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, May 4, 2010

Block #39 in the Machine Quilting Challenge

Good Morning,
Last night I went to the 1st Monday Art Talk( at Dazzle Jazz Club. It's a great venue. The artists work hangs for a month and on the Talk night she/he is feted with a nice introductory bio then gets interviewed in a question and answer session where the audience gets to participate. This months artist is local painter Audrey McNamara whose urban themed paintings depict gritty vignettes of modern life. Her work has a graffiti like feel to it with bold outlines and lots of gesture lines that invoke a sense of movement Though she uses lots of black, a good deal of her work relies on subtle tones and as my daughter said, " lots of taupe". There were several pieces that I wanted to take home with me. The evening also included some spoken word performances by a young woman and an older man (sorry I didn't get their names),. Both were highly entertaining and thought provoking. It was a lovely evening and just what I needed to get me back in the creative mode (I've been having a little dry spell).
Here is today's new stitch-out; I call it Gothic Swirls. It is a border/sashing design and looks best in long rows. It looks very complicated, but it uses elements we've used before; a swirl and petals. So that you could see how it is sectioned out I stitched each portion of the design separately in the long narrow piece and made sure that the creased sections in the block were discernible. You definitely want to doodle this one out to get the rhythm and spacing of it.
Begin with a long tail that gently curves into a swirl. Swirl in then out. Once you are out of the swirl, begin making small, half round, petals all the way around the swirl. Once you get about an inch away from the end of the tail make one final elongated petal. Now add a second row of petals above the first row as you stitch back in the opposite direction. This second row of petals can be half rounds like the first or they can have a peak like the ones shown. Stitch these petals around the swirl until you reach the bottom edge then swoop up again toward the next swirl. The hardest part of this design is the spacing that's why marking the sections with a Hera marker is so helpful. As you make the swirl try to place it in the middle of the second half of the section so that you have room to surround it with petals.
The design can be used in several ways. Use it in a single row for a narrow border or sashing or double it up, face to face to form a heart in a wider border. The top most section of the block shows two rows that move in the same direction but are offset, which is another way you can use the design.
To stitch out the block, divide it into 6,1 1/2"wide rows then divide the rows into 3, 3 1/4" long sections. You will stitch one complete design inside each of the 1 1/2" x 3 1/4" sections. Begin in the section in the bottom left hand corner. Place your needle down near the top left hand corner in the section and stitch down and over to the right forming a slight arch like half of a heart and head into a swirl. Make the swirl, leaving yourself enough room to stitch back out of it. Just as you finish stitching back out of the swirl begin making small, half round petals. Stitch these all the way around the outside of the swirl and back to the beginning of the line with the last petal elongated. Next stitch the second row of petals just above the first row. When you reach the base of the swirl, stitch a slight arch into the next section to form the next Gothic Swirl. When you have stitched the entire row knot off and begin again back on the left hand side of the block. If you want to form hearts then the second row is stitched upside down so that the swirls meet up with the swirls in the first row.
I hope you enjoy this design. I thinks it's beautiful.
Till tomorrow,

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