Thursday, July 01, 2010

Thread-u-cation Thursdays: Stitchy Decisions
I've been doing an lot of hand stitching lately and am amazed at how hard it is to choose the right stitch for the right area of the quilt. Decisions, decisions, decisions!
So I've given myself a few guidelines.  Dear self, try this:
1. Start with the focal point of the design and stitch it first. That way you get all the important stitching done and don't over-stitch an unimportant part of the quilt (and then have to balance the composition out by over-stitching the focal point!)

2. Add accent marks with the thread that help define the shape. Like adding a French Knot to act as a doorknob so you recognize it as ....... a door.

3. Outline fabric shapes to help the shape and color pop away from the background fabric. You can do this with an Outline Stitch.

4. Build pattern on the surface to create a repetition of motif and help reinforce the theme of the piece like the stitching on these fields. There is the Pistil Stitch, Running Stitch, and Cross Stitch.

5. Add stitches in large open spaces to create movement and texture. The Running Stitch in the background of this quilt swims along with the pattern of the machine stitching and adds an overall texture to the piece.

6. And remember, self, enjoy the process. You can always rip out the stitches if you don't like them.


Library Gal Quilts said...

Hi Laura! I like this! I often don't exactly know what to do with this kind of stitching...this gives me a plan! p.s. When are you going to teach in Northern California again? Have a wonderful 4th of July! Pam in Chico

Nancy said...

Laura, as a sister hand embroiderer, love the lessons. This one is really excellent.

WoolenSails said...

I see you talk to yourself too, lol.
I like how you think it out, helps to visualize ideas for making art pieces and hand quilting.


Jackie said...

Oh, that is by far my fav tutorial so far... as that is what has stopped me from trying... now i am going to get at it.

Lisa said...

These are great step by step how to directions. Thanks!

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Diane J. Evans said...

A great tutorial, Laura. Love your machine quilting, as well. What type of thread did you use to machine quilt these pieces?