The Free Motion Quilting Project: Dancing Butterfly Design #1 - Paisley

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Dancing Butterfly Design #1 - Paisley

Time to quilt our first design for the Dancing Butterfly Quilt! It seems like almost everyone on the facebook group has jumped ahead and has already given Paisley a try. Let's see some examples from members:

Pamelyn Baim of Thistle Fire Quilts shared a series of gorgeous photos of both Paisley and Ocean Currents quilted in her cute butterfly blocks:
 Make sure to check out Pamelyn's post right here to see all her gorgeous photos!

Dorthe M shared this awesome example of Paisley this week:

Unfortunately Dorthe also mentioned struggling with thread issues. Her bobbin thread keeps showing up on the surface of her blocks:

This is a very subtle tension issue that's slightly pulling the thread from the bobbin up to the surface between the top stitches. This honestly doesn't look bad to me because the thread colors are matching. This is one of the reasons why I emphasize matching thread colors - it nicely hides issues like this!

But what can Dorthe do about this issue? She could try lowering her top tension by 1/2 a step at a time and stitch again and see if the stitches improve. If they don't improve (and sometimes things won't get better even with a tension adjustment), then it might be an issue of thread or speed / movement and it will improve with time and practice.

I'd say an issue like this is only serious if you can clip the top threads and pull out the entire length because the bobbin threads are so loose. That indicates the top or bobbin aren't threaded correctly on your machine.

Now for another awesome Paisley example from Doreen H:
This looks great! Yes, it's normal to have some issues interlocking the Paisley shapes together. Those areas of travel stitching where the Paisley shapes build on top of one another can be tricky.

In a recent class I emphasized how much to slow down while travel stitching using this analogy:

Quilting is like driving a car. When you swing around to make the tear drop shapes can be 55 mph, but when you travel stitch, you need to slow down to 5-10 mph.

Just like driving a car, we can't do everything the same speed!

Now that you see what other members have done with Paisley, let's learn how to quilt this design together:

Click Here to find the full length video in the Dancing Butterfly Quilt Pattern

Clearly Paisley can be a bit tricky to get the hang of, but with practice you can definitely master this design and quilt it beautifully over your butterfly block.

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

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