Thursday, May 21, 2009

Brielle's Musical Angels Quilt Top

Today has been a pretty productive day. I baked two loaves of bread, did a little house cleaning, and cut some of the strips I need for the Stack-N-Whack quilt for Saturday. I still need to cut more strips, and I would have been finished except I got distracted.
When I begin a quilt project I generally design it using my Electric Quilt software. I like the software program because it allows me to scan in the specific fabrics I will be using for the project and it prints out all the information I need for traditional piecing or paper piecing, including yardage per print of fabric. Sounds like the project is three-quarters finished, doesn't it? Wrong... at least for me.
I seem to have this knack for designing the quilt in the program, purchasing and cutting the fabric, and assembling the blocks. This part goes quite smoothly. However, my problem is when I get to to how I want to finish the quilt top. How do I want to do the borders? Do I want to mitre the corners? What colors do I want to use? What about a pieced border? Multiple borders? If you're a quilter I'm sure you understand my dilemma. The borders can make your quilting project a success or a failure.
Now, you're probably asking yourself why is this an issue since I have already designed the quilt in my software program. The answer is that the software gives me a general idea of what the finished quilt will look like. But once I've assembled the blocks and put the top together, it may look completely different from what it looks like on paper. I guess it's the two-dimensional vs three-dimensional issue. Sometimes I think it also has to do with my attitude at the time. Much like getting dressed in the morning. I never select the clothes I'm going to wear until moments before getting dressed. Why? Because it always depends on how I'm feeling. Another analogy would be to compare borders to an artist framing his masterpiece. The artist may have a certain game plan in their head but when they put it into place it's all wrong and they go in a completely different direction. So how do I resolve this conflict?
Currently, I'm working on a quilt for my two year old granddaughter Brielle. I've been working on the quilt for the last couple of months and I've completed all of the blocks and am ready to apply the border so I can make my quilt sandwich and machine quilt the top. Initially when I designed the quilt I had intended to apply a thin mitre'd border in pink followed by a wider mitre'd border in yellow and finished with a dark french binding. But now that I'm looking at the actual quilt I'm not convinced this is the way to finish this quilt. To help me resolve this issue I hung the quilt up in my sewing room and have spent the last couple of weeks examining it, hoping to light my creative inspiration for that Aha! moment. Although I've had a couple of ideas, I have not had the breaking moment yet.
Below are pictures of the quilt top as it is now:
The fabric is Michael Miller's Fairy Frost in shades of pink and soft yellow. The musical angels are embroidered using several different thread colors and I used lavendar for the words. It really has turned out nicely and will look great on her new bed. My daughter has asked that I make some matching curtains when I'm finished. This could take awhile since for now, the quilt will continue to hang in my sewing room until I have the breakthough I'm hoping for.

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