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, April 4, 2011

Blocks #93 & #94 in the Machine Quilting Challenge

Hi Everyone,

I'm so sorry that it has taken me so long to get back here.

It's been a zoo! I've been working hard the last several weeks to get my web site back up and running and to get classes scheduled too. If you want to know more about it all, visit my site at So, as an apology, here are two new designs.

Both designs are based on the gentle curve or arc and both require you to mark the surface with squares. I marked mine with a Hera marker - remember, it's a sharpened beveled edge piece of plastic that just makes a crease. Anyway, for the first design on the left, I marked my block with six equally sized squares vertically and horizontally. Each square is 1 1/2". These can be a little confusing so you definitely should doodle them out before you attempt stitching.

The first set of gentle arcs moves diagonally across the center of each marked square and across the center of the block. Begin in the bottom left corner and stitch a gentle arc ending in the opposite upper right hand corner of the marked block. Next do the same in the next block that is one up and one over. Keep making gentle arcs from corner to corner in subsequent squares moving diagonally toward the upper right. Do the same thing back down, in the same squares only this time make the arcs on the opposite side of the first arcs and make them curve in the opposite direction sort of forming a pea pod shape.

Using the edge of the block, skip the next diagonal row over and move up to the following row and stitch the same pea pods . Stitch every other row of diagonal squares in the same manner, all stitched with a pea pod shape across their middles that moves in the same direction. Now, do the same thing, in the remaining rows, but stitch the pea pods in the opposite direction, beginning from the bottom right and stitching up to the upper left. This will yield a flower like design.

Next, you will add smaller, thinner pea pod shapes that curve around each of the sides of the squares in all of the rows. Simply begin on one row and stitch a gentle arc above the marked line on one side of the square then on to the next square to do the same until that row has half pea pods all along the top side of the line. Go back in the opposite direction and stitch gentle arcs along the bottom side of the marked lines, completing the pea pod shapes. Do this on all the marked lines both vertically and horizontally thus completing the smaller petals of the flower shapes in each block.

The second block was marked the same way as the first, (6) 1 1/2" squares in each direction.
I haven't quite figured out how to do this one without knotting off and or traveling along the edges. Consider a set of four squares to be a complete unit. The middle is where the corners of all four squares meet up. The first portion of the design will be stitched in the top two squares of the unit. Begin stitching a gentle arc from the upper left hand corner down at an angle toward the the line that divides the two upper squares. Aim to stitch trough that line about 2/3 the way down from the top of the squares and curve into the second square forming a tear drop that peaks right at the center of the four squares then curve it back up again and into the first square and take it back up so that it crosses over where it first entered the second square and continue stitching up into the upper right hand corner of the second square. You will repeat this motion three more times to complete one floral shape that fills one 4 square unit. Do it a second time using the right hand square and the one below it. Do it a third time in the two bottom squares then do it a final time in the two left side squares. Each time, try to stitch equally sized tear drops near the center of the 4 square units.

You can also try to do the stitching in rows, but I found that once I finished a row in one direction that I still had to travel or knot off to go in another direction. It's all worth it however, because it's a great design.

Hope you enjoy these, I'll be back on track now that I've caught up - at least I hope so!
Till next time,