Monday, June 30, 2014

Delicate Arch - Phase 2

So now that the pieces were placed on my Delicate Arch quilt, I needed to sew them down.  I used clear thread, so that it would not interfere with the quilting, threadwork and paint that are still to come.
My fears that the pinned pieces would pucker were fully justified, but actually easily dealt with.  I switched from my usual non-hopping quilting foot to a hopping  foot .  This prevented a wall of fabric from developing as I moved across the piece. Except for the independent clouds, I had to work in the same sequence as I had placed the pieces – from back to front.  I removed the rocks and arch from the foreground.  Then I folded back the fabric covering the furthest back piece, and thoroughly starched and pressed the area.  I only sewed the exposed edges.  If the piece extended all the way across the quilt, I would start at one edge and finish at the other.  Most pieces met under the arch, so I would start there and work to an edge.  When one layer was done, I would fold the overlapping piece down and fold back the piece that was on top of it, starch press and then sew.  I repeated this until all the background had been sewn down.  While quilting I made sure I kept things smooth, but avoided stretching the fabric.
Then I replaced the arch.  I also decided to add an extra layer of batting under it and the rocks.  I had trouble getting the arch the same way – this is certainly an argument for having the clear overlay rather than using the overhead projector, which I had already moved.  I ended up having to cut a new piece, because I had manipulated one piece to death.  I also modified a few pieces and added a lighter colored piece at the very top. Then I sewed it down and trimmed the extra batting to the sewing line.
After this I added the fabric backing.  I thought I was ready to start the embellishing and quilting.  However, when I compared what I had to how the arch was placed before, I realized the arch was now about an inch lower.  The delicate nature of the arch and the airiness of the sky seen through the arch were lost.  DAMN.  I considered removing the arch and placing it higher, but quickly realized that ripping out all that stitching was probably going to distort or destroy the fabric.  So I decided to reduce the size of the background landscape pieces behind it: fewer stitches to remove and cutting the ragged edges that resulted.  In the end, I think doing this gave the background a greater feeling of distance than it had before.
I am happy with what I have.  Now I need to figure out exactly what I am going to do next.  Stay tuned.

The original pinned piece before sewing

Immediately after sewing, arch seems too low and heavy.

After reducing some of the background to put more air under the arch

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