My Zentangle Dolphins

Posted by on 23 April 2019 | 1 Comments
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I've had a wonderful time this past weekend stitching out my Zentangle Dolphins. If you missed my last post, do check back to see what it's all about: Zentangle Dolphins

Now that I've had some practice, it is time to tackle my block - I learned a lot along the way so it just goes to show you, that practice pays off. I started out by I drawing the dolphin design outlines onto a white on white fabric using my lightbox.

zentangle lightbox transfer

Transferring the design using my
light-box makes it easy to see

I chose this particular fabric for 2 reasons. 1: I had enough of it so that if I decided to make more animal blocks I can use the same fabric and 2: The fabric design reminds me of tangles.

Looking at the overall design, it seemed a little daunting to say the least and when this happens I like to focus on one area at a time. Breaking it down into manageable size pieces for any project makes it so much easier. First up is to stitch in the outline of the dolphins.

stitching outline

I decided to start out with the straight line design in the center of the back. I believe this is a variation of the "Shattuck" pattern. Yes, all the designs in Zentangle have names and many of them have variations too. I don't know them all but I'm learning. This was an easy one to start with although not every line is straight and even, does it matter? I think it is more obvious because it is so small but once the other tangles are around it, I'm sure it won't be as noticeable.

1zentangle shattuck

Next, I created the eyes. I'll use a fabric pen to fill in the dark areas later as Lee did on hers and there are dots which I'll also create with the fabric pen.

2zentangle eye

Around the eyes was very detailed. My arches - especially the tiny ones were hard to get even. I reduced the amount to three bumps rather than four on the original drawing.... and because there wasn't much room left about, I filled in with some extra arches over the top rather than try to fit in the "Rescue" pattern that Lee had drawn on the top dolphin.

3zentangle eye

The triangle design was fun and easy as well as very quick. This was only on one dolphin. I wasn't sure if I should have done this next but did anyway. It's a design that could be easily adjusted to fill in any open area. 

4zentangle triangles

A curved cross-hatching filled an area on the back of the top dolphin - I'm not sure if this has a specific name but it looks like curved cross-hatch to me so that's what I'm referring to. 

5zentangle crosshatch

"Rescue" is the name of the next design and it gets its name from Rescue grass - I didn't actually know there was such a grass. They are very cool to create. I did practice first and as you can see, my first attempts were too curved (the grasses on the left in the photo below). My second attempt (the center grass) I did straighter but should have hooked the tops and my third I finally got right - but does it really matter? They could be variations!

6zentangle rescue practice

Once I was happy with what I was doing, I added them to my block.

7zentangle rescue and coloring

If you watched Lee's video from last week, you will probably remember McTavish. This is so enjoyable to do and there are a number of variations, but I particularly like Lee's. I really love this design and was so pleased Lee used it in a number of areas.

9zentangle mctavish tail

8zentangle mctavish

I learned this next design was called "Beadline". I've used it in quilting many times before and never knew it had a name. It's definitely another fun one to create but I couldn't fit in as many lines as there are in the original design so I only included 4 for each dolphin.

10zentangle beadline

I have to say that this stitching is very tiny. I find I need to stop often for a break to rest my eyes. Maybe one of those big magnifying glasses would be a good thing for me and for beginner's my recommendation is to enlarge this Dolphin pattern before you get started! To give you an idea of just how small it is, I placed my ruler next to it.11zentangle beadline scale

As I'm working though, my head is buzzing with new ideas on how to and where to stitch these designs. I think for now I will stop and continue with some other things I need to do but I'll be back to work on this soon so be sure to check back again in a week or two. In the meantime, if you want to learn more designs I'd suggest you check out Lee's workshop. She teaches both "Rescue" and "Beadline" (by drawing and stitching them), as well as many other tangle patterns in her "A Zentangle Journey part 1" online.

[EDIT] A link to the next chapter of this project: My Zentangle Dolphins Continued

For me, as I rest my eyes from this detailed design, I'm going to head on over and choose another animal pattern that might look good in Zentangle. I'm thinking this is going to make a wonderful black and white quilt - something I've been thinking about for a very long time!

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  • Oh Ruth what a fabulous job you have done l am very impressed!! Now l will need to go thru slowly and check out the names of the patterns you have used some which have been modified so they can be created with thread. I will be back shortly once l have taken a good look.

    Posted by Lee, 24/04/2019 6:00pm (3 years ago)

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