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!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Block #20 in the Machine Quilting Challenge

Good Morning,

I truly hope all of you are enjoying this challenge as much as I am. I'm really jazzed about creating this book of designs. It will be a great reference for me and my students both.

I'm also very pleased with the base fabric that I'm using. It's a woven solid by Kaufman (I purchased it here in Denver at Fancy Tiger). It's a little heavier than regular quilter's cotton and comes in some great colors. It's nice way to show off machine quilting and nice to paint on too.

Here is today's new stitch-out; Random Swirls. It features curves and lots of them. One of the hardest things to learn when you begin doing swirls of any sort is leaving yourself enough room on the inside of the swirl to be able to stitch back out again. This is one that you really need to practice on with doodling first! Remember when you doodle to use exaggerated arm movements to simulate the moving of the quilt. You will want to make swirls in a variety of sizes that curve in both directions. Study the photo above and see how the 'V' is used, tucked in between swirls to help you change directions and fill in space. I include swirls that are as large as a silver dollar and as small as a nickle.

Begin by making a dollar size swirl in the center of your square, curling in then changing direction and curling back out again. As you come out of the swirl stitch away from the swirl and curve in the opposite direction and make a second, smaller swirl. Swirl in then swirl out. This will essentially make an 'S' curve.

As you stitch out of the second swirl, decide where you will place the next swirl and stitch it. To make this stitch-out look nice and tidy, the swirls need to be tucked closely together. To change direction so that ones swirl is rotating in the opposite direction from the one next to it, stitch a 'V' into the crook between two adjacent swirls then begin the curve. These 'V's' help fill in space too, keeping the stitch distance consistent.

Once you get good at this stitch-out, you'll be using it all the time!

Have a great day,

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