Cross Stitch, Crazy Quilting and Embroidery

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

TAST - The Straight Stitch & More!

I'm often asked, where I find my inspiration? Inspiration is everywhere! It's all around us. We only need to see it.

Last week, Sharon posted a photo of a Jewel Toned CQ block on her In A Minute Ago blog that she was working on. A special "thank you" goes out to Sharon who has graciously given me permission to post her photo here:

crazy quilt block

For some reason, I was so taken with the beautiful geometric trim on the bottom left of the design. I don't know if it was the colors, the pattern or the overall look of Sharon's block but I knew, I had to "do" something with it!

Sharon was kind enough to take the time to email a larger image of the trim to me which I then printed up and stared at for a few days.

Yesterday, I decided to start with a simple counted cross stitch design. I charted a basic version of the geometric pattern in the trim.

Now yesterday morning, Sharon announced the "Straight Stitch" as the focus for this week's Take A Stitch Tuesday Challenge. With this floating around in my mind, it occurred to me to take the cross stitch pattern and gradually move it into a "Straight Stitch" pattern.

The "Straight Stitch" is of course a very versatile stitch and for me, one that doesn't require a knot is always welcome!

The following image is "the creative process" in action:

Bands 1

So how does one take a design worked entirely in "cross stitch" and turn it into a design worked entirely in "straight stitches"? The answer is one step at a time.

Obviously, the final design looks quite different from the original design based on Sharon's trim. My goal in the beginning was to recreate the trim design. Since one thought always leads to the next thought, that in turn inspired me to create a "straight stitch" design based on the original but not necessarily as an exact "straight stitch" interpretation of the original design. Call it, "killing two birds with one stone" if you will. I wanted to do something for the TAST Challenge!

Through the process of changing a few cross stitches at a time to a few straight stitches, I created 9 variations of the pattern until I reached my final goal of creating a "straight stitch" design based on the original.

Again everyone, this is the creative process. It works this way for everyone, not just for me. It only depends on our awareness of it. We only have to open our eyes to see the inspiration and the beauty that's all around us and then take that inspiration and do something with it. Some of us choose not to do anything with it. For some of us, it takes an artistic path.

I've divided the charted patterns into two parts. Each part should print up nicely on one sheet of paper each:

Bands 2

Bands 3

Click on any of the images to go to my Flickr site where you can download the larger versions of the patterns.

So where does the inspiration go from here? It moves in your hands. If you're a cross stitcher, you might want to stitch one or all of these into bookmarks. You can use whatever colors you like. You could also work the entire design as a band sampler.

If you're a crazy quilter, try stitching up one of these designs and working it into the foundation of a new block. Embellish it and see where it goes.

Try working one design vertically several times with different threads for a different sampler variation.

Do you see where I'm going with this? The creative process (inspiration) is constant. It moves from one thought to another thought and from one person to another person. There's nothing special about where I find my inspiration. It's everywhere and we all have the ability to see it and use it. And in this case, it didn't even start with Sharon's block. It may have started with whomever designed and manufactured the trim that Sharon used on her block. Perhaps the person who designed the trim was inspired by something they saw somewhere else. It then moved to Sharon through her block and then to me and now it's moving from me to you, my readers! What will you do with it? And where will it go when it moves from your thought to the next person's thought?

It's know this all a little deep. But it's something to think about!

Until tomorrow, enjoy your TAST patterns!


Kim said...

WOW!!!These are really pretty! They can easily be adapted into a Southwest border or bookmark, or almost anything just by changing the colors.

Thank you for charting these, and making them accessible to us!


sharonb said...

Pam This is a really interesting design exercise - I purchased this trim in London in 1995 in a costumimg shop and this is the last of it - otherwise I would send some to you!
I had a couple of meters of the stuff and you know how it gets after a while your eye grows tired of it so I am delighted it was so inspiring for you - it is nice trim

patternnuts said...

Ka-ching! Struck pattern gold today. Thank you Pam! :)

Geri said...

Thank you ... for everything ... I am not being facetious ... What you have to say has a lot of wisdom ... and I can use that right now ... your ability to take your talents and share them allow for others to find that 'spark' within themselves ... thank you!

Lynne said...

Fascinating watching your mind work! Thanks for the touch of insight into how the creative process works.

Susan said...

I read backward, from the top down on these messages. You have made your case for the difference between creative and artistic. Those of us who have no artistic ability are happy creating. =) I love seeing what you do, and I love how your mind works.

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