September 09, 2010

Free Motion Quilting Designs: Wiggles

Today starts weekly installments on different families of free motions quilting designs, and their variations. While I would like to have stitched examples to show you, for now sketches from my journal are as much as I can provide.

Wiggles, or wavy lines, are a great place to start free motion quilting! They are quick and simple. By wiggles, I mean smooth, undulating lines that do not cross their own path. What I consider to be the "basic wiggle" is shown on the left. Simply changing the "frequency" of the waves gives a lot of different looks.


Changing the shape of the wiggles gives you interesting effects. The one on the left reminds me of ribbon candy.


When a single wiggle isn't quite right? Stitching another wiggle over the first, intersecting occasionally creates a ribbon effect. Simply stitching another wiggle next to the first can make a wiggle look more refined.


If you mirror image a wiggle, you get a "DNA" effect, as my friend Sandra says. Multiple different wiggles placed together can have an interesting, dynamic look.


There are lots of ways to change the shape of wiggles.


Even if you only ever quilt wiggles you can do some beautiful quilting! Here are a few examples I found. 



1. IMG_1286_2, 2. I'm also lovin' wavy lines!!, 3. Oven glove, 4. Wavy Lines Part II, 5. Snail's Trail for DQS5, 6. boat quilt, 7. Wavy lines: my new favorite quilting, 8. Jena's quilt, 9. Midnight - Patchwork Quilted Table Runner

Wiggles are also the basis of the popular "meandering" quilting design but we will give meandering special treatment in a few weeks. I'm sure there are wiggle designs I haven't thought of. You should sit down and doodle some wiggles right now!  Drawing a design before stitching it is great practice to get your brain used to the motions. Sketching is an easy way to improve your quilting.

See more Free Motion Quilting designs and tips on the Free Motion Quilting page.

18 comments:

quiltingnana said...

enjoy your instructions...now if I can just get mine to look good

Hillbilly Handiworks said...

Wow! I never even thought of some of those possibilities!!

I cannot wait to get started! I will be watching all the pics posted for this!

Marie said...

Oh, I'm off to go 'wiggling'. Love the terminology and you make it sound so easy.

Carme said...

Que bonitos esos movimientos, y practicarlos donde lo hacemos? En el Quilt o en la tela de practicas?

BEsos

Michelle said...

Can't wait to give these ideas a try! What inspiration and just with wiggles! I'm eagerly waiting to see what else you have up your sleeve.

soggibottom said...

Yep.... brain is in gear !

Graciela said...

Thanks Crhis!!!! kisses for you

Gene Black said...

Thank you! I have a quilt in the works that i was planning on doing with "wavy lines" now I will call it wiggles and maybe refine it a bit. Those doodles give me ideas.

My body is tired right now, but you surely kicked my brain into gear.

Joanna said...

Thanks Christina. I like the way they look, and I can do wiggles that are simple. I'll have to try the more complicated, intricate wiggle designs. They do look nice. (No reply necessary)

Jennwith4 said...

How fun! Looking forward to quilting some wiggles!

Grams said...

I can hardly wait to get started. I've got my practice pieces ready and my quilt top too. My mom has been visiting for the past week and a half. I'll be taking her home next week. I'll start late but I will finish:))

vail in tn

Pamela said...

I love this, never thought of wiggles, I'm really enjoying this, thank you for doing it.

Dori said...

Thanks Crhis
:-)))

Marilyn S said...

Thanks so much for starting with something so simple. I am just a beginner and will love doing wiggles.

Yaya and Papa said...

I've wanted to venture out and try new designs in free motion quilting, but I always chicken out--so hoping to utilize some of your ideas and helpful hints soon! Hoping I win too!

Trish said...

OK - so I haven't even gotten my quilt sandwich ready yet, but I am checking in here every day to check on what's next! I will get there. I love your posts and the giggles you have brought here with all your side comments or remarks. Keep them coming! Do love the photos you are posting along with the tutorials, they will help when it comes to when I actually participate.
Thanks for the chance at the book. What a prize!
Hugs,
Trish L.
newlapp@pa.net

MiniLaura said...

Thank you so much for your informative posts! I'm a beginner quilter, and I want to try my hand at FMQ on a twin-sized quilt. So I have decided to use wiggles after reading this post! I've read elsewhere that one should start quilting in the middle and move out. So should I start my wiggles in the center and move to the top and the bottom? Or is it okay if I just start at one end and go to the other? thanks!

Caren said...

I just bought your book. Love it! Makes me feel like "I CAN DO THIS!" Thanks!

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