Tuesday Tutorial–The Small Open Leaf

Free Motion Quilting, Tutorial, Doodle Quilt

Today, we are going to wish away the snow by stitching our own garden.  We will be building on the Open Leaf tutorial we began a couple of weeks ago.  Today’s variation –The Small Open Leaf, is one of my favorite stitches.  It makes a beautiful border, and it can be readily adapted as a fill stitch.  (We will review fill stitches in an upcoming post.)

Free Motion Quilting, Tutorial, Doodle Quilt

Begin with three drawn lines (rails).  I like the rails about 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch apart for The Small Open Leaf.

Begin stitching on the middle rail.  Stitch a few stitches on the rail, then curve up to right rail and continue with a few stitches along the right rail.  This is a good place to stop with your needle down if necessary.

Free Motion Quilting, Tutorial, Doodle Quilt

Next, stitch a slightly curved line back down and toward the center rail…

Free Motion Quilting, Tutorial, Doodle Quilt

From here, stitch  the vein into the center of the leaf and then straight back down on that line to the center rail.

Free Motion Quilting, Tutorial, Doodle Quilt

From the center rail- sweep up and toward the left rail…stitching a few stitches along the left rail.  Stop here.

As you can see, I don't always add the center vein on the leaves.  I think it looks more interesting when there is a variation--your brain can't "read" the pattern as quickly, and consequently, it requires a little more viewing time. I don't have any scientific information here-- just something I have noticed.  Also, it is infinitely more interesting when you are quilting for hours at a time to change it up a bit!

Now curve down to the middle rail again and stitch the center vein.  You are ready to repeat the pattern!

Free Motion Quilting, Tutorial, Doodle Quilt

As you can see, I don’t always add the center vein on the leaves.  I think it looks more interesting when there is a variation–your brain can’t “read” the pattern as quickly, and consequently, it requires a little more viewing time. I don’t have any scientific information here– just something I have noticed.

Tip: As you begin each new leaf, try to stitch parallel to the leaf below it–in other words, try to leave an even space between two stacked leaves.  This creates a nice symmetry.

Free Motion Quilting, Tutorial, Doodle Quilt

Of course, the Small Open Leaf can be stitched very large, but it is a simple pattern and unlike other, more complicated motifs, it can be stitched quite small–hence the name:  The Small Open Leaf.

You might also like:  The Greek Key Tutorial   and    The Easiest Flower Ever Tutorial

Next Tuesday, we will be stitching another gorgeous variation of The Open Leaf…so keep stitching, keep doodling, and keep Pinning (on Pinterest), but most importantly…Think WARM thoughts and send them our way!

In Search of Color

Como Park Conservatory, Reflections, color, flower, flower photography

Although we know Spring is just around the corner, we continue to be blanketed (and pelted) with snow, snow, and more snow!  I long for COLOR!  If color won’t come to Stillwater…we will go to COLOR.  The Como Park Conservatory in St. Paul has a gorgeous Sunken Garden that provides seasonal displays…

Como Park Conservatory, Reflections, color, flower, flower photography

Como Park Conservatory, Reflections, color, flower, flower photography, star gazer lily

Como Park Conservatory, Reflections, color, flower, flower photography

Como Park Conservatory, Reflections, color, flower, flower photography

As long as the sky is blue…the reflections are gorgeous!

Como Park Conservatory, Reflections, color, flower, flower photography

The prediction:  6 more inches of snow today!