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, February 13, 2011

Block #90 in the Machine Quilting Challenge

Good Morning All,

Wow, what a great change in the weather! It's sunny, all the snow is melting and it promises to be in the 50's all week! Could Spring be just around the corner? I sure hope so. For those of you who are new to the blog. If you click on the photo of the stitch out it will automatically enlarge it so that you can see the details better. Remember to always doodle out any designs that have elements in them that are unfamiliar to you.

Here is a new design that would work great in the borders of a quilt especially if you used either or both of the fan designs from earlier this week elsewhere in the quilt. It looks complicated, but it's really not. It uses three different colors of thread and requires you to section out the border space.

I used a quilt sandwich that was 7" x 14". I divided the piece into three equally sized sections using a Hera marker then marked borders (on the border) 1" away from both long sides.

The fans alternate in direction, one facing right then the next one nestled into it facing left, the next one nestles into the second one, facing right again and so on. So that I could begin with a full fan, I stitched the center most fan first. Begin with your needle positioned on the marked border line in the middle of the center most marked section. Stitch at an angle to one corner of that section. Next, stitch a slight curve that extends slightly over the marked border line over to the opposite corner of the center section. Now stitch back down at an angle to end at the starting point thus completing the outline of the first fan.

Either knot off and travel, or backtrack over one of the long sides of the fan then stitch one or two half circles (about the size of half of a dime) over to the corner of the next marked segment and stitch another fan that faces the same direction as the first fan. Once that fan is complete you will see that you have a triangular shaped wedge left between the two fans you have made. Stitch a fan in that area that points in the opposite direction of the first two fans and leave a space of about 1/2" between the fans. Once it is complete either knot off or backtrack over a previously stitched line past the original fan and stitch a fan in the final section that faces the direction of the first fan. You should have one empty wedge left, stitch a fan in it the faces the opposite direction from the two fans on either side of it. Finally, outline the curved edges of the fans with small half circles then knot off.

You have completed the hard part! Change thread colors and beginning in the fan on one end of the border strip, stitch into the fan going up along the inside of one long side and ending about 1/2" from the curved end of the fan then angle over about 1/2" to the curved edge of the fan and angle down about 1/2" again to form a pointed tip and stitch back down to the tip of the fan thus forming the first interior segment of the fan. Continue stitching segments inside the fan trying to make them all the same size and backtracking over previously stitched lines to get to where you need to go. Travel from fan to fan using a wavy line in the space between them. Strive to stitch the same number of segments in each fan. Once all of the segments have been stitched, echo the half circle curve on the outside of all of the fans.

Change thread color again and using the same method as above, stitch a long wavy line up the center of each fan segment ending it in a small, pointed leaf shape. Stitch a second smaller leaf inside the first then double back to the tip of the fan. Continue stitching this design in the middle of each fan segment. Once you are finished, echo the half circle curve on the outside of all of the fans then using this color of thread or switching back to the first color, stipple in what is left of the borders.

This is a highly decorative design and would add loads of interest and beauty to a quilt with simple piecing and plain fabrics.

Till next time,

1 comment:

Christa Irell said...

Wow! That is gorgeous. And your instructions are top-notch.

I miss you! I have to check where you are teaching and take another class@