Friday, 1 May 2009

Coming up Daisies

Loops are one of my favourite machine quilting moves. There are lots of reasons for this. First of all, you get to cross the lines. Lots of people give up at free-motion quilting because stippling is so hard. You know that classic meandering stitch that has curves like puzzle pieces. Keeping track of all those directions at once, while never ever crossing the lines can be so frustrating! If you've spent hours stippling away getting stuck in corners and trying your darndest NOT to cross over any lines, you'll find loops liberating. Because with loops crossing is OK. Good even! Loops are liberating.

Next, loops are a great way to maneuver round your available space. Loops help you to move in any direction. You can loop up or down, right or left. Loops make it easy to gracefully change directions and keep your line of stitching bold and flowing.
Finally, although loops look great just as loops, they're fun and easy to add a shape to. Here I've added daisies. In this early quilt, I wanted the daisies to imitate a daisy chain, the kind that little school girls make sitting in the grass during break time. I began without the loops but later when I added the loops I thought that the pattern looked more graceful. When I'm quilting daisies, I create the lines and loops and flower petals first. Then I go back and add the centers of the flowers.

Click the photo for a good close up of the stitching. As you can see, I'm going for an informal pen and ink kind of look here. I used a black MasterPiece thread to get this line drawing style. I went back and drew the center of the daisies with a yellow King Tut. The variegated shiny thread that is the 'lady bird' trail above is a Rainbows, Jester #801. I love how it shows up against the black.

Bluebells from our garden.

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