A Zentangle Block - Dolphins

Posted by on 18 April 2019 | 0 Comments
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Being Autism Awareness month, I decided to play around with the animal blocks we've created especially to represent Autism Awareness. In particular our new block for 2019, The Dolphins.


"The Dolphins" block

Creating the applique block was fun to do but I'm wondering how it might look using the Zentangle technique. Because this is not something I've done a lot of in the past, I decided it was wise to ask for some direction from the expert Lee Vause who is a certified teacher in Zentangle. (By the way, Lee teachers two classes online - more details below). Lee got back to me with an idea of how to stitch this out.

Dolphin zentangle

Lee's Zentangle design

It looks pretty awesome don't you think? I'm going to attempt it - I sure hope I can do it justice!

Before starting however, it's always important to warm up one's free motion skills. I grabbed fabric and batting to practice a few of the designs Lee drew. First, as always, a curvy stipple.

zentangle warmup

free motion warm up

Then some of the lines that go back on each other which are on the dolphin's bodies.

stitching tangles

two designs in stitching practice

As I was stitching the first of these, I realized I still had white in the bobbin so I either needed to change the tension a little or change to black thread. You can see the two on the right are much better color as a result.

Next, I stitched the lines with circles - I've done this design before as a quilting design. It is easy enough but one thing to remember is to always stitch in the direction you naturally draw a circle. For right-handed people, that's usually anticlockwise. Can you see which one I went in the wrong direction?

zentangle lines with circles

lines and circles

My next practice was for the bubble and you can see I need to adjust those spikes a bit yet. I'll also use a fabric pen to fill in the darkened areas.

zentangle bubble

Zentangle bubble

McTavish is the name of the design Lee used in the fins and tail which is what I practiced next. Because this is a little more detailed I decided to stitch it in a block first....

zentangle mctavish


then I went mini and created it in a fin shape.

zentangle mctavish supersmall

McTavish very small in the shape of a fin

This design is one Lee teaches in A Zentangle Journey Part Two. Here is a snippet I pulled from one of the videos in the workshop of her stitching it out. In the workshop, she also shows you how to draw it which is a big plus to getting it right for stitching.

A snippet of Lee's workshop video

If you'd like to know more about Lee's workshops, see the links below with other references included in this blog post and be sure to look for my follow up of how I got on next week.

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