free motion stitching on the butterfly

Hey Everyone, welcome back to Free Motion Friday.

Last week I made a free motion design with the Butterfly Cookie Cutter and some free motion loops to connect the butterflies which created a continuous line quilting design.

As promised this week I have enlarged the butterfly and filled it in with some free motion quilting. This type of quilting design would work great in a large open block. Often times embroidery designs are used to fill in these large open blocks but what happens if you do not have an embroidery machine.

Instead of machine embroidering the design it can be filled in with free motion quilting.

To start I traced the shape onto a piece of paper.

trace cookie cutter shape onto paper

Butterfly traced onto paper

Enlarge the image on a photocopier. This one was enlarged 210%. Just a random number I chose.

enlarged butterfly on paper

Butterfly enlarged

Then I cut out the shape and placed it on the fabric and traced around the shape with a fabric pencil. If you were going to do many of these shapes on the quilt then I would suggest glueing the paper template to a piece of box board or stiff board of some sort and cut out the shape in the board. This template will last a lot longer than just plain paper and give a more defined edge to trace around.

shape traced onto the fabric

Trace shape onto fabric

I drew in some lines on the butterfly to define the top and bottom wings. Once that was done I then added a couple more lines for further definition within the wings.

wings created with further lines added

Lines added to create the wings

Now the fun part – quilting the butterfly.

First step is to decide what threads you want to use to stitch the butterfly with. I decided to use variegated threads in yellow, red and turquoise.

Second step is to outline the butterfly with stitching and to go over the lines within the wings to define the different sections to be quilted.

Thirdly start playing and filling in the sections of the butterfly with free motion stitching.

The upper wings I used an echo stitch along the bottom in yellow, the middle red stitching is meandering with circles in it and the upper section is pebbles.

stitching on the upper wings

Close up of upper wings

The lower wings I used a brick wall stitch for the centre and the outer I just did criss crossed lines.

stitching on the lower wings

Close up on the lower wings

The body I used a burlap stitch but only went in one direction with it and then stitched on some antennas.

stitching on the body

Close up of body

Not as heavily stitched as an embroidery machine but with this method we get to play rather than just programming the machine to create the design.

The butterfly measures 7″ across and 5″ high.

I have also linked up with Leah Day’s Free Motion Quilting Project. Check out all of the cool quilting that has been posted there – it will amaze you and inspire you.

Happy Quilting!

Jen Transparent Signature