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!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Block #83 in the Machine Quilting Challenge

Good Morning All,

Here is a new border design. It features a large,complex leaf with sprigs of small leaves in between. I stitched it in three different thread colors, dark green for the leaf and vine, blue green for the veins in the large leaves and light violet for the small sprigs of leaves. You might want to doodle this one out before you jump into the stitching.

Start with a piece of fabric that is 7 1/2" wide by 14 1/2" long (you will trim it to 7" x14" when the stitching is done). Begin on one end of the rectangle, with the bulk of the rectangle behind the machine. You will be pulling the fabric toward your lap as you stitch.

Start by making a short stem, about 1" long then veer over to the right and stitch a wavy line that angles up and stops about 1" from the edge (this is the center vein of the leaf) next, stitch an a wavy line down then out and away from the center vein then angle it back down toward the stem. Do the same on the opposite side of the vein to form the other side of the leaf. Remember to make all of these stitching lines wavy. Stitch back down the center vein to the stem then stitch up another 1" - 1 1/2" and form a leaf on the opposite side. Continue making large leaves, one on the left then one on the right etc. until the rectangle is full. My leaves are about 5" long and 3 1/2" wide and I was able to fit three full leaves on each side of the stem.

Change threads to a different color for the veins of the leaves. Begin at the same spot you did before and stitch up the vein with a wavy line that is slightly different from the first stem line. Stitch into the first leaf and echo up the center vein, keeping the stitch line about 1/8" away. Then stitch out to form the first angled vein then stitch back to the center again, again keeping the lines about 1/8" apart. Continue stitching angled, wavy lined veins on the first side of the leaf then once you reach the top, do the same on the opposite side of the leaf. Complete all of the leaves in this manner, traveling from leaf to leaf over the stem.

Change your thread color one more time for the small sprigs of leaves. Again, begin at the bottom of the rectangle and pull it towards you as you stitch. You will be filling in the negative space with these sprigs. Because I like to use contrasting shapes, I used small seed shaped leaves on the small springs. They are rounded and work well with the more pointy large leaves but you could shape yours however you like.

Stitch up the stem until you reach a large area of negative space then stitch out and away from the stem, forming a long stem. Stitch a small leaf at the end then double back adding leaves on the sides of the stem as you go. Mine are teardrop or seed shaped and vary in size from a pumpkin seed down to a sunflower seed. Keep traveling up the stem adding more sprigs as you go until you have filled in the negative space adequately ( no more the 1/2" - 1" of open space with no quilting).

Hope you enjoy this new design. I can't wait to use it in a quilt myself!

Till next time,

1 comment:

Christa Irell said...

If only I could do this lovely design!!! I have a quilt almost ready to go under the machine and I have to say, I am intimidated! You have shown us so many options and I feel downright incapable!

My biggest hurdle is deciding how best to quilt it- it has sampler blocks, sashing, and some raw-edge applique too- not sure how to proceed yet- and not sure if I will have the courage to show you when it's finished or not! lol

I guess I had better get it pinned first before I get ahead of myself...

Thanks for sharing this beautiful design- and have a great day!