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Thread: Paths to Better Stippling/Meandering

  1. #1
    Super Member azwendyg's Avatar
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    Paths to Better Stippling/Meandering

    Note to moderators: I think this qualifies as a tutorial so I'm posting this here, but if not, please move this post appropriately.

    I figured out a technique for stippling/meandering that is working better for me, and I thought others who are struggling with this may be interested.

    I've been FMQing for awhile now and feel pretty good at feathers and other designs, but stippling has baffled me from the start! Apparently I am so "Left-Brained" that I just couldn't meander... I would start out OK and then be "stuck" in no time, then I'd panic a bit, and it was over! So... I decided I was going to learn stippling no matter how much practice it took. For the past few weeks I've been following Leah Day's Wednesday quilting blog posts where she breaks down stippling into smaller components to get started.

    The second week a light bulb came on for me! Leah recommends stippling in "rows", but I thought that looked a little too row-like for my taste. So I was sitting with my doodle pad and an idea came to me. "What if I draw a VERY large, VERY simple stipple line first (like in Leah Day's very first stippling lesson), then follow that to stitch my stippling along instead of stitching in a row!"
    Step 1. First I mark a very large snake-like, u-shaped line on the surface of the quilt with a water soluble marker. (Refer to the blue line in the following drawing.)

    Step 2. Then I stitch my meandering back and forth across that line to fill the spaces as evenly as I can while doing an irregular meander. (The red line in the drawing.) This way I can ensure that I will be able to work my way around the whole quilt top without getting stuck in a dead end anywhere and I have a path to follow that doesn't look like I just followed a straight line.

    I got this idea from Leah Day when she was showing how she does stippling following rows across her quilt. That looked a little too "row-like" to me, so I decided to try following a snake-like line instead and I'm much happier with the results! This was the first quilt I did stippling on and I'm thinking that after I've had some more practice, I may not have to actually draw the first line to follow if I learn to visualize it better. For now, following a curvy line takes away the stress of having to figure out which way to go next.


    I'm pretty happy with how the stippling turned out on this one and will be continuing to work on it until it gets easier. http://www.quiltingboard.com/picture...r-t176738.html

    Hope you find this info helpful.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Wendy

  2. #2
    Senior Member Everose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by azwendyg View Post
    Note to moderators: I think this qualifies as a tutorial so I'm posting this here, but if not, please move this post appropriately.

    I figured out a technique for stippling/meandering that is working better for me, and I thought others who are struggling with this may be interested.

    I've been FMQing for awhile now and feel pretty good at feathers and other designs, but stippling has baffled me from the start! Apparently I am so "Left-Brained" that I just couldn't meander... I would start out OK and then be "stuck" in no time, then I'd panic a bit, and it was over! So... I decided I was going to learn stippling no matter how much practice it took. For the past few weeks I've been following Leah Day's Wednesday quilting blog posts where she breaks down stippling into smaller components to get started.

    The second week a light bulb came on for me! Leah recommends stippling in "rows", but I thought that looked a little too row-like for my taste. So I was sitting with my doodle pad and an idea came to me. "What if I draw a VERY large, VERY simple stipple line first (like in Leah Day's very first stippling lesson), then follow that to stitch my stippling along instead of stitching in a row!"
    Step 1. First I mark a very large snake-like, u-shaped line on the surface of the quilt with a water soluble marker. (Refer to the blue line in the following drawing.)

    Step 2. Then I stitch my meandering back and forth across that line to fill the spaces as evenly as I can while doing an irregular meander. (The red line in the drawing.) This way I can ensure that I will be able to work my way around the whole quilt top without getting stuck in a dead end anywhere and I have a path to follow that doesn't look like I just followed a straight line.

    I got this idea from Leah Day when she was showing how she does stippling following rows across her quilt. That looked a little too "row-like" to me, so I decided to try following a snake-like line instead and I'm much happier with the results! This was the first quilt I did stippling on and I'm thinking that after I've had some more practice, I may not have to actually draw the first line to follow if I learn to visualize it better. For now, following a curvy line takes away the stress of having to figure out which way to go next.


    I'm pretty happy with how the stippling turned out on this one and will be continuing to work on it until it gets easier. http://www.quiltingboard.com/picture...r-t176738.html

    Hope you find this info helpful.
    Thank you!!! I have been having alot of trouble with this and it now makes more sense.

  3. #3
    Senior Member dixie_fried's Avatar
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    I like the way you do it! Leah's videos are fabulous, but, this makes it seem more doable in my mind.
    Thanks for your insight.
    "And I guess I might have made a few mistakes.
    But maybe that's exactly what it takes.
    To get a little happy in this big sad world..."
    ​One Line Wonder, The Avett Brothers

  4. #4
    Super Member Pinkiris's Avatar
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    Brilliant! This will make fmq easier for a lot of us to get straight in our minds. I also would find myself "stuck" in an area and wouldn't allow myself to cross over an already stitched line--the quilt police might notice!
    Thanks for sharing your insight with us.
    Sue

  5. #5
    Super Member QuiltingKrazy's Avatar
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    Awesome! Meandering and Me just never worked out correctly but I think this will help a great deal!
    Lisa B in NC
    Quilting is my Happy Thought!
    http://www.quiltingkrazy.blogspot.com

  6. #6
    Senior Member RUSewing's Avatar
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    I like your method. I also like to use stippling and had to come up with a simple idea/method to make mine. I think of loopy 3 arm cactus (Saguero). Just piece them together like a jigsaw puzzle - it works.
    ~~ Butterflies can't see their wings.
    They can't see how truly beautiful they are,
    but everyone else can. People are kinda like that. ~~

  7. #7
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    Thanks for posting this. I too can't get the knack of stippling but will definetly try this. I looks like it will be a lot easier to cross the marked lines this way. I can't wait to try it.

    sassy granny

  8. #8
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    what a wonderful tip and tut. i'll have to give it a try.
    Nancy in western NY
    before you speak THINK
    T is it True? H is it Helpful? I is it Inspiring? N is it Necessary? K is it Kind?


  9. #9
    Senior Member It'sJustMe's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing your insight. Makes total sense of it all for me.

  10. #10
    Junior Member SherryCat's Avatar
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    Thank you sooo much. This should make things easier!

  11. #11
    Super Member deedum's Avatar
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    Stippling and meandering is no problem for me, I just sit down and away we go! However, the feather thing scares me to pieces, I really got to start working that.

  12. #12
    Junior Member chatonne40's Avatar
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    This is great Thanks for sharing I will try this for sure :-) YEAH! It looks so much easier that way.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Sewflower's Avatar
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    Thank-you! Thank-you! Thank-you

  14. #14
    Senior Member It'sJustMe's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing your insight. Makes total sense of it all for me.

  15. #15
    Super Member Cuddly Quilter's Avatar
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    WOW weeeeeeeeeeee this is FANTASTIC. It is going to save me printing onto the dissolvable paper and then joining them to make the width of my placemats and then stitching over those marks and then washing off the paper which is very "goooie" in the end..... LOL Cannot wait to try this technique. Thanks for having this wonderful added on idea and sharing

  16. #16
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    ya know, meandering is all i want to do on quilts,,i love the looks of it and just can't get it...but i'm sure i can do it with your method...i have company comin today but tomorrow,i',m up early and tryin this out----i'm sure i can do it and do it right, now...thank you , thank you, thank you,..your friend forever, molly

  17. #17
    Super Member katesnanna's Avatar
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    Wendy, you are my quilting Idol!! Thank you for your generosity in sharing this technique. I would bow down and kiss your feet if I wasn't on the other side of the world. I bet you will get lots of members thanking you.

  18. #18
    Super Member JenniePenny's Avatar
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    I am so impressed with your can- do attitude and your determination to learn. Last night, I made a quilt sandwich out of two cheapie FQ's and decided that I need to practice Free motion quilting in general. So thank you.
    "He who masters the grey everyday is a hero."
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  19. #19
    Super Member OKLAHOMA PEACH's Avatar
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    great tute, thank you

  20. #20
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    I missed that post by Leah! Thanks for your tutorial, clear and easy to understand.

  21. #21
    Super Member SewExtremeSeams's Avatar
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    Thanks Wendy! Way to go....

  22. #22
    Super Member jeanharville's Avatar
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    thanks for sharing your vision. This looks like something I can do.
    jean

  23. #23
    Super Member jeaninmaine's Avatar
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    Thanks bunches, this really helps to make this an easier task. I've been dying to FMQ but the thought of trying not to get stuck in the first corner I came to had me scared.

  24. #24
    Senior Member omaluvs2quilt's Avatar
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    Thank you SO much, I think I can do this...I've always had the same problem and it always makes me nervous to freehand it. Give me any pattern and no problem, go figure.

  25. #25
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    GENIUS! Love this method and will try it!
    Linda

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