In an earlier post, it was clear the black chitz won over over the gold/cream. Gold/cream looked’OK’, but I didn’t persevere with much of the gold stitchery on that, as this black and gold was already so much more exciting:
I have since done three more pieces like this with sand ripple patterns forming the designs, all very different. The 4 pieces will form a group, and as usual at this stage, I am tossing up a title for them, and currently considering ‘Golden Sands’, ‘Sandlines’, and of course there are already groups of ‘Tidelines’ and ‘Beachlines’
I just knew this black chintz was a good buy – there’s still about 13.5 m left …..
Several weeks have passed, and although it has taken me a while to think what and how much quilting to do, it came to me a few days ago:
I know such intense free machine quilting, stippling, is a bit of a cliche these days – but it really is necessary. The last time I did this stuff was Hannan’s Reward, 1993,
and one or two others around that time. ‘Hannan’s Reward’ has more distinct circles, and the thread was metallic, but earthy, grainy textures were required in each case.
So the above black/gold sample is the same quilt as pictured at the top of this post, at the stage of free machine stitch over the freshly painted fabric (oh well of course, it had dried …) The other three are now all sprayed, free-machine stitched and layered for quilting, and I’ve been chewing through the black thread like mad. Although it has taken me a long time to get this right, I now feel confident it meets the vision I had when I put my proposal in months and months ago.
But, while doing the quilting over the past couple of days on this one, another problem arose to be solved:
I used unbleached muslin/calico for the backs as I normally do. But with this intense black machine quilting (and no other bobbin colour would have worked well) the resulting finish looks pretty gross. These 4 pieces really will require additional backs to cover that. However, it’s an ill wind that blows no good, for I now have the opportunity to trapunto (stuff) the unquilted areas, corresponding to the gold shapes on the front representing the tops of the sand ripples. A little more body in those parts will help prevent them becoming crushed and wrinkled in transit and storage before the exhibition.
I have not yet decided whether to finish each 40cm x 60cm piece with a fine black binding or with turned back facings.