Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Four Backgrounds

While I still have some embellishing to do, it's time to settle down into choosing a background. Usually I just know what I want to do, and just go ahead and do it. This time, not so much.

This is the pieced background. It's more blue than the photo, but the darker accent fabric does have a grey undertone. I'm just not feeling it. It seems as though the background can't stand up to the vibrant colors of the applique. What do you think?

This is choice number two. I love the print, but I think the fabric is just a little too purple.I fear that the purple larkspurs would be completely lost. So the question becomes, do I keep the background and make the larkspurs over in blues?

What do you think of this one? I only did a close up because the flash was washing it out. (Yet another dark and grey day here, with six inches of fresh snow over night.)

While I like the silveryness of it, it also feels a little underwhelming compared to the appliques. So, do I want a quiet place for the applique to shine, a background that truly fades into the background? This fabric would give the whole piece a bit of understated elegance.

And then there's this background.

Wowsers! I am really, really liking this. I like the linear, yet curvy print. It reminds me of a tin ceiling, only on drugs. The flash has washed out the color a bit around the applique, and I like that effect. I'm going to see if I can mimic that with pastels or water color pencils.

I can imagine following the print on the fabric for machine quilting, it would give it a tufted appearance, especially if I put a small something in the centers of the tiniest squares, like a bead, maybe?

Can you help me choose? Really, I'd love your opinion. Shall I go for a quiet or bold background? Beaded background, really?


  1. I LOVE the last fabric. The other fabrics look washed out and subdued. The bold blue at the end gives the whole design life and makes it pop. Gorgeous!

  2. Anonymous11:33 AM

    Pieced too linear. Makes the basket/flowers look ho-hum. Love the second print, do no think it causes the larkspur to disappear rather lets them be "support" to the bigger flowers. If you think they are fading why not outline the with floss? The third choice is too much the same value as the basket & flowers although that is sometimes what is appealing!

  3. Anonymous12:59 PM

    I like the second choice. In the first one the pieced background dominates the applique. The second one with the purple gives it a complementary color scheme. The third one is too pale for the vibrancy of the applique. The fourth choice is screaming look at me as opposed to the applique.

  4. I tried to leave a comment but my iPad must have eaten it. :(
    What I said was I like the idea of the pieced background but with other fabrics. I don't care for #2, and I'm not sure but I think I like #3 but the picture is small. The last one may be too bold. I wonder if the appliqué will be the first thing to catch your eye or if the blue will? Wish I could be more help.

  5. Anonymous2:59 PM

    I like the effect of "sitting on a table" in the first background rather than "floating", but I like the second background the best.
    The third one seems to compete with the basket & flowers. JMHO
    Overall, I like everything you do. Can't wait to take one of your quilts to my retreat to work on next month.

  6. Love the darker fabric in the top photo. If you have enough of that darker fabric for the entire background, that really pops the applique. If you want the applique to be the focus, this does it. There is enough value change, and you could do all sorts of gorgeous quilting on that fabric - curves, swirls, anything you wanted, as it is such painterly fabric. You could use a lighter thread color in the background too, to really pop the quilting. The greyed cooler tones of the background against the warm colors is a nice contrast. Can't wait to see which background you select.

  7. I have to agree with Diane's comment at 3:46. The darker fabric in the first pic makes the flowers pop. Plus, depending on what you quilt, you could add some beadwork, but I like embroidery better.

  8. Definitely the last one for me!

  9. Absolutely, the last one. It really brings out the colors of the applique.

  10. I vote for the last one too. Are you going to put a table under the basket?

  11. Anonymous1:26 AM

    definitely the blue. It gives is an overall zest or life to the basket and flowers. It really gives It pow

  12. Oh defiantly the blue Beth with the sashiko design and it will look stunning if used as the quilting design too. Love these simple repeated designs of the Japanese. Cheers Glenda