Monday, October 5, 2009

A Trip to the Other Side

Thanks to all of you who dropped by to check out my studio during the "Studios" Online Open Studio tour. It was wonderful to have so many visitors and to read your comments. I'm afraid that sometimes I take my surroundings for granted, I'm going to appreciate them more moving forward!

One of the comments I received over the weekend was about the backside of quilts and why they're rarely shown.

I think the main reason is that they're usually pretty boring if done well, and scary if not! When you do the kind of embellishment I do, getting the backside of a quilt to look as well as the front can be a complicated process.

I will admit that it depends on what I'm planning to do with a quilt. If it's being sent out to show, or be judged, then I'm very cautious about it being neat with no snags or knots showing. If it's for my own purposes or is going to be lined with another fabric I don't worry about it at all.

Below is the backside of the quilt detail shown above:

As you can see, it's actually pretty neat. There are some uneven stitches but it isn't too bad. It did win a "Judges Choice" award at a national show so I'm assuming it wasn't a huge problem.

However it doesn't tell the whole story. If you look at the quilt you will see layers of applique. I will usually do the applique before I apply the batting. Then when I get it to a certain point, (and knowing what that point is is hard to explain!), I mount it onto the batting. In this case I used the very thin thermolite batting which is very tightly compressed. I then added more details onto that layer, before adding the lining. At that point I did the finish work, mainly the quilting that holds the lining to the surface, as well as giving the quilt more depth. So, what you're seeing is the final layer of stitching, there are at least two layers that you don't see.

I'll go into this process in more detail when I continue on my "Beading 101" tutorial. This week I'm going to focus on getting the butterflies done and then will start going step through step through my embellishment process.

Once my son is back at school next week I'll have more time to blog!

Happy Stitching!

Susan

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