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Thread: need advice on large negative space

  1. #1
    Super Member mtkoldra's Avatar
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    need advice on large negative space

    this is my piano quilt, I want the center panel to be the main focus in that quilt and did not wanted to surround it with blocks. I still need to add the top section, then, I think, a thin dark border followed by a 'piano border' made of various gray and black fabrics.

    When I look at this picture I am a bit concerned that the negative space is too big (the fabric is music notes). I would love to hear from you, what you think or if you have any suggestions for me.
    thank you
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  2. #2
    Senior Member ruby2shoes's Avatar
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    I had a similar quandary with a quilt I made. I wanted the centre motifs of dark batiks to be the focus of the quilt and had quite a large area of negative space around it. Like you, I didn't want to detract the eye from the focus point but wanted to be sure I had adequate quilting in the negative space. I decided to quilt the entire quilt in a close spiral approximately 3/4" between lines. The closer the spiral lines, the less they "stand out" at a distance...they tend to blend into the background. I used several different coloured threads so that I could match the areas I was quilting through. I think I achieved the look I wanted......the centre motifs "stand out" and the spiral quilting adds texture, interest and stability without competing with the motifs. Doing a continuous spiral on a quilt 70" x 70" is an awkward process at the beginning but once you start to move outwards it does become easier. One thing I didn't consider is that with the close quilting I was adding quite a bit of weight to the quilt so manouvering and turning the quilt took some effort at times. I quilted it on my Juki TL2010Q. I hope this helps you come to a decision, your quilt is lovely.
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  3. #3
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    The negative space gives you lots of room for quilting. I really like Ruby2shoes texture with the quilting.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Monale's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ruby2shoes View Post
    I had a similar quandary with a quilt I made. I wanted the centre motifs of dark batiks to be the focus of the quilt and had quite a large area of negative space around it. Like you, I didn't want to detract the eye from the focus point but wanted to be sure I had adequate quilting in the negative space. I decided to quilt the entire quilt in a close spiral approximately 3/4" between lines. The closer the spiral lines, the less they "stand out" at a distance...they tend to blend into the background. I used several different coloured threads so that I could match the areas I was quilting through. I think I achieved the look I wanted......the centre motifs "stand out" and the spiral quilting adds texture, interest and stability without competing with the motifs. Doing a continuous spiral on a quilt 70" x 70" is an awkward process at the beginning but once you start to move outwards it does become easier. One thing I didn't consider is that with the close quilting I was adding quite a bit of weight to the quilt so manouvering and turning the quilt took some effort at times. I quilted it on my Juki TL2010Q. I hope this helps you come to a decision, your quilt is lovely.
    Love that spiral quilting! Is that done FMQ or with a walking foot?

  5. #5
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    I really like the texture quilting in the photo above. It really gives lovely support for the lovely pattern. I think your piano quilt would be enhanced by this type of quilting. I like the curved lines and think that type of treatment would look nice on your quilt. Please show us again after you complete your quilt.

  6. #6
    Power Poster feline fanatic's Avatar
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    I would do something like this replicated throughout the background

    https://www.freepik.com/premium-vect...=2&position=27

  7. #7
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    What about musical notes placed randomly?

  8. #8
    Junior Member indycat32's Avatar
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    I think there's too much negative space. It overwhelms the piano, which should be the focus of the quilt.

  9. #9
    Super Member Kitsie's Avatar
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    Really like the way you have quilted it. Immediately pulls the eye to the center!
    http://s1248.photobucket.com/albums/hh485/KitsieH/
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  10. #10
    Super Member mtkoldra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by indycat32 View Post
    I think there's too much negative space. It overwhelms the piano, which should be the focus of the quilt.
    Ok, I think that I agree with you, do you have any suggestions? I can trim the sides and make the top narrower as well. Not even sure about the bottom of the quilt, I wanted to incorporate the 3 PP blocks somewhere, not sure about current placement also. As you can see I am not sure about this quilt. Besides the center block, I am creating the rest, maybe not too creative for the moment. Thank you all for the comments

  11. #11
    Senior Member ruby2shoes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Monale View Post
    Love that spiral quilting! Is that done FMQ or with a walking foot?
    Monale the quilting was done with my walking foot.

    mtkoldra, I would trim the bottom of the top and add to the top of the quilt so the piano is central to the quilt like my motif was. You could add more pp notes to the new top section too. With the piano in the centre it will become your focal point. It would balance the negative space and I don't think it is necessarily too much of it if you quilt it appropriately....it will just compliment your piano IMO, but the quilting is the key. I think the quilting needs to be "simple and repetitive" to achieve your goal. If you decide to do anything complicated or too patterned it will, by the sheer amount of it in all the negative space, detract from the piano. Once again, just my opinion, not necessarily the right one! I'm sure you'll work it out and end up with a beautiful quilt.

  12. #12
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    How about one more treble clef to put in the 4 corners and recreate the keyboard as a border?

  13. #13
    Super Member fivepaws's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by feline fanatic View Post
    I would do something like this replicated throughout the background

    https://www.freepik.com/premium-vect...=2&position=27
    I love this idea.
    All my grand-children have paws.

  14. #14
    Junior Member indycat32's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ruby2shoes View Post
    Monale the quilting was done with my walking foot.

    mtkoldra, I would trim the bottom of the top and add to the top of the quilt so the piano is central to the quilt like my motif was. You could add more pp notes to the new top section too. With the piano in the centre it will become your focal point. It would balance the negative space and I don't think it is necessarily too much of it if you quilt it appropriately....it will just compliment your piano IMO, but the quilting is the key. I think the quilting needs to be "simple and repetitive" to achieve your goal. If you decide to do anything complicated or too patterned it will, by the sheer amount of it in all the negative space, detract from the piano. Once again, just my opinion, not necessarily the right one! I'm sure you'll work it out and end up with a beautiful quilt.
    I agree with this. Remove some of the background fabric from the bottom, add it to the top and place the musical notes around the sides and above the piano.

  15. #15
    Junior Member Grannies G's Avatar
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    I would add a few more things maybe some smaller notes coming out of the piano, and maybe a base clif. Not a lot just a few, quilt with a light weight thread matching the background. Don’t forget to Sid too and just do a stipple in the background. Also if this makes sense just quilt a 1/2” interior border 4 to6” in from the outer edges to give your stipple a boundary then do a piano key outer border to finish. This should give texture without overpowering the real effects. Good luck

  16. #16
    Super Member madamekelly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freckles48 View Post
    What about musical notes placed randomly?
    How about music staffs? They can be straight or curved. You could even put actual notes on it to music the recipient likes.
    If you always do, what you have always done, The results never change. Change is the wings you give yourself.

  17. #17
    Super Member mtkoldra's Avatar
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    after reading your suggestions and comments I change the layout of this quilt, it is still work in progress but I think I will stick to the stars. there will be another dark border, then gray and will want to finish with a piano border, just to make the size I want this quilt to be. Thank you all.
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  18. #18
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    The second border looks nice.

    IMO, the outside border could be left plain -

    How much larger do you want this to be? What do you want the finished size to be?

    How did you decide to deal with the fraying edges of the center applique?

  19. #19
    Super Member mtkoldra's Avatar
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    Hi, thanks for you questions. I want this quilt to be about 80 x 90" and still figuring out how I am going th achieve it. For frying edges I went over with the botton hole stitch using tear of paper under. I think that it work well.

    Quote Originally Posted by bearisgray View Post
    The second border looks nice.

    IMO, the outside border could be left plain -

    How much larger do you want this to be? What do you want the finished size to be?

    How did you decide to deal with the fraying edges of the center applique?

  20. #20
    DJ
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    I like your new layout, but thought the treble cleff signs were great. Could they be added into sides of the border?


    It's going to be a wonderful quilt!

  21. #21
    Super Member mtkoldra's Avatar
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    my neighbor came and took a look at the quilt laying on the floor. I might take her suggestions to make the whole border with stars, so now I am cutting fabric for 12 more stars and then we will see where the treble clef will fit in. thank you
    Quote Originally Posted by DJ View Post
    I like your new layout, but thought the treble cleff signs were great. Could they be added into sides of the border?


    It's going to be a wonderful quilt!

  22. #22
    Senior Member stitch678's Avatar
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    No! Don't add abunch more stars...it looks lovely with the assymetric look.

  23. #23
    Junior Member Grannies G's Avatar
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    I agree with stitch678 the current layout is fantastic it really sets the piano off. Quilt with an all over pattern like stippling so as not to detract from the rest of the design. Again this version looks the best.

  24. #24
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    I wouldn't add stars all around. It looks great as is. Love what you did with it, it's so awesome compared to what you started with. Great job!

  25. #25
    Power Poster feline fanatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustAbitCrazy View Post
    I wouldn't add stars all around. It looks great as is. Love what you did with it, it's so awesome compared to what you started with. Great job!
    I agree with this, wholehearedly. Usually I like a lot of negative space for quilting but I have to admit, I really love your new layout. The partial star border really draws the eye into the piano center, additionally with this new layout it really makes the piano the focal point of the quilt as was your original intention. I am thinking you want to add another border to get it up to size. I think your treble clefs would be great in an outer border or you can add some fabric to the sides of each treble clef to make them square and use them as corner stones in your outer most border. Keep showing us your progress. It is so inspiring to see how your quilt is developing.

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