Ok, the roses don't look too bad except it's not the way I wanted them to look. I wanted a vague ghost like image of roses in the background. I think I know what I did wrong. I used a variegated thread in a 30 weight. I couldn't control where the colors got stitched and the thread is too heavy for a pale image in the background. I'm still happy because I learned from the test.
I have a thinner thread (that's not variegated) I can try on another test quilt later. As my daughter pointed out... there's no definition to the petals. They run together instead of being defined. She's right and that's from the variegated thread.
Anyway, I stopped working on the roses and put the customer quilt on the machine. I started stabilizing it. Guess what came in my mail.... the newest issue of Machine Quilting Unlimited. I start reading through it when suddenly I came across this. WOW!! The ghost image type quilting I was trying to achieve. Now this lady has "THE GIFT" I was telling you about.
This is the work of Hollis Chatelain. I can't stop thinking WOW! I'm drooling a lot. There is some hand painted fabric in there. Possibly about 5 percent fabric paint and the rest is all thread. I'm only guessing by looking at the photo. You see how the leaves are faint images? The fabric below shows through but the leaves show up too. A perfect balance of thread and hand painted fabric. I want to quilt just like her when I grow up!
Ok, I do have a long, long way to go before I can quilt like that. It does give me a goal though. Without classes or books to help me along the way it will mean lots of trial and error. I don't think Hollis gives classes or has any books out. If she does give classes I'm sure they are way off someplace hard to get to and very, very expensive. I'll be content to examine any photos of her work I can get then try testing.
Hmm.... I probably should take a step or two backwards and get some books on sketching or on pen & ink drawing. Before I can stitch with thread I need to learn to draw with pencil or ink. I should have realized that already! I do tell people to practice machine quilting designs by tracing them over and over until they know the movements. Once the movements with pen are learned then it's transferred to the movement of the machine. Yup, I've gotten far too anxious. First learn..... then do.