I have been working on my quilt for a show entitled "Turning Point. I chose to do a pelican in silhouette against a sunrise (or sunset) on the water.
To do the pelican, I made up a test sandwich with the same wool batting and two pieces of hand-dye.
In order to make it as similar as possible to the actual quilt, I fused some of the scraps from the pelican to the top piece of the sandwich.
Then I used safety pins to hold it together. Normally, I would use spray adhesive to hold such a small piece together, but I didn't use it on the "real" piece, so I didn't use it for the test sandwich. It was really windy on the day when I layered it and I don't like to use sprays in my house, so I safety-pinned it.
I use the sandwich to test tension and needles for the different threads. Every time I change the thread or needle, I get out the tester and stitch a bit on it. In the photo above, the tension isn't quite right. It's easy to fix it here, rather than "unquilt" the real piece. The loops in the two samples above were "fixed" by replacing the needle.
I also used it to audition threads and quilting patterns. I auditioned three different threads before I decided to use the one on the right for the wings.
I have finished the thread work on the pelican and next I'll tackle the water.
This is the new sandwich to duplicate the sky/water area. No fused pieces. I am going to add some paint over the quilting on the water portion, so I chose colors that were close to the ones in the "real" piece.
And the backside -- tension looks pretty good to me. Next up: quilting the water.