Free Motion Monday – Quilting Animals

One of today’s most popular quilt designers is Elizabeth Hartman.  I have admired her Fancy Forest pattern for a while, so I was thrilled when a customer brought me one to quilt.  The challenge was to complement her beautiful piecing while free motion quilting animals with interesting texture.

quilting animals

Fuzzy Faces – free motion quilting animals

I outlined each animal, then used a coordinating thread for the detail stitching.  I used several variations of wavy lines and zig zags to mimic whiskers and fur on the fox and bunny. The hedgehogs were embellished with skinny flame stitches.  A simple echo filled the butterfly wings.

Related post: Flame Stitch Variations

Ribbon Candy and Leaves

The thistle blocks are my favorite!  I created the ribbon candy stitch by alternating the direction of a teardrop as I moved up each section of the thistle blossom.  I stitched a wavy stem and fit a leaf into each triangle of the flower.

free motion quilting ribbon candy design

Related post: stitching leaves

Owl Feathers

For the body of the owl, I stitched scallop hills (detailed in this blog post).  Spirals gave detail to the eyes and wavy lines filled in the head and feet.

free motion quilting

Quilting animals is pretty easy.  Think of it as sketching with thread.  What kind of details would you add to a paper-pencil drawing?  You can add those same motifs to your quilt.

Background quilting designs

If you have ever entered a quilt into a show, you know that judges are looking for consistent density of stitches across the quilt. I knew that I would be adding alot of detail to the animals, so I needed a background design that complemented the overall look of the quilt.  A simple loopy meander provides a nice balance. (Visit this post for more about that design).

I left the rainbow accent border plain, and stitched parallel lines in the outer border.  I stitched these lines free-hand, using the hopping foot as a guide for the small distance, and estimating about an inch between sets of lines.

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