I consider myself an intermediate quilter and I really feel like I should be past some of these problems by now. Alas, they are my own fault. You may recall my gold angels quilted onto the Nativity quilt from last week? Well, I decided I should quilt some rings of echo quilting around them in blue to add some texture. I started with a ring of radiating lines, and followed up with a ring of pebbles. On the first angel I did the lines and pebbles, quilting along just fine, but was having real difficulty seeing where I was going, as the blue thread on blue fabric/tulle was pretty tough.
I thought it was going well until I flipped it over to the back. Total quilting fail. What a disaster, it looked terrible! All my pebbles were outside the lines and not touching, and my radiating lines stuck out everywhere and were weirdly spaced. Even worse, I had a giant pucker in the backing (arrows) covered up with bunches of quilting. It occurred to me that as the front was fairly stiff and not pucker prone, and that as my quilting showed up better from the back (so I could see where I was going), that maybe I should just quilt from the back. Duh. So I went back over the bad angel to try to fix the worst of the mess with the radiating lines. What you see below is after I fixed it. yick.
So then I went over to the other angel and painstakingly did the blue quilting all from the back. Not perfect but definitely better. So, score one for quilting from the back in this case.
And then I went back to the front. Total quilting fail. Do you know why? Because after all that irritation and planning and ripping and trying to correct from the back, YOU CAN'T EVEN SEE THE QUILTING ON THE FRONT!! When I take a picture from six inches away (the two top pictures), you can kind of tell which is the good one and which is the bad one. From a foot away, (bottom pictures), you can kind of tell there's some quilting there around the angel, but your guess is as good as mine whether that's the "bad" angel or the "good" angel. And from any farther away from that, you can't tell there's any quilting around the angel at all. Talk about bad planning! I could have just stippled the whole thing and you'd never know the difference. No color contrast (which I knew there wouldn't be), but also no texture contrast (what I was going for), I think because the pattern of the tiles and the texture of the tulle just obscure it.
So not sure what the lesson here is, except plan better. And, sadly I think, don't spray baste a quilt this big. So how are you guys? Any quilting fails out there in other corners of blogland lately?