Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Free Motion Quilting - Butterflies & Flowers

This month's tutorial was by Ann Fahl.  She gave us lots of excellent information.  Then she left the practice part up to our imaginations!  I loved it.  First off, I didn't realize when I took this challenge that I would not only improve my  free motion quilting, but also become a better artist.  As with last month's echo feathers I doodled designs on paper.
I liked these flowers just fine, except they needed something more.
So I added a round of echoing.
Still needed more pizazz!  In February 2011, Jane did a post on free motion quilting butterflies complete with a video on her blog Sew Create It.
I tossed in a few butterflies!  In all I drew about 30 pages of flowers and/or butterflies.
Tried a few heart-shaped leaves but didn't like them.
Didn't really like the butterflies alone either.
The butterflies and flowers together was the design I was looking for.
Onto my practice sandwich. I don't usually mark my quilts because I love the freedom of meandering in any direction.  Like Ann Fahl,  I'm dancing with thread as well.
The purple solid colour is Coats 100% polyester serger thread.
The yellow is Coats trilobal 100% polyester embroidery thread.  I love this thread because it has a very nice sheen to it.  However,  this thread wasn't colourful enough .
The variegated thread is 100% polyester Rainbow Colours Serger Thread imported by  H.A. Kidd and Company.
The quilt sandwich is 100% cotton green top side, white bottom side and 80% cotton 20% polyester batting called Warm and Natural.
I like the variegated purple, blue and pink thread for butterflies and flowers the most.
 I was so impressed with Ann Fahl's tutorial, that I bought her books Dancing with Thread and Colouring with Thread.
This is my Pfaff Creative 2 sewing machine with its modified Dynamic Spring Motion 6D foot, a Bernina 70 needle and straight stitch needle plate.
The feed dogs are dropped and stitch length is set to zero.
The cream or off white colour side is the back. 
This is the finished block on the sample quilt.
I think it has all kinds of pizazz!
Below is the back of the sample quilt.
This design would look very nice on a baby quilt.  Your comments are always welcome! Happy quilting!


  1. Love those butterflies! I've got to try them too, have just been experimenting with various flowers and loops and leaves on the little girl's quilt I'm finishing up this week (Hopefully!). Also threw in some Diane-echo feathers on the borders! Isn't this challenge a ton of fun?!
    Pat in OR

  2. Great looking quilting...I have to try mine slow here

  3. I love your quilting!! I am going to add a few butterflies to my quilting now that I have seen yours, fabulous idea!!

  4. I really like your butterflies. They go well with your flowers. Good Job!

  5. Tammy, I love your butterflies. I can see you are enjoying this challenge. Bravo - well done!

  6. Those butterflies are more like embroidery than quilting with all the detail on them, well done.

  7. Great work, Tammy! And your butterflies have bodies and antennae too! I'm glad to hear you're having fun dancing with thread.

  8. I love the combination of flowers and butterflies! I wish I had seen your butterflies last week when some (very plain) ones flew onto the quilt I was working on. I like the echo around them, it just adds a bit more "oomph!" Nice job!

  9. Gorgeous butterflies! I love the double wings on them! Very sweet!

  10. Great Job Tammy! I love your butterflies, nice fmq.

  11. Love your meandering butterflies and flowers. You did quite a bit of pencil practice - and was quite creative doing doing so. Great job!

  12. Love the butterflies. They look great in variegated thread and different sizes. Very creative. Nice work on the adapted free-motion foot as well. That's exactly what I need to do too.

  13. Oh my gosh, your quilting is beautiful. You look like you've been doing these designs for years. Absolutely lovely. Great job.

    Glad you liked Ann's tutorial too!


  14. I can see how your drawings have paid off - great photos and wonderful quilting.

  15. wonderful you totally nailed the tutorial, out of curiosity why do you use a bernina 70 needle on your pfaff? I have a pfaff QE4 and am always looking for things to improve my quilting stitches, are they good needles? Dana

  16. Hi Dana,
    I have an authorized Bernina dealer friend who uses the needle only once to test a machine then tosses them out. His wife saved a 100 of these nearly new needles and just gave to me. They were all size 70. Bernina needles are excellent.

  17. What beautiful butterflies! Your quilting looks so neat!
    Quilting by the River

  18. The butterflies are darling!

  19. What a great job. Yes, I definitely need to try different threads.

  20. Wow! You're doing great. It's easy to see that you're having loads of fun. And I love your butterflies. Now I want to try some.

  21. Sorry Linda, I hit the wrong button on my Iphone.

    Linda has left a new comment on your post "Free Motion Quilting - Butterflies & Flowers":

    Love your butterflies. Great!

  22. Fantastic work Tammy - you really put the time into this month's challenge (I left mine to the last minute) and it certainly paid off. The butterflies are a gorgeous touch.


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