ITAA: taking stock

Sometimes, you have to accept that something’s not working.

That’s where I am with the banner I’ve made for this quilt. Everything about it is suddenly wrong or too hard, on several levels. So I’m moving on, and I’m going to do something different. Something I can make myself, that doesn’t need embroidering, with the letters set on a straight line. Something that doesn’t jump off the quilt more strongly than the wings. Good. That feels better already 🙂

I’ve bordered all the cornerstones I have, and they’re looking great. The last one, Sue’s heart icon (plus her square border block), has arrived at the new house, and we’ll be picking it up tomorrow when we go over there to do a bit of measuring. That’ll be all of them apart from Lynn’s final border block, which is on its way from France.

Nanette’s last two blocks arrived today, which has allowed me to assemble the back-ground section. With all the blocks in, I could pin the wings in place and see how they looked. A bit of re-arranging followed, to ensure that the wings didn’t blend into the blocks behind them too much. It doesn’t look balanced in its new layout, but it does look perfect when the wings are on! I also have on hand a metre of fine grey tulle which I’ll use to create a ‘shadow’ under each wing, to give extra standout and dimension if it’s needed.

So now, I’m ready to sandwich, baste and quilt this background. Still debating the quilting design… It’s a toss-up between something soft, airy and imagery-relevant (clouds), or something soft, a little less imagery-relevant and forming a more robust foundation to sew the wings onto (wide horizontal ripples). I think I’m going with ripples, I’m worried that the weight of the wings will pull the background out of shape, and a stiffer foundation will be better. I might reserve the clouds for the dark teal border/frame.  Oooh, what about if I quilted the border in silver? Hmm, I foresee some fairly extensive testing ahead!

So, that’s the result of a couple of days of fairly hard looking and thinking. What do you reckon?

27 thoughts on “ITAA: taking stock

  1. Nanette says:

    I reckon pretty darn wonderful. Like your thinking on simplifying where you can.

    • katechiconi says:

      Thank you 🙂 The banner isn’t so much simpler as easier for me to produce myself. I haven’t been able to resist a little appropriate embellishment… You’ll see it next time, hopefully.

  2. claire93 says:

    I’m thinking it’s a shame that some of the blocks aren’t going to be seen because they’ll be hidden behind wings. But maybe I haven’t understood final assembly correctly.

    • katechiconi says:

      You’ll see bits of *all* the blocks around the outside of the wings, none of them is completely concealed. Everyone’s work is at least partly visible. It’s the nature of the concept, I’m afraid, and I’m sure the lovely contributors all understand that.

  3. I love how you think out loud on paper, so to speak. Wrestling with ideas as you type. It’s how I solve everything. I agree on more stabilization and not sure I’d want to work with silver thread. That stuff is a nightmare. I’m most happy to hear the new house is a real go. That you are doing measuring and getting mail there is a sure sign of good things happening. Yay!!!

    • katechiconi says:

      I’ve always been a fan of process blogging, explaining how I arrive at a given result. I’ve gained a lot of insight and skill from other process bloggers, so if I can help someone the same way, it’s a no brainer. With the silver thread, for example, I’ve already used it on the feathers of the wings. Not really visible in the photos, but it does catch the light very prettily. It would be a nice effect against the dark teal, I think…

  4. magpiesue says:

    What you already have is coming together wonderfully well. I like the idea of silver to quilt the outer border but like others, don’t relish the thought of actually using it! Consider a rayon thread in silver/light gray. The sheen might be enough to get the look you want. Good luck with the banner!

    • katechiconi says:

      If I can’t make it work with the silver I have, I’ll certainly consider a silvery grey, but I tend to think that if I can’t get the glitter I want, I might prefer more recessive quilting in teal. Testing required!

  5. tialys says:

    Yes, definitely a good strong quilted base for beneath the wings – nobody wants floppy wings. I like the idea of silver clouds around the outside but, if has been mentioned, the silver thread is too hard to work with, would a good silvery grey thread work instead?

    • katechiconi says:

      Could be the answer, especially if I use something very shiny instead of cotton. With the wing foundation, I’m considering using an additional band of fabric under the background in the area where the top 12 inches of the wings will be attached, running from side to side so it’s held in the seams. If I use something stiff and close woven like batik, it should do the job. I can hand stitch through that layer too when I’m attaching the wings.

  6. craftycreeky says:

    It’s looking amazing! Is it worth putting some extra support of some kind behind the wadding of the background, some stabiliser or even vilene, it would add to the quilting problems but even just a square might just help hold those wings aloft.Just a thought 🙂

    • katechiconi says:

      I have exactly that planned, but not vilene, it needs to be something woven, I think. As I said in the reply to Tialys, I’m considering batik as it’s firm and tightly woven, and a side-to-side band will transfer some of the weight to the side seams. Luckily I don’t have to hand quilt it!

      • Kerry Davidson says:

        Maybe a strip to the top as well to balance the weight?

        Glad you’ve figured out the banner, I was going to suggest that you use Lumiere paint which has a lovely sheen – see some of Helen Godden’s painted quilts. It’s also easy to use.

      • katechiconi says:

        Yes, I think you’re probably right, a strip to the top edge would help too. With the new banner, I was planning to use transfers for the lettering, but if I find it too plain or flat, I’ll definitely take up your suggestion – thank you!

  7. kathyreeves says:

    I know that banner has been bothering you, so I’m glad you have it figured out. Sometimes Plan B ends up being the best one; maybe you like this even better!

  8. This is so interesting. Thank you for sharing.

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