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 24, 2010

Block #49 in the Machine Quilting Challenge

Good Morning and happy Monday to you all,
I figured that now that Spring is here and we're gearing up for a glorious summer that I would feature flower designs for the next week. Though I'm not what you would call a 'girly' girl and I don't wear floral prints or decorate with them either, I sure do love to quilt with them. So, each day this week I will give you a different floral design. Hope you enjoy them.
Today's stitch-out features my favorite, five petal flower. Each of us has flowers inside us, we just need to loosen up and doodle till they come flowing out. This is my doodle flower. I've been doodling it in one incarnation or another since I was a kid.
The flower in the upper left hand corner is the basic style, the one in the upper right hand corner has veins added. The flower in the lower left hand corner has a double set of petals and the flower in the lower right hand corner has two smaller petals inside each of the larger petals.
When you first begin doodling flowers it is often helpful to draw them inside a pre-drawn doughnut shape. To do this, draw a largish circle - one that is about 4" across then draw a smaller circle in the middle of the large circle - about 11/2" across. If you want your circles really accurate, use a glass or cup to trace the outer circle and a large spool of thread to trace the inner circle. When doodling, keep the flower center inside the smaller circle and the petals inside the larger circle. Drawing this way will train you to keep the petals similar in size. It is also helpful to know that the inside of the petals should never come to a point when they meet the flower center. Practice doodling lots of different flowers with differently styled centers and petals of varying shapes. The hardest part of flower drawing is learning to equally distribute the petals around the center. This just takes a little practice. After drawing a dozen or so flowers you'll have it down! Try to feel the movement of each petal as you draw so that you can repeat that movement as you quilt.
This basic flower of mine begins with a swirl in the center and has five petals. To stitch it, begin where ever you want the center of your flower to be. Stitch a swirl. When the swirl is the size you want it to be, close it up by ending the stitch line on the outer edge of the swirl. Now, begin the first petal. My petals are wide at the base, get a little wider as they move away from the base then come to a nice point. Visually divide the area around the center of your flower into five sections and keep each of the five petals within one section. After the first petal is stitched, stitch the next one, make it's point about 70 degrees away from the point in the first petal. Keep stitching petals until you have all five, each pointing in a different direction and all about the same size.
To add veins to the basic flower, once all of the petals have been stitched, use the outline of the center of the flower to travel back over to each of the petals, add long wavy lines, 1, 2 or 3, inside each petal. If adding more than one, vary the lengths.
To make a double set of petals, again you will use the outline of the flower center to travel on. After the original five petals are stitched, travel over on the flower center to the middle of the first petal and stitch another petal that peaks between the first petal and the next petal then comes back down in the center of the second petal. Make four more petals in the same manner with one in between each of the remaining petals.
To make the last flower with the petals within petals, simply add two smaller petals inside each of the larger petals. This is done after the original five petals were stitched and the outline of the flower center is used to travel on.
These flowers,as with any other large, open shape, will look puffed or more dimensional if you quilt heavily around them. This will give you a great opportunity to practice some of the other background designs. In this block I used a small stipple.
Have fun,
Till tomorrow,

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