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Machine Quilting Templates, Dot-toDot and Free-Style Quilting

One of my favorite machine quilting techniques is one that some quilters call dot-to-dot. It combines dots that are marked on the quilt top with the use of rulers. For my pattern "Livie's Butterflies", I have combined this technique with free-style quilting to create a fun design in the butterfly wings. Here is how I did it.

Note: Many new computer monitors are very bright. Much of the drawn detail in the photos is lost. Print these instructions to see all of the detail.

I began by rough cutting the pattern. I then taped it to mylar template plastic. I taped all of the edges as this seems to provide a wonderful degree of stability for cutting it out.

Next I cut it out and marked the positions of the holes with a marking pen.

I used a scrapbook punch called an "Anywhere Punch" to punch holes at the points I had marked.

The edges of the mylar will be pushed out the opposite side. Turn the pattern over and file the edges of the holes until smooth with an emery board.

Here you see "Livie's Butterflies" quilt loaded on my Tin Lizzie 18®.

To mark the dots on the quilting pattern I used a "Bohin" mechanical chalk pencil. This Chalk Cartridge Set was purchased from Karen Kay Buckley's site.

The pen comes with several different colors of chalk making it usable on most colors from light to dark.

This shows several of the dots after they have been marked on the quilt top.


Here I am beginning the quilting process. I line the 7 1/2" circular ruler up from dot to dot, stitch from dot-to-dot then line the next ruler up to go to the next dot. The pattern is continuous as I stitch from dot-to-dot.

Please note, I keep a copy of my pattern next to my quilting as a reminder of what I need to do next.

Stitch curve 1-2 with the circle ruler, stitch 2-3 and 3-4 with the soft wave ruler. Stitch 4-5 and 5-6 with the circle ruler. 6-3 and 3-7 are done with the soft wave.

In this photo I'm stitching dot-to-dot using a "Soft Wave" ruler. Both the "7 1/2" circular" and the "soft wave" ruler are from Off the Edge Quilting Supplies.

Here I have completed the stitching with the rulers. I tied off the threads for this photo. Normal I would have finished at the point nearest the butterfly body. I would then be in position to begin the free-style feathers.


I have added free-style feathers around the top half of the butterfly wing. At this time it is necessary to tie off the threads.

I repositioned my needle at the dot nearest the body of the butterfly and then free-style stitched feathers around the bottom half of the butterfly wing.



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