Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Butterfly Wings Quilting Design Tutorial

This past Friday I shared a quilt and pattern I made for the latest issue of Modern Quilts Unlimited called Flutter.  I created a special quilting design in the drunkard's path curved blocks and I promised a tutorial on how I did it, so here it is :)

This design is easy to do on a domestic (or longarm) sewing machine and requires very little marking.  For this design, I used my Bernina ruler foot on my domestic machine and set up my machine and ruler according to my 5 tips for successful domestic ruler work post here.

The ruler I used was the Quick Curved Longarm Ruler (affiliate link) I got off of Amazon, but you could make this work with any gentle curved ruler.  Before I used the ruler for the first time, I added a couple of Handi Grip Adhesive squares to the back of the ruler, which I find helps a tremendous keeping the ruler from slipping on the fabric.

To start, here is my drunkards path "block", drawn in Sharpie on a piece of fabric.

For the first part of the design, you only need to mark the center and quarters on the curve of the block (using a removable marking method).  Because I had a lot of blocks to mark, I put marks right on my template so I could mark all of my blocks quickly and consistently.

Starting in at one edge of the curve and using your ruler, quilt a curved line down to the lower corner.

Next, travel from the bottom corner up to the quarter marked line on the curve edge.  Continue going up and back to each mark on the edge of the curve until you reach the other side of the block.  

You can stop here and have a very nice quilting design that has a petal-like quality to it.  This was my original design, but when I quilted Flutter, I felt that the space between the quilting lines was a little too large compared to the other quilting on the quilt so I added a second layer of quilting.

To add the second layer of quilting, mark (I just approximated the positioning) between the first set of marks on the curve and between the where the quilting lines intersected in the middle of the block.  These marks are shown as gray dots on the block below.

Quilt this second layer of quilting just like the first.  This extra quilting really makes the design look complicated and gives movement to the quilting.

I hope that my tutorial was clear and helpful, happy quilting!!


  1. This is a great tutorial! I always love seeing the paths used for different quilting motifs.

  2. This is very neat! I actually want to try something similar on my Magnolia quilt!

  3. Great tutorial. Looking forward to some ruler work very soon!

  4. Thank you. This is a very understandable tutorial. I am enjoying ruler work myself and appreciate the time it took to do this and share it. I am always looking for interesting ruler designs. Thanks again!

  5. Nice tutorial Cheryl. I haven't used rulers yet.

  6. Great tutorial. Love the quilt!

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