Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Emergence of the Butterfly

Now that I am home again and am somewhat recovered from trying to pretend that I can keep up with bottomless energy of a three and a half year old I have put some serious effort into finishing that baby quilt. I had done quite a bit of the quilting and had even finished the machine part of the binding sewing--must have had some premonition that this baby was going to be early--before I left. So I was able to sew the binding down while I was away.

And the quilt looked something like this when I returned:

The butterfly actually had no antennae when I began work.and I had to make two attempts before I got them right. The first was a sparkly black heavy thread that I had begun couching when I realized that the thread was scratchy and a tender little baby cheek would not fare well rubbing against those antennae. But, as often happens when something doesn't work out, I found something better--that soft, fuzzy silk sari yarn
I also quilted a spiral shape on the yellow sun circle and added some rays--or petals--around it.
 But I kept being bothered by something. I kept telling myself that this was not an art quilt and that all those embellishments I kept wanting to add would not work on a baby quilt that would be washed and that this quilt needed to be done and sent off so I could get on with other things. Not being able to leave it alone, however, I decided to add another image and finally hit upon something that would be a complement to the lively flight of a butterfly and mirror the spiral in the sun.
I added a little snail and suddenly the composition was complete and I felt satisfied. It still isn't a complex art quilt--that's not what it's supposed to be--but I am much happier with it. It also now has gained some Aesop-like symbolism--a reminder that there are times we can fly and times we must slow down.

So what do you think? Am I just fooling myself that that snail improved the composition or did it add something? Or do you think it looked fine before? Of course, there is always the possibility that you don't like it at all and no matter what I added you still wouldn't like it. And ultimately, the most important opinion will come from Abigail.

Whatever you think, if you are still with me, thanks for the company!


Denise :) said...

I did think it looked fine before the snail, but after seeing it *with* the snail, I have to agree it looked complete. That it was pink, I think, made a difference too. Very pretty!! :)

Vic said...

The snail is a nice addition for several reasons, but for me the principal one has to do with placement. It sits near the "rule-of-thirds" sweet spot, and although it is not the focal point, it now acts nicely as a secondary one. Of course, the color makes a difference too. Good move!

quilthexle said...

The snail is the little extra that makes the quilt sing - at least to me. Lovely idea!

Kathleen Wilson said...

Adding the snail made it pop as well as giving your eye a place to "park" in that area. It looks great!

Anonymous said...

amazing how the red adds balance and comfort for the eye,Bonnie,VA