtle colors and it worked beautifully. Love the painting!

  3. I’m so danged proud of you, Judy! It takes a lot of courage to allow yourself to just play and let things happen. It’s hard to let go like that! Good for you for allowing yourself the gift of play and learning! You go, girl!

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