Now that I've hand quilted the whole piece--all 2 square feet of it or so--I'm finding that it isn't enough. That's right, I need more hand stitching. Most of this decision was made for composition reasons, redirecting the way the viewer's eye travels through the piece, repeating some lines, increasing the tonal contrast range. I'm couching on a dark thread:
Just through the process of making art over and over, I have developed some common symbols in my work. These lines, sometimes shorter, sometimes horizontal, appear over and over in recent pieces. They come in groups of threes or fives or one, or sevens--always odd numbers--unevenly spaced, with disparate spaces between the sets. I started it as a mimic of writing, conveying a human touch without using actual letters or words. Let the viewer write the story, whatever inspired me colors my work but not another's interpretation.
So when I knew that darker lines were needed here, I knew where to go--having a practiced vocabulary to draw from made the decision easy.
That is all.