Living This Creative Life

I have two favorite quotes. The first one is by Emile Zola, "If you asked me what I came into this world to do, I would tell you that I came to live out loud". I don't know who the second one is by, but it goes like this, "If you're not living on the edge then you might as well jump". Both of these sentiments sum up my personal philosophy of this experience we call life on earth. Enjoy!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Block #13 in the Machine Quilting Challenge

Happy Friday Everyone,

I had a fun day teaching some great students in a surface embellishment class at my studio followed by a nice two margarita dinner with Tom at my favorite taco stand.

Now it's time to introduce today's new stitch-out; vines. This design features straight lines, curved lines and points. It is worked off of the center of the vine and the center of the leaf. Those of you who have taken my beginning machine quilting class know how important is is to make a pointy tipped leaf. If you don't, you know what the results will be - male body parts aren't usually what you want on your quilt!

Every machine quilter has her own way of making vines and or leaves. This block features five rows of vines with the simplest one in the center. The row to the left of the center has leaves with a hook on one side and the row on the far left has leaves with a hook on each side. The row to the right of the center has a curved tip and the row to the far right has a curved tip and a hook on one side. You can make your leaves however you want, but remember that to look real 'leafy' they need to have a pointed tip.

Remember to doodle the design before you attempt stitching it out. Here is my technique;

Either mark or visualize a row in which to place the vine. Beginning at the bottom most edge, with the bulk of the block behind the needle/machine, place the needle down in the middle of the row along the lower edge. Stitch up, pulling the block down toward your lap, about 1 1/2" and angled to one side of the row. You have made the center vein of your first leaf. Stitch down at a narrow angle (thus forming the pointed tip of the first side of the leaf), then curve out and back toward the center vein/vine, completing side one of the leaf. Now move back up on the other side of the center vein making a rounded curve then angling back up toward the tip, making the second side of the leaf. Next move back down the center vein toward the vine.

Stitch up again, angling toward the opposite side of the row and make the second leaf. Continue adding new leaves to each side of the row, one after the other until you reach the top. You can continue making rows of simple leaves or try one of the other types of leaves pictured. They are made in the same way but have a slightly different shape with either hooks or curved tips. Try them all - they're fun.

Remember, leaves are organic forms and therefore they do not need to be perfect, they just need to be 'leafy'!

Have fun and enjoy your weekend,
See you on Monday,

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