Monday, May 31, 2010
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Monday, May 24, 2010
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Monday, May 17, 2010
Friday, May 14, 2010
Here is today's new stitch-out. It is a combination design that uses yesterdays 'Filigree' design in the background that surrounds large, funky Swirly Stars. I love the juxtaposition of the big, funky stars with the somewhat delicate filigree. Practice doodling out the stars before you begin stitching.
My stars are about 2 - 2 1/2" in width. Of course you can make yours any size you like, but remember that they need to be larger than the filigree for the stitching to look nice and tidy. Start stitching near the center of the block and begin with a swirl that is about 1/2" - 3/4"in size. Stitch back out of the swirl and make the arms of the star so that they are long and pointy. Strive for 6-7 arms per star. Once the first Swirly Star is complete stitch away from it using the filigree design until you have room to make another star. Keep making stars and surrounding them with filigree until you have covered the entire surface. It may be necessary to knot off and travel to empty areas between stars to add more filigree background fill. Try to keep the distance between the stars consistent as well as the density of the filigree background fill.
Hope you enjoy this funky stitch-out. I had great fun with it!
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Today's stitch-out is the second in a two part triangle design. I call it Triangle Maze. It is very similar to the square and round swirls. As with the other swirls, you stitch in then leave yourself room to stitch back out again.
It is very helpful to mark the rows in which you plan to stitch. I marked five, 2" rows using a Hera marker. Stitching begins in the lower, left hand corner. This corner is occupied by a half triangle. Each row will begin and end with a half triangle. The triangles are easiest to do if they are equilateral - that is, all the sides are the same length. This one definitely requires some doodling before you take your first stitch.
Begin in the bottom, left hand corner and stitch up and toward the right so that the top of the line is positioned about 1" away from the side of the block. Next stitch over toward the left till you reach the edge then stitch down along the edge and stop about 1/4" before the bottom. Now stitch back up, about 1/4" inside the angled line on the right stopping 1/4" before you get to the top then stitch across toward the left then all the way down to the bottom and over to the left past the outside line of the triangle you just stitched by about 1/4". This will put you in position to stitch you first complete triangle.
Keeping the line about 1/4" away from the outside line of the half triangle, stitch an angled line up stopping just below the creased line. Next, stitch back down, angling toward the right and striving for a 2"distance from the beginning of the triangle. Stop 1/4" from the bottom and stitch across the bottom stopping 1/4"from the other side then stitch back up again, continue swirling in, making the lines about 1/4" apart, until you are in the center then stitch back out again keeping the outbound lines centered between the lines that are all ready stitched.
Once you are back out, stitch along the bottom of the triangle until you are position to make the next triangle. The next triangle is made in the same way, only upside down. Continue making triangles until you get to the end of the row and finish with a half triangle. Stitch up along the side of the block to get in position to stitch the next row and do it in the opposite direction.
I love how contemporary this design is,
Hope you enjoy playing with it,
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Monday, May 10, 2010
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Monday, May 3, 2010
Sunday, May 2, 2010
I've been enjoying a really nice three day weekend - with no teaching, a lot of rest and just a little creativity. I spent most of Friday down in Colorado Springs indigo dying with the girlfriends and I plan to do some more today. It's a very addictive technique!
Here is today's new stitch-out; Feathers. I love stitching feathers but have to admit that I don't use them all that often. I like to use them on projects that have very simple piecing. Or feature them as the major design elements because they are big attention getters. Every quilter uses a different technique to make feathers. So, if you've made feathers before and were successful with them then their is no need to change the way you've done them in the past. However, if you've always struggled with them or have never given them a try, then explore my method.
The photo on the left shows the separate steps that I take when forming a feather. I start at the bottom of the spine (center line), stitching upwards and end with the tear drop shape that forms the top of the feather. Next, I stitch all of the feathers along the left hand side (easiest if you are right handed, start with the right side if you are left handed) then I back over the end of the spine and head back up to the top of the feather forming a spine that is thick on the bottom, about 1/4" wide and narrows down to a point as I reach the top feather. I then begin making feathers on the remaining side, trying to match them up with the feathers on the original side.
This technique requires you to double over part of the feather section that you just stitched to create the next feather section. If you don't like doubling over, simply separate your feather sections as shown in the last sample in the stitch-out on the right.
As you begin your feather making experience, make the spine just slightly curved as placement of the feather sections can be somewhat difficult on concave curves. Once you feel competent making simple feathers, pump it up by making more curved ones.
To make the feathers above, begin by stitching the spine, from the bottom, up. Add the top teardrop then begin making feather sections on one side. Always angle the bottom portion of each section down, towards the base of the spine, this will place you in the correct position to add the next section. Some people like feathers that have a half heart shape others prefer more of a tear drop shape. It doesn't matter what you do as long as you strive for consistency. Once you have completed one side of the feather, double back over the base of the spine and stitch back up to the top of the feather and add the feather sections to the other side.
I surrounded my main feather with tiny circles - just because I like the way it looks.
Next make a smaller feather on each side of the larger feather. If you feel up to it, curve the center spines so that they fill up the corner space well and hug the center feather. I used slightly wavy lines spaced about 1/4" apart in the background but you could stipple too. Heavily quilting the background areas around the feathers will make them poof as if they were trapunutoed.
I hope you have fun playing with feathers.