I have never had a quilt that posed so many difficulties or plans gone awry in spite of careful thought beforehand. If I can get the rest of the quilting done without problems, it will definitely be a better version of my original plan. My granddaughter's design is beautiful, but the problems arose in creating a workable version of her drawing in fabric.
The latest is the decision to quilt the "ground" or bottom third of the quilt with navy on three different dark fabrics. Looks great with magnifying glasses and bright light. Doesn't show up with normal vision. Doesn't do a thing for the quilt. Makes the fires look like they are floating in space. The best laid plans have gone awry again.
I bravely fooled around with some quilting using red Isacord thread. The McTavishing makes me think of hot coals. I like it. Out came the ripper and I un-quilted some (not all) of the navy stitches. The redo in red around the flames is very satisfying. I love it. Note the difference between the red quilting in the center and the navy quilting in the lower left. The red truly provides visual clues that the bird is rising out of the fire, but doesn't take away from the brilliance of the Phoenix. It warms the dark fabric so it blends nicely in color and temperature with the rest of the quilt.
TIP: What can I say? Persist like the Phoenix. Perfection is an almost unattainable goal, but there is nothing wrong with striving toward it. Just don't wear out your fabric!
Sew a happy seam today.