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!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Block # 40 in the Machine Quilting Challenge

Good Morning,
I'm back after a little break with lots of new quilting designs. I've really been enjoying this project. It's getting me to broaden my horizons and stitch out designs that I haven't used in a long time and come up with new designs too.
I spent some time last week trying to think of all sorts of things that could be added to a simple clam shell stitch out. So here are some of the additions that I came up with. If you need a review, I posted the instructions several weeks ago. It is block #17. Make the clam shells at least 1" wide so that you have room to put designs in them. In the small slice photo above you can see 11 different designs stitched inside the clam shells from tall grasses to tiny circles and lots of other shapes. Choose 3-5 designs and use them in your clam shells. It looks best if you have at least three rows repeating one shape to really get a good understanding of how the design looks.
In the block above I used three designs, Asian Grasses in the lower section, Waves in the mid section and Alternating Furrows in the top most section. Some of the designs are stitched as each clam shell is stitched while others are added after the row of clam shells have been completed.
The Asian Grasses are added during the making of the clam shells. Beginning on the lower left hand edge of your block, stitch a clam shell and at the right hand end of it, stitch a mid sized arch inside it along the upper curve then stitch back down again to make a curved blade of grass, then stitch a second smaller one under the first one. Each blade of grass should begin and end in the right hand corner of the clam shell. Complete the first row in this manner. The next row is stitched from right to left and the grasses come out of the left hand corner so that they alternate with the previous row.
The wave design is added after the row of clam shells has been stitched. Stitch the clam shells and once completed, stitch back in the opposite direction with a wavy line about 1/4" inside the top curve of each clam shell. Begin and end each wavy line inside the corners of the clam shell.
The Alternating furrows are also added after a row of clam shells has been stitched. You will have to retrace portions of each clam shell as you add the rows of stitch inside it. Try very hard to stay on the previously stitched lines or the design will begin to look sloppy. Add lines moving in one direction/angle in the first row and lines moving in a different direction in the next row then back to the original direction in the third row and so on.
I hope you enjoy this combined stitch-out. I bet you can come up with some really fun designs to stitch inside your clam shells!
Till tomorrow,

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