After I decide what the quilting plan will be for a quilt, I next dig into the thread drawers. Having the quilting plan determined first is very important, because what thread might work for an overall edge-to-edge design may not work for custom designs. And, of course, with custom quilting, you may want to change thread colors as you go.
In this case, the yellow path was to have an unstructured feather and the blue path a wandering vine. And, the big blue border to have a delightful combination of both.
So, taking out all the colors that might work, I throw hanks of thread onto the quilt surface. I always try to throw out something that, at first thought, I am sure will not work, because once the thread is on the quilt surface, sometimes magic happens. On this quilt I chose a medium gray, a dark golden yellow and a lovely reddish brown. I didn't think I wanted any blue, as it would have to be a pretty dark blue and I subscribe to the idea that a light thread looks much better on dark fabrics than a dark thread looks on light fabrics. (Although I'm not that crazy about how this thread looks on the pale, pale backing. Oh, well.)
The yellow was tossed out first, and the gray was a serious consideration. But the reddish brown was just perfect, especially given the dark red accents in this quilt. I knew the thread wouldn't show on the red inner border, but that's alright. When the thread is going to get lost anyway, it's a perfect time to try out a new, maybe more difficult design. In this case, I tried a Swirl Ribbon Candy design I saw on Kim Stotsenberg's blog.
The following is a step-by-step showing how I tamed that wavy lower border.
After a little steam and basting.
Then, the vine goes down.
Then the design is finished. It worked!
“Live by what you believe so fully
that your life blossoms.”