For the first couple of hours I worked on making hexie blocks for my Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt... fun, easy, known territory.
Charged, I got out my quilt top, the one pieced together with the 12 blocks I beaded for the Bead Journal Project in 2011. Each of the beaded Xs represents a relationship, a crossing of my pathway with the pathway of some other person or thing, especially one that was important to me during the month when I made the block. Here's how it looks. For now, just note the blocks and the way they are assembled on the quilt top.
I had this idea of hand-quilting in diamond (or square-on-point) shapes to match the blocks. It wasn't easy. I worked for about 30 hours (2 whole days and into the wee hours of three nights) to do this quilting. The more I did, the less I liked it.
The idea of it is OK, I think... it ties all the blocks together, suggesting the interconnected pathways of my life. The whole quilt and the blocks look OK from a distance. But I'm pretty sure viewers would want to get close to see the beading. Looking at it closely, the hand-quilting starts to compete with the beading. Which to view? Which is important? Obviously, I wanted the beading to show, because that's the point (and the visual journey) of the quilt.
It didn't look too bad on the lighter colored blocks.
But on the darker colored blocks, the quilting stitches were really distracting.
Sad to say, I didn't realize how bad it was until I was nearly complete (with only one block to go). When the light bulb finally came on, I realized I had to take it all out. All 30 hours of work. OK, so what to do? How to quilt this thing?
Well, my quilt/beading buddy, Lunnette, happened to bring a HUGE stash of thread with her. Stitch-in-the-ditch with a matching color of thread! Still hand-quilted, but not something that shows much at all. Now you can see the beading!
In the picture below, you can see I've re-quilted the top and right-hand blocks. Is this better? Is it worth the time to re-do it? I think so! (Only 10 blocks to go...)
- Pay more attention to gut feelings that something isn't working.
- Be ready to abandon a plan that isn't working.
- Trust that a better solution will come along.
- It's only time.