Sharon has challenged the participants in the Take It Further challenge this month to take a look at our stashes and think about the stories they would tell and the possibilities of stories yet to be told by them.
I’ve already posted some of my thinking and planning, but this story really begins with a triangle.
This triangle has been in my stash for a long time–since 1980. I bought this drafter’s triangle when I began taking drafting classes in Anchorage, Alaska. It’s been through drafting classes (pre-computer aided drafting), a short stint as a drafter for a custom home designer, and more importantly, the drafting of all of my quilts.
It started out in Anchorage, traveled to Seattle, Washington, to Ogden, Utah, then to Keflavik, Iceland. It’s traveled all over Virginia, and now to New Mexico. This weekend it’s traveling back to Virginia.
The stories this triangle could tell! You can see it’s a little bumped and bruised, but it’s been a great friend and tool for many years.
I pulled it out yesterday to draft the pattern framework for my “Making Tracks” blackwork piece. Yes, I still draft my patterns by hand. I haven’t yet learned how to do it on the computer.
As noted previously, I’m using a classic American patchwork block for the framework for the blackwork. It’s called Snail Trail, among other things.
While it looks like a complicated block, it’s actually quite simple and straightforward to draft.
Beginning with an eight inch square on 1/4″ grid graph paper, I divided the square into four equal quadrants, thus 4-patch.
Each quadrant is drafted as follows:
Red: Diagonally in half
Blue: Into quadrants–Lower right hand quadrant is drawn in.
Green: Lower right hand quadrant is divided diagonally in half.
Orange: Smaller square divided into quadrants and lower right hand quadrant is outlined.
It’s really a simple progression of dividing and reducing the size of the squares, then putting all four together. Voila! The pattern is drafted.
Then to the fabric. I’m using 32 thread to the inch linen with each stitch passing over two threads. I’m opting for a very light outline with one strand of black DMC cotton embroidery floss.
Blackwork requires planning your path to travel out, skipping every other stitch, and back, filling in the skipped stitches.
I started in the center and stitched a quadrant at a time like this:
Eight stitches out.
Then you can turn either direction, left or right. I went left.
Eight stitches to the corner.
Turn a diagonal and stitch eight more.
Turn a right angle — eight more stitches
Turn and head back.
When you meet the previous stitching do not keep going, but turn back and follow the path back around to the beginning, filling in skipped stitches.
That completes the center of the block.
Done correctly the back should look just like the front except for the slight thickness where the ends are woven in.
Tomorrow, the rest of the block outline.