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!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Block #28 in the Machine Quilting Challenge

Good Morning,
I hope you're all enjoying a lovely weekend!
Here is today's new stitch-out I call is Rolling Water. It is a versatile design which can be stitched out in several ways. In this block I've included spiral 'waves' mixed in amongst the gentle water movement, but you can easily omit the spiral waves and have Calm waters.
This is a somewhat simple stitch-out, a bit of a break after the intensity of block #27! It is fun and easy to do and is of course great in landscapes but also in Asian inspired quilts too. Be sure to doodle it out with pencil and paper before you try stitching it.
If you click on the block it will double in size. Then you will be able to see that I have used a multi-colored thread on this block. I don't turn to multi-colored or variegated threads often any more. I usually match the thread to the fabric color or use the same color but a shade darker or a slightly lighter tint. This way, the thread melds into the surface of the fabric. If I need a new design element because the quilt is lacking interest, then I will stitch with a thread that has more contrast. With this block I wanted you to see how I think variegated threads should be used. The problem with them is that the inclination is to match the thread to the fabric, however where variegated or muti-colored threads are concerned, the opposite is usually true.
First of all, the difference between the two; Variegated means different varieties of the same color such as light, medium and dark violet, Multi-colored means just that, different colors, one coming after the other.
When choosing a variegated or multi-colored thread you need to choose one that shows up equally across the surface of the fabric you will be stitching it on. If it does not show up equally, then the areas where it matches the surface will seem like they disappear and will look like you've made mistakes in your stitch pattern. So, if you're stitching on a medium valued violet, a light, medium, dark, variegated violet thread is not the answer because the medium valued areas of the thread will disappear on the fabric and the light and dark areas will show up. A better choice would be to choose a color of thread that is next to the thread color on the color wheel such as a blue violet that will show up equally across the surface of the medium violet fabric.
So, on to the stitch-out. This design features gently flowing lines that move from side to side and curve back and forth, to give the impression of gently, flowing water. The swirls are added to break up the side to side motion.
Begin near the center of the block and stitch a short line that is about 1 1/2" long. End the line with a curve that is about 1/4" deep, moving either up or down then stitch either back in the direction that you came from or continue on in the direction you were going. Every 1/2" to 1 1/2" change directions with a gentle curve and a drop down or climb up 1/4". Insert a swirl every two to three inches by stitching a line and swirling the end, leaving room to swirl back out then continuing on with the water design. You can stitch this design larger, but I think it looks best pretty tight as shown.
I hope you enjoy this mix of wavy lines, directional movement and swirls. It's great practice!
Have a wonderful Sunday,

1 comment:

Christa Irell said...

Oooh, pretty! You are truly a talented machine artist- you do things with a sewing machine that many of us can't do with a pencil or anything else. Your work is so awe-inspiring, I have to say.
Thanks for the thread tip- I guess the only tips I have received on that front are from my beginning quilt teacher, where we tended to use threads that matched so they WOULD disappear! lol
I can't wait till your colour book comes out! But I will definitely need to take your colour class first, I have so much to learn.
Have a great day!