July 30, 2014

Do the Woodgrain!


In an unprecedented act of blogging fanciness I decided to make a video documenting how I create the woodgrain texture (so thoroughly photographed in my last post) with free-motion quilting. Warning: It is not an awesome shot of the actual stitching. I made it with an iPad sitting on a stack of books. But some of you might like it. Also it gave me the chance to try using the iMovie software for the first time, which was fun. My 5 year old daughter watched it and said "Good job mama. You worked hard on that". What a little sweetie! Anyway, here you go...


And if you prefer text to videos, here is the low down:

I make my woodgrain texture with bumpy wavy lines, points, spirals and forks.


These should all be made with imperfect wiggles in your lines. That makes it great if you're still working on control with your FMQ. Try it, beginners!

I am having a harder time explaining this than my usual FMQ designs because there is no real formula. Basically I work one line right next to the last line I made, letting each line respond to the one before it. Where the first line has a bump I usually put a corresponding bump in the next line. Sometimes I exaggerate the previous bumps or curves or add new ones. In some places I draw closer to the previous line and in other places I drift away from it. I often leave open spaces and then go back and fill them in and I do not ever stress about it. It is so organic that it's really hard to make a mistake.

Changing the proportion of lines/points/forks/spirals to one another is how you get different textures. Sometimes you might use all bumpy lines, other times you might use tons of points. You'll vary the amount of spirals to make "knots" in the wood. You get to play around with it to create a texture you like and a stitching experience that holds your interest. Here's some examples of how flexible this woodgrain is:

 Just lines

 Vertical lines and narrow spirals

 Just points and forks

 All the elements, a few spirals

all the elements, a lot of spirals

I find this to be a really fun and relaxing design to stitch. I love the final texture and the realistic effect it gives. And of course I'd love to hear how it works for you.

Happy stitching everyone!


18 comments:

Shannon said...

Thanks for the drawings, they really help!

Gail Lizette said...

I love the woodgrain pattern - great video!!

Zenia Rene said...

Yes, thanks for sharing. I'm going to try this soon!

mac said...

Thanks for the inspiration. Returning to FMQ after a long break and it is scary.

Joyful Quilter said...

Great tutorial! I've been wanting to try a wood grain. Thanks for sharing.

DianeY said...

Thanks! Enjoyed it! I have been meaning to try this & I hink you just inspired me!

Gene Black said...

The video is great. I love the way you explained how you are responding to the design and moving ahead (and back to fill in spots.) That makes it really help me to "get it" in my head. I have some sashing that needs done between blocks so a variation on wood grain may be the easy way to do it.

Lara B. said...

Great video tutorial Christina! You made it look easy and fun! Love your daughter's response!

MadHappyCrafter said...

As always, your instructions are clear and make me feel that even I can do it! You're so generous with your creative discoveries - thanks!

A Quilter's Mission said...

I really like this style of FMQ. Your finished quilt looks wonderful.

Willit Neverend said...

Great video and drawings. Very easy to follow.

Kathy said...

Great job on the video. I've not tried FMQ yet but I do have your book, and this demonstration is quite helpful to actually see it being done. And your daughter's comment is just precious and came straight from the heart I'm sure :)

Regina said...

I tried something like this once - and you are right, it is very forgiving and relaxing. I put forks in - but not the spirals... that really adds so much more! Nicely done!

PT in SC said...

I can't wait to give this a try. Thanks for such great instructions!

Celia Ambrose said...

Really great video of your FMQ. Very impressive outcome, really good quality graphics as you were quilting. You make it look easy. Thanks for posting this.

Zenia @ A Quilted Passion said...

So....I've been Doing the Woodgrain! I like this SO much better than meandering. Thanks for sharing your technique. I'll show pics when I get a little better. I am curious, do you lower your feed dogs when you do it?

Rebecca Kelley said...

Thank you! I needed an idea for my TARDIS quilt door panels...this will do nicely!

donna said...

Thanks for the video. I love this quilting design. I love the messenger bag, can you share what pattern you used? Thanks

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