It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Somewhere in the middle of last week’s very through description of thread painting patches, I mentioned that I had some more thoughts on how to create depth and dimension by manipulating zig zag direction. As it turns out, I’m working on a Christmas quilt that demonstrates some of those techniques. That means you all get a sneak peek!

santaquilttag

When I first tried this technique, I was hung on turning the fabric around and following the line down the center the of the zig zag stitch essentially creating a satin stitch. Don’t get me wrong, in some cases, like the SANTA letters, it is exactly what you need. I’ve drawn a line around the letter ‘t’. See how the thickness of the line created by the satin stitch is consistent and if I were perfect, would be the same width at any point on the line.

santataglettersIn the sample of the filigree, I’ve kept the fabric in the same direction the entire time I embroidered it. You’ll notice when the fabric moves left to right, the line gets very thin. When it moves up and down the line is the full width of the zig zag, like in the letter ‘t’ above. An amazing thing happens when you start moving the fabric is swoops and curves, but not turning it –

santaquilttagI’ve put a red (thick) and blue (thin) line to call out the width changes on one of the swirls. It is exciting because it takes very little effort – it is a natural consequence of the zig zag stitch being used in this way and there are limitless ways to take advantage of it. My favorite use it to change directions of the stitch to highlight or shade parts of my patches. You can see it in this sample from the Hungry Caterpillar gift bag:

HungryCaterpillarSo – have you tried it yet?

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Linking with Sew Cute Tuesday @ Blossom Heart Quilts WIP Wednesday @ Freshly Pieced Leah Day @ Free Motion Friday Amanda Jean @ Crazy Mom Quilts Link a Finish Friday @ Richard and Tanya Quilts

 

22 Comments

  1. Your Santa Tag looks great! I like your discovery about the line thickness changing. It’s a lovely effect – like calligraphy πŸ™‚

    Reply
    • Thanks Janine! I’ve got lots of ideas on how to use it! I wish I had an extra five or six hours a day. πŸ™‚

      Reply
  2. Cute Santa Tag! Looks like a fun project – thread painting?

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    • Thanks Pat! Big decisions coming on on the back and the rest of the quilting – I hope I make the right ones. πŸ™‚

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  3. That is just a winderful idea! I will have to try that out soon!!!
    Esther

    Reply
    • Thanks Esther! I love drawing with thread and the zig zag is such a fun way to do it! πŸ™‚

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  4. Love the Santa tag! I had no idea you could do embroidery like that with regular machine. You are killing me here! I am having to use iron will to work on my mile-high-long projects before working on something new πŸ™‚

    -Soma

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    • You know, I didn’t either. It’s just something I tried and it kind of of worked out. πŸ™‚ On this one, I did try doing the embroidery with the bating in place. I was hoping it would give it a bit of dimension, but it just warped the fabric. I probably wont do it exactly like this again, but I bet it will be pretty darn close! Thanks for coming by and when you get to 1/2 mile, let me know!

      Reply
  5. Your Santa tag looks amazing!! You’ve got steady hands, I think if I tried that it would just be a mess!

    Reply
    • As crazy as it sounds, it isn’t that bad! There’s a few places that I think are pretty messy, but overall that zig zag stitch does a nice job of hiding irregular stitch lengths and slightly worlby hands. πŸ™‚

      Reply
  6. You are just so creative! Love this!
    I really need to start being more adventurous in my crafty endeavors!

    Reply
    • oh my! You’re kidding right? You are a crafty rock star! πŸ™‚ I’m facing a big giant decision with this one and just don’t know which way to go. I think I’ll just leave it on the wall until I just “know” πŸ™‚

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  7. I haven’t tried it yet. BTW have you change your settings somehow? I’m usually able to reply to your comment but today you appear as no-reply.

    Reply
    • No, I didn’t change them – google did. They occasionally decide I’m a spammer and turn off my blogger account under my google+ account. Then have to go through the whole switch to blogger turn it back on dance. It’s so aggravating. It’s all fixed up now (I think). Thanks for letting me know – if people didn’t tell me, I wouldn’t have a clue!

      Reply
  8. That looks pretty cool! Haven’t tried it yet, but will eventually:) love the tag!!!

    Reply
    • It’s fun! Sometimes these no rules experiment projects are really inspiring. I had no idea if that tag was going to work or not and there’s still a bit of a question mark. I’m going with it though! πŸ™‚

      Reply
  9. What a cool technique! I’ve never seen it before, I love the filigree!

    Reply
    • heh – this particular project is a do-anything project. I’m experimenting a little in an effort to prepare for another bigger project. So far so good! I think it might work out. πŸ™‚

      Reply
  10. I haven’t tried it yet – to be honest it scares me a little! :-). But I love what you’ve done with your Santa tag!

    Reply
    • Thanks! πŸ™‚ It is scary because it seems like it would just never work. That first time you double up those threads, it’s crazy! You can think about it a while and if a project calls for it, you’ll know where to find it πŸ™‚

      Reply

What say you?