Tuesday, December 24, 2013

KISMIF #5--Holly Leaves & Poinsettia


All right...it' s Christmas Eve!  Woo-hoo!  Okay, I pre-wrote this post and scheduled it for my Tuesday KIMIF Post! 

Merry Christmas!

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.



All of the recent photos I have of this vine were done on print fabrics and don't show the holly leaf vine very well.  However, these two photos show a regular leaf vine and an oak leaf vine variation that demonstrate the placing well.  The holly leaf can even be driven over the diagonal seams as shown in the bottom photo to create a cute motif.





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!

Merry Christmas!