Free Form Tatting Collage
Just once, throw away the pattern, grab shuttles, needles and thread in several colors and just start tatting. You will be surprised at what falls out of your shuttle or off your needle. OK, OK, I can hear the knees knocking and the hands trembling. What? Who me? Tat without a pattern? Impossible!
Not so. Anyone can do this. Start easy. You have tatted many flowers in your time, begin with a round center ring, with picots. Add a couple of rows of chains, with picots? Sure why not? How many flowers? 3, 5 or any odd number. Make them different sizes, too. Oh! And different colors.
Now what? Draw a circle, heart, or a square on white paper and drop the tatted flowers into the center of the shape. Hmmm. Next decide if you want to stop with just flowers, or add some leaves and buds?
Leaves and stems are easy! Just tat some chains with tiny 2-4 ds rings for new leaves, larger rings near the flowers. OOH and make a couple of picots with dark red or black beads on them. Problem? Didn't add beads to the thread before starting? No problem at all. Make a picot a bit longer than the bead. Slide bead over picot and make a join to that picot, then continue to chain. Instant thorns! Attach to flowers randomly.
Next using the flower color and the greenery color. Tat chain again. Start with a tiny flower bud ring about 4-5 ds; then chain as long as you want, adding tiny leaves, then bigger buds, bigger leaves, even more thorns. Keep adding bits and pieces until all the flowers are attached to the stems. Rearrange all of it inside your circle.
Decide if you want an edging of rings and chains, or outlining in split rings. As you tat this edge, join to the flowers and stems as you near them. Don't worry about the open spaces yet.
You've done all this work with no pattern! A few more decisions to make. How will this tatting be displayed? Do you want to hang it like a dream catcher? Do you want to sew it to a doily?
If you just sew it down, you may stop now and sew it in place. In the open places add a few butterflies or dragonflies. To hang for display, add the lattice work connecting all pieces to each other. Et Voila, your own free form tatted piece!
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