Thursday, April 23, 2009
Last Comments About the Blue Portal Piece
I would like to thank all of the people that commented about my blue portal piece. The comment that summed up my own feelings about the piece were made by The Idaho Beauty.
She said, "I agree that the quilting over/within the stones is too much of a good thing. I think the cleanness of the previous picture shows this work to better advantage. This is always my fear with machine quilting - when is enough enough and will I add one more thing that makes theoretical sense but in reality just detracts? Sometimes simplicity really is the best tactic. I have an awful time visualizing my results in advance. However, it is still a lovely little piece, and I like that you have learned from it, instead of just calling it a failure. It succeeds if only because you've chosen to allow it to help you grow."
The reason I have posted about this comment is that I think we all have a lesson to learn from it. When I was just starting to learn to machine quilt I pretty much did very simple quilting in the ditch because that's all I could do. As I learned to free motion quilt I began to feel like I had to do more elaborate quilting on every quilt I made. I felt like it was not doing my best if I did not quilt the quilt to death. I was no longer in my own mind allowed to do simple quilting even if that was the best thing to do for the quilt. My experience with the blue portal has been a wake up call. Sometimes simple quilting is better. Not doing elaborate free motion quilting is not wimping out...it might be just what the quilt needs.
My comments back to The Idaho Beauty shows that this is not my first experience of this nature, but I think this time I have learned my lesson....at least for now.
"Idaho Beauty, I completely agree with your comments. I think that for such a small piece that the thread within the stones overwhelms it. The thread sticks out way too much. Maybe if these were large stones that I could have done the stitching inside the stones and even so I should have used a thinner thread. I had a similar issue last summer with my house quilt for the trees behind the house. The trees were made of small pieces just like the stones in the portal piece. Initially I did quite a bit of free motion quilting inside the pieces. I ended up spending hours and hours tearing out all the stitching and then just quilting around the pieces. It looked 100% better doing that.
This time I will not take the time to tear out the quilting. In fact you would have thought that after all those hours of ripping out stitches for the house quilt, I would have remembered why I ended up doing that and not to do it again. I am going to keep this quilt so that if I ever think of doing this sort of thing again, I can look at this portal piece and see why I should not! It is a lesson learned and lessons are good things."