A lot of my work is improvisational, and I find I need to keep an eye open for that point, which might come up unexpectedly early, when it suddenly becomes clear that I’ve done enough – that I’ve completed all I wanted to convey with a work and it’s done, bar the finishing off. Quite unexpectedly the other day I realised that enough squares, 49, have been stitched, and although the grid was basted envisaging all 225 squares would be filled in, I think it’s more powerful to stop, hand quilt and edge it, not necessarily in that order.
There are other times when I need to stop thinking around the subject and just start! Burdening my mind for days has been the fear of how the hand stitched triangular mesh I’ve had in mind for the front will look on the black/red back side of the quilt. I just haven’t been able to consider any other possibility than this particular mesh pattern, and realised that it needed to be stitched first before I place some bits of knitted samples that I’ve been playing around with. I’ll probably add some small red pieces, but I might audition metallic leather, too, as the work progresses. But for various reasons to do with construction, I determined the stitched mesh grid needs to go into place first, and that’s what’s been bothering me. I’ve been mentally going round and round, over, under and through, because as you probably know, the quilting’s usually the last process before finishing off and adding the sleeve .
So this morning I stopped mentally dithering, threaded up a fresh needle with one of the wool threads and just started stitching – big, freehand stitched lines, across the front from side to side:
The two wool fabrics are thick enough to not need any batting, and I found that the stitches I’ve done hardly appear on the back after all – this is so different from working in cotton! In this photo, the back edge has been folded over onto the front – to show the stitches on each side. The tip of the needle is at one stitch on the red – they hardly show at all – but I may add a few little black bits to the red on the back and now feel much more free about all that, too.
What an interesting challenge this work has turned out to be.