One of my online quilting friends recently asked a question of her colleagues: whether we’d found adding embellishment had ever actually improved a less successful quilt. IMHO it doesn’t; any real fixes are those that involve a bit of adding/deleting, unpicking and re-sewing perhaps – but anyway, things to be done before layering, quilting and finishing. That’s just my opinion though, and there are clearly people out there who’d strongly disagree.
Although I have never gratuitously added glittery charms or doodads, tassels, shells, teabags and the like, I have extensively embellished several quilts with machine embroidery, typically double or triple needle stitching, and sometimes hand embroidery; but in one notable exception I totally beaded the one directly above, Tidal Shallows 1. Perhaps I was exhausted after totally beading it, I don’t recall exactly, but I was working on them and another at much the same time, as they all resulted from a coastal holiday to a wonderful part of NW Western Australia. I feel the quilt was already successfully ‘watery’, although the stronger design of the two, so perhaps that’s why I beaded only that one and didn’t bother beading of further embellishing Tidal Shallows 2. A viewer of the beaded Tidal Shallows 1 exclaimed “How watery that looks” and so I did feel my decision to go all out and totally bead the quilt was vindicated – but in no way was it an attempt to improve ‘a less than successful’ quilt.