Lesson Three: Why Every Quilter Should Doodle
Welcome to the Better Machine Quilt-a-long based on my book 25 Days to Better Machine Quilting.(Find all of the previous Lessons HERE. Sign up for emails of the class HERE.)
Today’s Topic: Why Every Quilter Should Doodle
Good Morning, Quilters!
This is from Dictionary.com:
Hmm…in my humble opinion, Dictionary.com has it all wrong. Doodling is neither a waste of time nor an idle activity!
Every quilter should doodle!
This week we begin:
Lesson Three: Start a Doodle Habit
Throughout the week, we will discuss why doodling is important for quilters and explore a variety of doodling options. We will end the week with a small gallery of whole cloth patriotic quilts to celebrate one of my favorite holidays, Independence Day!
Monday-Why Every Quilter Should Doodle
Tuesday-Six Essential Doodles
Wednesday-Make a Transparent Quilt Overlay to Test Your Designs
Thursday-Paper, Electronic and Other Doodle Options
Friday-Quilt Gallery of Patriotic Quilts
Why Every Quilter Should Doodle
For the quilter, doodling serves a variety of functions, including:
The best way to learn a new motif
Develops muscle memory for smoother quilting
Allows you to evaluate quilt design
Doodling is the Best Way to Learn a Motif
To learn a new motif, start by reviewing each of the steps. When learning a motif from a book, trace each step of the motif with your finger. Then practice the steps with paper and pen. Practice each step several times before adding a new step. This allows you to develop the muscle memory for each part of the pattern. Continue until you can doodle the full motif. Later, practice doodling a chain of the motifs, just like you would stitch on a quilt.
At first, you will need to concentrate on each step. Keep doodling! It is not unusual for me to doodle a motif hundreds of times before I ever sit down to stitch.
Doodling Develops Muscle Memory for Smoother Quilting
When you are quilting, if you hesitate for a split-second, your quilting line will be interrupted. The quilted line will show long and short stitches or a wavy, uneven line. It is important to have the steps for the motif clearly ingrained in your memory before you begin stitching. When you have the motif memorized, you can concentrate on stitching and moving the quilt. You no longer need to think about the motif–just the stitching!
Doodling to Evaluate Quilt Design
Once you’ve learned a few motifs through doodling, it is necessary to see how they will fit into your quilt. Start by drawing quilt blocks and shapes in your sketchbook. For example if your quilt includes a nine-patch, draw it in your sketchbook. Try a variety of ways to use the motif within the nine-patch. Doodle a variety of options–the first is often not the best! Also doodle ways to travel from one part of the block to another. (More on traveling in an upcoming lesson.) Check the scale of the design. Most motifs can be stitched from small to very large. Practice doodling a variety of sizes to see which suits your quilt best.
Doodling Sparks Creativity
Doodling ignites the right side of your brain and helps create new associations. While you are doodling, new patterns emerge. Notice when you doodle a motif and think to yourself “that looks more like….” Change directions and try to make a new pattern. (This is how many of my motifs are born!)
I am absolutely thrilled with YOUR doodles and quilting as seen in the private Facebook group, Quilting with LKQ.
YOU inspire me! Even if I don’t comment–please know that I’m am reading and observing everything and will try to adjust the blog posts to accommodate.
I have been reluctant to get involved in the conversations on thread, needles and other topics we haven’t covered in our QAL so far. We will be spending a lot of time on these topics here and I don’t feel I can do justice to some of your questions with a short answer. So please be patient…we will cover EVERYTHING about FMQ!
I spent a lot of time ordering the chapters in 25 Days to Better Machine Quilting. I arranged, re-arranged, and re-arranged again. Thread before doodles? but what will we stitch? Doodles before thread? but what thread will we use? (I used a computer program to move around every chapter.) Finally, I realized there is no perfect answer-except patience! LOL!
What About YOU?
Have YOU started a doodle habit?
Are YOU having fun doodling?
Have YOU noticed an improvement in your quilting from doodling?
We’d LOVE to hear!
Your Duchess of Doodles,
PS…All tutorials, images and information are the property of LoriKennedyQuilts and are intended for personal use only. Feel free to re-blog, pin or share with attribution to LKQ. For all other purposes, please contact me at Lori@LoriKennedyQuilts.com. Thanks!You might also enjoy my motif books: Free Motion Machine Quilting 1-2-3 and More Free Motion Machine Quilting 1-2-3
24 responses to “Lesson Three: Why Every Quilter Should Doodle”
I have trouble remembering to doodle every day, but when I do remember it really improves my quilting.
Here’s a strange one: I write with my left hand (stubborn little child that I was) but everything else for me is done with my right…should I practice doodling with my left or right? I played racketball & tennis equally badly with either hand LOL.
I say try doodling with both. Then use whichever feels more natural to you and seems to flow easier. Let us know which works. Good luck.
You’re an ambidextrous doodler! How exciting! Have you ever tried both at the same time?
Tried it & brain said…what are you thinking? Imagine I will stay
with left hand. In the little bit of FMQ I attempted with my walking
foot, left & right hand seemed to work in harmony, Picking up my
#24 foot tomorrow…yea!
I think we are just so excited about this group and your new book that we cannot help ourselves! We are wanting to try it all! I’m so impressed with the way everyone encourages others! Quilters really are the BEST!
Indeed! Quilters are the best!
I have a pad and pencil by both my recliner and bed so that I can doodle. I try to doodle everyday, but sometimes you have to do some housekeeping.
Housekeeping?! What’s that! (Said as I’m deep into FMQ on my latest quilt)
My problem is what to doodle!
I bought an iPad pro with the Apple pencil. I can go into my notes app and doodle to my heart’s content! It really does help.
I am getting better at doodling each day, but my brain also wants me to quilt each day!
I think I’m stuck right now tho. My doodling is okay, but the machine quilting not so much. I figure I should probably doodle much more than I do, so will try your suggestion of looking for new patterns within those doodles. Wish me luck😂
As a child in Catholic school, we did not get to doodle. I therefore never really have doodled until now. It has been a bit of a struggle for me, but I love the challenge. I love writing in cursive so that helps and now I am playing with that on fabric. Quite fun. I will carry on and also keep a pad nearby in the kitchen, sewing room and while watching TV.
Lori thank you so much for these lessons per week. It allows for a lot of time in practicing and reading and re-reading and enjoy the progress of all on facebook.
yes me too…doodling was considered wasteful.
Use the back of the paper! Of course!
I know that I am only a sometime reader, but I ALWAYS enjoy reading what you have to say and how you express yourself! Take care, Lori
I must confess I haven’t gotten into the habit of doodling every day but today’s lesson has truly inspired me to do it. I now see and understand how essential it is to good quilting. A problem I have is that I can’t seem to think outside the box; I doodle the patterns you provide but I don’t start doodling other things to expand my mind. Hopefully as I doodle each day, my doodling mind will Break free! Haha
While waiting during my husband’s heart cath last Friday, I had my doodle pad with me.
A few days later I was horrified to see what I had drawn,..,obvious that my severe toothache was affecting my fingers. !! A flower that doesn;t exist on a stem and spiked leaves that are twisted and soiraling, The brain subconscious won out!
Try to doodle everyday. Practice does work out the inconsistencies.
This is tough to do….I was always taught that doodling was wasteful both in time and paper. Tough to change. but I am trying. really enjoying your book Lori and trying to practice at my machine quilting everyday.
I’m inspired! I have an empty notebook that now has a designated purpose! Thanks!
I can’t seem to see all the QAL’s. It appears I only have access from the moment I signed up otherwise when I click on the “all previous lessons here” or at the lesson I end up at the Etsy shop. I’m trying to access Week 2 the last lesson.
Try clearing your cache. That should help.