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!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Blocks #88 & #89 in the Machine Quilting Challenge

Good Morning All,

Well, this is my third attempt to write this new entry. First the computer shut itself off and I lost everything then after I re-wrote it all the blasted thing shut itself off for up-dates and I lost it all again! Then I heard my hubby's voice in my head saying "save, save, save". I'm saving every step of the way this time!

I want to thank all of you who have sent comments recently. It's so nice to hear from you guys and know what you think of the stuff I'm publishing here.

Thanks also to all of you who have sent emails about my article in Quilting Arts. They did a great job with what I wrote and I was so pleased to see a full page image of my quilt! I'm so excited about writing for them this year!

So, here are two new designs. The first one I call Simple Fans and the second one Fancy Fans (you'd think after three attempts I could come up with better names!). They both make great fillers but the Fancy Fans may overwhelm your piecing so use it only when you want/need to add loads of new interest to a piece. I would definitely doodle both of these designs out before I tried to stitch them!

To do the Simple Fans, begin near the center of your block and stitch a straight line that is about 1 1/2". Stitch a quarter circle arc in one direction then stitch a second 1 1/2" line that ends back where the first line began. The fan is essentially a quarter circle. Once you have stitched back to the pointed end of the fan, stitch a straight line up to the curve that separates the fan at the 1/3 point. Stitch over the curve toward one side then stitch back to the tip separating the fan at the second 1/3 point. The fan should now be separated into three somewhat equal segments. Add a loop to the outside tip of the fan for a handle then stitch away and around the fan with small loop d'loops until you have space to stitch another fan. Continue stitching fans linked by loop d'loops until you have filled all of the space. Strive for equally sized fans and smaller yet equally sized loop d'loops. Try to keep the negative space equal too.

For the Fancy Fans you will need three different thread colors. With the first thread color stitch the fans linked by just a few loop d'loops. Make the fans larger than the Simple Fans, about 2" long on each side. Don't separate the fans into thirds and don't fill up the negative space with too many loop d'loops. Load your machine up with the second thread color and beginning at the tip of one of the fans add 3-5 elongated tear drops shapes inside the fan. Stitch back out of the fan at the tip and stitch some loop d'loops over to the next fan and add the tear drops inside it. Keep adding elongated tear drops to each fan and traveling from fan to fan with loop d'loops. Don't fill in all of the negative space at this stage, leave room for one more color of loop d'loops. Change to the third thread color. Beginning at the tip of one of the fans stitch a line up the center of one of the tear drops and end the line with a spiral. Double back over the swirl and line back to the tip of the fan and stitch the same thing up the center of the remaining tear drops in the fan. Travel from the first fan to the next, filling the remaining negative space with loop d'loops. Add the swirls designs to the remaining tear drops in all of the fans and fill in all of the remaining negative space with loop d'loops.

I'm working really hard on several new projects that I will be announcing soon. If you haven't signed up for my emails on my web site you might want to. I'll be sending out an email within the next week.

Till next time,


shout4joy said...

oh, I LOVE these fans! I really enjoy your blog as you have some great ideas for quilting :)

Christa Irell said...

Oh me too, I love these fans! I can see how the Fancy Fans might overwhelm some things, but it's so pretty, I am tempted to make something a little plain just to have the lovely quilting!

And even though I have read ALL of your quilting blog articles, I really enjoyed your QA article. The full page photo looked stunning!

We all need to take to heart what you said: if we want to become really good at something, we need to practice, practice, practice!

I am so thrilled to have a subscription to QA this year- and even more thrilled to see your talent displayed for many to enjoy! xo