Not quite 2 years back, I had a day at Road To California I was not teaching and decided to take my buddies one day class on designing patterns for a vintage linen brought to class. The number of stencil options Cindy brought was unbelievable. I relaxed ( a bit too much as you'll read), but designed and marked a linen with hopes of finding time to quilt it later. The cutwork linen I'd purchased and brought to work on was SO beautifully made that I failed to note I had marked the linen on the BACK side. Oh well... I had a great design day and a few mos. back I decided to carefully place the image on my light box and trace marked the front side too.
So the time to begin the quilting is now. I've placed a contrasting value drapery brocade behind the linen so the cutwork elements can be appreciated. I had secured the linen top to the backing using a machine basting stitch grid of invisible thread (which will need be removed later). After the fact, I wonder if this would have been a good time to use a water soluble dissolving thread... but I'm fine with what I did . I still found I was more comfortable pinning here and there but recognize some old linens might not like pinning. This one did.
I begin like I do my art quilts... working from the middle outward. I used a thread slightly warmer color than the crisp white linen. I now know I might have used a slightly darker cream value but I'm good with this and will not 'unstitch"
Doing so added a bit of refinement /stability to the small original embroidery design.
My short term goal ( still progressively working my way out from center toward outer edges) is to get the basic quilting done. I'll be coming back to add filler elements to even better show off the original linen design. I'm loving this... 'am awakening at odd hours to steal an hour of two of quilting.
( Cindy's book... "Wholecloth Linen Quilts"published by AQS in 2007).