String Leaves

Sharon contacted me and sent me this string quilt to finish off for her. She had a vision of leaves quilted into the design with a variegated thread. It took a little back and forth to come up with a plan that got us both on the same page - there are various leaves to choose from and finding a thread that had the right mix of colors in it was harder than anticipated.
 Sadly the pictures will never give the true perspective of colors in this quilt... Sometimes it just won't translate well, but this quilt was stunning in person. The mixture of hues were so vibrant and captivating.
 With such a mixture of colors and how the quilt fades from light to dark from the center out, it made choosing thread a little more challenging than usual. Plus since Sharon wanted a variegated thread, the hardest part was finding the right mix of thread colors. Some of the thread choices were almost perfect but faded into reds and burgundies that were a little too overpowering for this quilt.
 All in all I used three different threads on this quilt. The variegated thread was used in the leaves. A light blue was used to fill in the background and a teal was used for the back. The teal matched the backing so well and was the perfect "middle ground" between the colors in the variegated thread. Think of it as a happy medium.

 Here you can see a close up of the leaves and the differences in threads. This quilt was fun to work on and the mixture of colors and strips made every row like a new discovery as I worked along.
The quilting shows up so much more on the back of the quilt. And here's my little tip for you today - the biggest misconception in the quilting world is that your quilting will stand out more with bright crazy variegated threads... WRONG. Look at the two pictures above. Which one shows the quilting more? The top with all of the colors and various threads or the back where the thread was meant to blend into the fabric?

That's right, when the thread blends into the fabric, your quilting will actually stand out more. Take that in for a second. This is why many quilters will "skimp" (for lack of a better word) on visually busy areas in a quilt because you're not going to be able to see the quilting anyway - so why put in all that time and detail when it won't ever get noticed... And focus your attention on the plain(er) areas that will actually showcase the quilting more.

Does this surprise you? Does it go against your quilting instincts? Here's another way I look at it. Take a light quilt and quilt it with red thread. Your quilting will definitely stand out more but for all the wrong reasons. When anyone looks at that quilt they will see the thread first, quilting second and the quilt last. You want the attention to be quilt first, then the quilting and maybe if it's needed the thread. The thread choices you make should accent and amplify the feel of the quilt, not fight for attention. Does that make sense?

Alrighty, well I'm trying to plan a few more quilty picture posts for you all while I have some energy to sit at the computer. Still no Little Miss yet, but I will keep you posted! Have a great day! -Rebecca

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