Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Zentangles Explored

Last weekend I got to take a class in Zentangles at my local Bernina store, Bobbin Case. According to the Zentangles website, it is described as
... an easy to learn method of creating beautiful images from repetitive patterns. It is a fascinating new art form that is fun and relaxing. It increases focus and creativity. Zentangle provides artistic satisfaction and an increased sense of personal well being.
The class was taught by Caroline Stanis-Gage and she quickly had us drawing away. Following her step-by-step method, we were soon all drawing away.  We began by dividing up a 3 1/2" square into sections and then drawing repetitive patters into once section at a time.
Early stage of a zentangle.
 As we continued, it was amazing to watch the diversity of our designs, all from the same set of instructions. Here are our finished pieces.

Our class
I really am attracted to the approach and can see a number of applications in quilting. Coincidentally, I received a copy of Machine Quilting Unlimited at the SAQA Conference the previous week and discovered an article in it by Barbara Hollinger on Zen Quilting that refers to Zentangles. It confirms that the approach really lends itself to free-motion quilting - which I love. Personally, I suspect that by creating more Zentangles and exploring the effect of size, shape, and shading, that goes into the creation of each piece, I will improve my understanding of thread painting and use of items like Inktense Pencils in my quilts. And, I am sure that as I get into screening, some of my prints will be of use.

My latest Zentangle

There are a huge number of resources on the web for Zentangle - websites, books, video. I suggest if you are interested that you start with the website of the creators of the technique - Maria Thomas and Rick Roberts - and go from there.  Have fun!


  1. Hi Judy,

    Looks like fun. I know another quilter who got into this process last year. I follow her blog. You might like to check out what she did with it but you will have to look through her post archives as it was last year. Her name is Teri Stegmiller and you will find a link to her blog in my blog list.

    Looking forward to seeing what you do with this fun method.

    Nancy T

  2. Hi Judy,

    Me again. It's Terri Stegmiller and her August 2009 blog posts are when she started doing zen doodles.

    Happy doodling!

    Nancy T

  3. I have other friends doing these...I have yet to try it! Loved what you did.

  4. Yep. When I was growing up, we called it 'doodling' and thought nothing of it. Now it's a neat artform....and after reading the article in MQU magazine we got at Conference, I want to try it with stitch.