A Design Tip-Contrast

Design Contrast

Today is another sunny day here in Minnesota-a stark contrast to the snow and rain we’ve endured so far this spring.  It is so unusual to see the sun that all Minnesotans have paused their busy lives and taken notice…

That is what Contrast does.  It makes one stop and notice.  It creates Focus.  Contrast is a powerful tool that gives a design Energy, Focus and Visual Interest. There are several ways to create contrast using color, size, shape or texture.   These are all terms used in art and graphic design, but can easily be applied to quilting as well.

For this quilt, I wanted the flowers to be the focus of the quilt…

Design Contrast

I used shape contrast -pairing the curly, circular flowers with a straight line quilting pattern…

Immediately, the flowers “popped” right off the quilt.

In addition, I employed color and value contrast – the white thread against the darker blue fabric created more visual interest and drama.

Design Contrast

So here it is in a nutshell:  Whenever you want your quilting to be the focal point of your quilt or block-use Contrast to help make it “POP’.

If the quilting is not the focal point–perhaps your fabulous applique is the star of the quilt–don’t use Contrast

Design Contrast

Next week we will be stitching a few Straight Line quilting patterns to pair with all those curly patterns we’ve learned already.

Also, we have another great giveaway sponsored by The Stencil Company

All of the Tuesday Tutorials can be found in the “Quilt/Tutorial” Tab above, and check out the “Bookshelf” tabs…they’ve been updated.  I will be adding more every week, and I  would love know your favorite books on quilting, photography, creativity, art, fiction…..

As always, thanks for pinning, re-blogging, and sharing…all content, tutorials, photos, etc. are for personal use.  Please attribute to The Inbox Jaunt.

Tuesday Tutorial–Fly Like the Wind

The Wave, Free Motion Quilting Tutorial, Long Arm Quilting Motif

Welcome to The Inbox Jaunt’s Tuesday Tutorials!  Today we are stitching a very versatile motif, The Wind.  I used The Wind in The Umbrella Quilts here.  (The umbrella tutorials are available in the Quilt Tab above.)  The Wind motif also makes a great filler stitch.  Once you master this technique you will find many ways to use it and to modify it…

To stitch The Wind in a border, draw two lines to serve as guidelines or “rails”. Any width will work.  In the sample below, the rails are 1 inch apart.

Begin stitching near the top rail and curve down slightly–stitch to just below the middle of your space and then spiral up and stop…

The Wave, Free Motion Quilting Tutorial, Long Arm Quilting Motif

Stitch to the OUTSIDE of your spiral and echo quilt back to your starting point.  I call this end “the tail”.

The Wave, Free Motion Quilting Tutorial, Long Arm Quilting Motif

The Wave, Free Motion Quilting Tutorial, Long Arm Quilting Motif

Now echo quilt — stitching toward your spiral.  Complete your stitching just above your first spiral.  Off-setting the stitches will prevent a build up of stitches in one point.

The Wave, Free Motion Quilting Tutorial, Long Arm Quilting Motif

Now stitch nearly straight up to the top rail and begin your next wave stitch.

The Wave, Free Motion Quilting Tutorial, Long Arm Quilting Motif

When you stitch the “tail” of the second Wind motif, “attach” it  to the curved area of the previous motif.  Again, this prevents a build up of stitches and avoids the “thready” look.

The Wave, Free Motion Quilting Tutorial, Long Arm Quilting Motif

Complete the second wave and then roll on down the line…

The Wave, Free Motion Quilting Tutorial, Long Arm Quilting Motif

Once you get the hang of it,  be more creative…add a double or a triple if it’s a very windy day across the plains…

This is a great border pattern–creating a scallop look,  and it is also a fabulous fill pattern.  (See The Umbrella Quilts linked above)

The Wave, Free Motion Quilting Tutorial, Long Arm Quilting Motif

Later in the summer, we will work on several nautical-themed motifs and we will meet The Wind’s cousin, The Wave.

Tune in tomorrow– we will discuss the importance of contrast in design.

The Simple Joys

Tulips, Roses, Ranunculus

After complaining for days (okay weeks) about the record-setting snow here in Minnesota…I decided a little color in the house might go a long way.

Tulips, Roses, Ranunculus

I found these tulips, roses and ranunculus at Trader Joe’s.

Tulips, Roses, Ranunculus

It’s amazing how the simple joys in life can make all the difference!  A vase of flowers on the counter…a taste of Spring!

The snow is gone today and the forecast is 70 F and partly sunny…No quilting for me today!