Why a defined space is best

By Diane Harris, HQ Stitch Brand Ambassador

In my recent post about building new habits, I talked about doodling to become a better machine quilter. And I promised to explain why it’s better to doodle in a defined space rather than on a blank piece of paper.

Doodling over a wide open space can be helpful in learning to draw a motif and that’s important. But look at this:

When you doodle inside a defined space, not only do you learn how to draw the motif, you learn how it behaves when you approach an edge. You experience how it can be adjusted. You figure out how to change directions, or more to the point in my case, how not to change directions!

Another advantage? Learning how the motif can lead you into a dead end and presumably, determining how to avoid the same.

I fell down a bit of a rabbit hole as I explored this idea. I’m currently quilting my scrappy Gypsy Wife quilt, and have finished most of the ditch quilting on the HQ Stitch 710.

For the free motion work, I’ll move to the HQ Capri stationary longarm, but before that happens I need to have an idea of how I’m going to quilt the variety of blocks.

I doodled in triangles for a while and then I had an idea to draw squares on the paper that were roughly the size of the blocks I’d be quilting.

Just above, the green indicates seam lines and the red is doodle quilting.

I did that for a while and then I switched gears.

I took pictures of the actual blocks with the idea of printing them.

And then, look what accidentally happened! When I printed the block above, it came out to be almost the size of the actual block. Which meant that my doodling would be even more useful because I could figure out how large the quilting could be!

If you haven’t been to the Handi Quilter blog recently, my friend and colleague Mary Beth Krapil wrote some helpful insights into how your doodle time can be even more productive. Read her blog post to learn more.

Doodle on,