An introduction to FMCKQ . . .

What is FMCKQ you ask?

FMCKQ stands for Free Motion Celtic Knot Quilting. Ever heard of it? I just made it up.

I am playing with some ideas; ideas always play nice. I invite you to join me. All you need is some paper and a pencil.

This post will lead you through a series of exercises designed to improve your eye-hand coordination and give you a feel for what’s coming next.

Practice!

My first attempts weren’t perfect. I expect my results will improve as I go.

Circles

At the heart of all Celtic knots lies a circle, an endless loop with neither beginning nor end. The first exercise concentrates on circles.

Draw a short line in the middle of a sheet of paper. You may trace around a circular object, if you wish, keeping the short line in the center.

Now, draw around the circle, attempting to end the line at the point you began. Do this as many times as you feel necessary.

Draw circle
Draw circle

Figure Eights

Draw two short vertical lines down the center of a sheet of paper. Space the lines apart evenly.

Now, draw figure eights around the two short lines, attempting to end the line at the point you began. Do this as many times as you feel necessary.

Draw figure eight
Draw figure eight

Figure Eight Chains

Draw three short vertical lines down the center of a sheet of paper. Space the lines apart evenly.

Now, draw figure eights around the three short lines, attempting to end the line at the point you began. Do this as many times as you feel necessary.

Draw figure eight chain
Draw figure eight chain

These chains can be as long as you want. Draw some longer chains.

Turning Corners

Figure eight chains have one drawback: they only travel in one direction. Imagine locking one of the links in place and allowing the rest of the chain to pivot.

Draw one short angled line near the upper left corner of a sheet of paper, with two short vertical lines beneath it, and two short horizontal lines across from it. Space the lines apart evenly.

Now, draw figure eights around the five short lines, attempting to end the line at the point you began. Do this as many times as you feel necessary.

Turn one corner
Turn one corner

Draw two short angled lines near the upper corners of a sheet of paper, with two short vertical lines beneath them, and one short horizontal line between them. Space the lines apart evenly.

Now, draw figure eights around the seven short lines, attempting to end the line at the point you began. Do this as many times as you feel necessary.

Turn two corners
Turn two corners

An interesting thing happens when you turn all four corners and join the two ends.

Draw four short angled lines near the four corners of a sheet of paper, with one short vertical line and one short horizontal line between them. Space the lines apart evenly.

Now, draw figure eights around the eight short lines, attempting to end the line at the point you began. Do this as many times as you feel necessary.

Turn four corners
Turn four corners

What happened? Did we lose something? Where’s the figure eights?

When you join the ends of a single-strand chain, the chain turns into a double-strand Celtic knot.

Draw a second line to complete the figure eights, attempting to end the line at the point you began. Do this as many times as you feel necessary.

Turn four corners, complete
Turn four corners, complete

Congratulations!!  You’ve just drawn your first Celtic knot with a minimum of fuss!!

What do you think about this method so far? Please leave a comment.

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