June 30, 2011

Free Motion Quilting Designs: Branching Patterns

I got some unexpected doodle time last weekend. I started with a little fairy godmother wand and soon it had branched out to this. I think I was under the influence of Leah Day's "Lollipop Chain" design. 

I decided I wanted to draw more things-at-the-ends-of-branches and got these: 

I suspected that the lines didn't need to be straight and drew: 

I remembered that I previously had put this last design in the meandering category of quilting designs, feeling uncomfortable about it because it is clearly not a meander. Now that I got to know its cousins I can see it for what it is: a branching pattern!

Branching patterns are easy to create step by step.

Make a stem line. Put whatever you want at the end of it. Now backtrack along that stem line and branch a new stem off in another direction. Make a new stem or two off of that stem, and keep building new stems off old stems, again and again. If you start feeling crowded, make a really long branch to get you out in the open again. 

It's so easy to go whichever direction you want. Travel along lines you've already stitched to get to the point you start your next branch.

I really like the botanical feel of these branching designs. I think they would make lovely border designs. The teardrop one feels flowing and gentle, I'd like to try that as an all over design. I nominate branching patterns as the thing you should doodle while on the phone with your bank this week.

More branching designs here and here.

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


West Michigan Quilter said...

That is so cool. Thanks for the tute. I'm going to give it a try. Great idea.

P├ętra said...

Love all the different variations. How did you manage unexpected doodle time I need that?!

CarlaSue said...

I really like the last one. The swirly one!

Manda said...

Oo these are lovely!

Jeane said...

I like this new branching design and will be adding it to my stitch sampler. Your last pic reminds me of a busy intersection in a large city when all the walk signs go on and people scurry everywhere.

SewHappyGeek said...

Oh, I like!! Will have to try this when I'm practicing - thank you!

Leah said...

Ooo! I love these! The circles on straight lines almost look like straight pins. Awesome!


Elsa said...

Christina, you have so much patience! love these designs.

Cheryl Warren said...

thanks for the numbered drawing. I like Leah Day's site also but don't often have the time to watch her videos. the numbered drawing is
SUPER helpful!

Mary Marcotte said...

I not only like the idea of the branching design, I LOVE the idea of busy work while on hold on the phone....I am much too ADD to be on hold any amount of time. This may extend that time by a few minutes!

Suzanne said...

I like the designs as well as the homework assignment.

Kay Lynne said...

I love the branching idea. Thank you for all the wonderful ideas :)

tijerasycuchara said...

I like your work, it is beautiful
I congratulate
good bye

Linda in TX said...

Very cool! And you show how achievable it is -- MANY thanks!

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