Combine Free-Motion Quilting and Art Supplies for Zentangle on Fabric – Quilting Daily

I love it when two popular art techniques come together. In this case: free-motion quilting motifs and Zentangle®.

Zentangle free-motion quilting motifs with machine stitching
and shading with paint and pencil, by Nysha Oren Nelson.

If you’re not familiar with Zentangle, it’s a form of line drawing with repeated designs, also known as Zen doodling.

Typically, the tangles (or doodles) are made with a fine-point permanent black marker. Some artists just make patterns in a square, some fit the patterns into a drawing of an object. Some leave the tangles black-and-white, some color them in.

It didn’t take long for machine quilting fans to see that they could Zentangle with needle and thread. One of those quilters was Nysha Oren Nelson. In 2013 he took a course and became a certified Zentangle teacher. Nysha immediately saw that he could create tangle designs on quilt sandwiches, and made a series of sandwich “pages” of doodled quilting motifs which he then turned into a fabric book.

Here is how Nysha created his first tangled quilt pages:

1. Find a tangle and sketch it to see if it can be made in a continuous-line pattern.

2. Free-motion quilt the page with YLI Silk 100 thread. Keep quilting until the page is full.

3. Use  a gray Prismacolor® colored pencil , FabricoTM markers in gray and black, a black Indenti®-pen, and black fabric paint to add shading in areas of the pattern to create depth and shadow.

4. Use a ladder stitch to join the pages to make the book.

Nysha’s article on Zentangle free-motion stitching appeared in Quilting Arts Magazine (April/May 2015), but that’s not the only  creative painting and machine quilting technique he has to share.

You can see more of his ideas in the new “Quilting Arts TV” Series 1600, as well as tutorials from Catherine Redford, Jane LaFazio, Pat Pauly, Desiree Habicht, and many more revered quilt artists.

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