When it comes to free-motion quilting (FMQ), let's KISMIF--keep it simple and make it fun! As with all of my pantographs, the starting point is marked with a red star and the exit is marked with a blue smaller star. Trace the panto in the order of the numbers following the direction the orange arrows indicate. To practice them for long-arm style machine quilting, trace the panto initially, then repeatedly sketch until you're comfortable on a dry-erase board. If you use sit-down or domestic style machine quilting, have someone hold a dry-erase marker vertical and in the same spot for you. Then move the dry-erase board around repeatedly until you feel comfortable with the motif.
To create a holly leaf vine start with the vine turning into the stem and back-track out. Then arc 3 points on the right and left sides. As a fun option, sometimes I create a loop prior to entering the holly vine motif so there is an extra berry on the vine...and sometimes I don't. KISMIF! No, I do not mark the spacing for these vines, they fill in the space naturally. If you need a "goal" to space your quilt, look for patchwork lines to divide up your space. After practice, no divisions are needed.
To create a poinsettia, I like to use a swirl center, but you could do a loop and back-fill with pebbles if you want. For beginners, the swirl center works best and will be a cleaner diagram. The nice thing is that the poinsettia has so many leaves, that the loose of some "wonky" leaves actually makes it look more real. I would add that you also don't have to be specific with the number leaves that you use to get around the center, it doesn't matter that much. Just KISMIF!
|Simple Poinsettia With a Swirl Center|
|Poinsettia With a Pebble Center back-fill.|
|Poinsettia quilted out as a close-up.|
|Simple Poinsettias done without a back-fill.|
|The complexity of this poinsettia is made by extra echo-passes. It is rather stunning to quilt out yet easy to execute.|
|This variation shows quilted veins in the poinsettia petals to mimic the fussy-cut applique flowers.|
I hope you like this tutorial!