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:
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!