My Mum rocks! She took up hand embroidery about 3 years ago, when she was already well into her eighties. She is completely self taught and does floral pieces, usually traced by me onto fabric from photographs in gardening books, or from my own photos. She has done many, now, with no other goal than her own amusement and creative expression. Her work is beautiful, and original.
Last year I suggested to her that I could make a small quilt out of some of her pieces so that they could live in her living room, and not just folded up in a basket somewhere. She liked this idea and sent me home with a bunch. All are on different sized pieces of fabric, and the fabric itself is a real mixture ranging from homespun to synthetic lightweight upholstery fabric! I stabilized them with fusible, made them into uniform blocks, and then pieced the blocks together with sashing and borders that match the fabric I used to make the blocks uniform - my goal was to have the embroidery "float" on a fairly neutral background.
My problem is that I don't know how to quilt the embroidered pieces themselves. I plan on FMQing continuous ivy/leaves/vines in all of the background sashing and borders, but I don't want to do anything to detract from the embroidery in the fabric surrounding Mum's actual stitchery. Suggestions? A fine stipple in thread exactly matching the various base fabrics? Echo quilting? Tiny little "stay stitches" just to anchor the blocks?
Thanks for your ideas!