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 27, 2010

Block #34 in the Machine Quilting Challenge

Good Morning,
Today I get to play with Batik painting at my studio. I've got a couple of students learning the technique. Thursday I've got a class on Shiva Paintstick techniques and Friday I'm going down to Colorado Springs to play with my girlfriends and do some Indigo dying. I really enjoy making my own fabric. It's nice to have my own original stuff from which to create.
Here is today's new stitch-out; Pretty Paisleys. Click on it to see it larger. It's a bit complex, but all of the shapes are ones we've used before. It features tear drop shapes with small petals and thin swirls. The swirls help fill in space and take you from paisley to paisley. Begin by doodling out the shapes separately until you have a feel for them. Next, draw the shapes out together trying to keep a consistent 'togetherness' and leaving equal negative space surrounding the shapes.
Before you begin stitching your block, you may want to practice stitching the shapes first. Once you feel prepared, begin stitching near the center of your block and make a largish tear drop that is about 1 1/2" tall and 3/4" at its widest. Make another, smaller tear drop inside the first one. Circle the outside of the outer tear drop with small round petals (half circles) making the petal at the top of the paisley pointed. Once all of the petals have been added, stitch in a gentle curve away from the paisley and make a long, narrow swirl, then make a couple more, linked by tiny loop d'loops if necessary. Next, make another paisley. Continue making paisleys and skinny swirls moving in various directions and stitching the paisleys in every direction.
Keep track of your negative space as you stitch. For this stitch-out to look tidy, everything needs to be pretty close together with spaces no larger than 1/2" between (1/4" is better).
I hope you enjoy this beautiful design. It's great in wide borders, wide sashing and even as an all over design.
Till tomorrow,


mad elena said...

You've recommended starting in the middle for several stitches. Where do you go from there? Do you circle and expand out from the middle or do you fill up a section and then rotate around?
Others say to start in top left corner and work forward. I guess there's no right or wrong way. Only whatever works. Often I like the stitches in front of the foot so I sew backwards.

Christa Irell said...

This one is so pretty! I guess I am a romantic, I do like the curly type stitching more and find it easier than the angled ones. I haven't even sketched this one yet- it looks hard. But as with the other ones, I have to just do them in a sketch book for the time being- but it is definitely good practice for the muscle memory!

Thanks for your encouraging comments on my blog too- it's weird how this happens, isn't it? I feel downright CONSUMED with this need to get these creative things out of me! lol