Several of you have asked how to quilt the Flutter Motif and I promised to post a tutorial on how best to quilt it. I love this motif!
This is my first attempt to put on “paper” how to do a motif like this. Let me know if you have questions or if my directions are not clear. By combining two motifs you can get something spectacular-try doodling your own favorite combination!I “fluttered” the central area of my Lily quilt and I really like how it turned out. The blue marker is still in the quilt so that’s why the color is funny on the marked linesThe Flutter Motif is simply a combination of two motifs: a repeated Lazy S shape and the ripple-y lines-“Bouncing Bananas”. I learned the Bouncing Bananas from Diane Gaudynski and you will see them frequently used as a fill in many quilts in competition. Both motifs are fairly simple to do.
By combining these two motifs, you get the “flutter” effect which I love. It adds interest and texture to the fill areas of your quilt without detracting from the main focal point. If you use a skinny thread of a color similar to your fabric, it will blend in to provide this lovely visual texture without shouting “QTD” (Quilted To Death!).
I used Superior’s Kimono Silk thread on this piece and the fabric is Radiance by Kaufman Fabrics, a blend of 45% silk and 55% cotton. Radiance is so luscious to quilt on!
I’ll show how to do the two motifs in this post and in my next post, I’ll show how to combine them into a “flutter”.To start the Lazy S, start with this shape.Now echo back and repeat the shape.Continue on in this manner, usually 3 or 4 times in total. Simple, huh?The “Bouncing Bananas” in the Flutter are used to fill areas between Lazy S’s. I drew the lines on the sides to define the area I will fill with the bananas. Start out by creating a pretty curve between the lines, almost like a ripple of water.Now echo it back. Notice how the lines are parallel, the second line reflecting the curve of the first.Continue on, keeping the arc similar in shape as you move forward.
Try each of these on paper and practice until you are comfortable with them. I do this with any motif I am creating or learning-I do a lot of work on paper until I have the shapes imprinted in my brain. Only then do I begin to work it on fabric.
In my next post I will combine these two motifs and show how to “Flutter” them together.
And oh by the way, I suck at drawing. Don’t fret if you don’t draw well-you’re just trying to get the shapes and thread path in your head. I find it much easier to quilt than draw!
Once you get this one down, it’s fun and relaxing to do.Hope you’re enjoying the last official days of Spring!
Connie Horne says
Jenny, your quilting is beautiful! Thank you for your demo.
Aw thanks Connie!
Hi Jenny, so did you make a design change to flutter or do you have 2 different versions of it now? I have been working on learning how to sketch the original version you did which also included the feathers. Still haven’t got the concept with the 3 designs combined to work on paper for me, maybe doing the 2 designs combined first will make it much easier.
Carol-I will do a follow up post on how to combine the two. For Flutter I didn’t use feathers, just the lazy s and bouncing bananas. Sorry-didn’t mean to be confusing. It’s just if I wrote it in one post it would have been too long. Thanks for reading! If you have any questions, just email me-I’m glad to respond.
Laura Conowitch says
Thank you for sharing your free motion techniques Jenny! I really appreciate it!
You’re welcome Laura. I think this one is especially fun.
Janet McElroy says
Hi Jenny, took me a little while but I have found your blog, and oh boy am I glad I have. Thank you for the Flutter tutorial, shall have to give this a try tomorrow. You make it look really easy……..we shall see hahahaha. Looks to be a great filler. Many thanks. Off to view some more.
Oh Janet you can do this! Have fun with it-it is a lovely filler and it works up surprisingly fast!
Jenny.Your drawings are so clear and simple…I’ve been drawing lazy S, and bouncing bananas, all over the place… can’t wait to sit down at the sewing machine. Thanks Jan.
You’re welcome Jan! You will enjoy stitching this one out-it becomes meditative.