Machine Motif of the Month – Ripples

This month, learn how to make ripples for when you need to quilt water or skies.

Originally posted on April 25, 2018 by Cheryl Sleboda

Creating water or air textures can be challenging, and one of the easiest ways to quilt the illusion of water or air is through making ripples.

As always, I start with stitching out a box to quilt inside.  This helps me with deciding how much to quilt and also is representative of an area on the actual quilt I would be sewing on.  It also lets me set my tension and stitch length properly.  I always do these little tests before I start on my real quilt.

I actually turn this motif on it’s side to sew it, as it’s easier for me to “push and pull” the fabric.  After a short bit of sewing it’s time to make a rounded edge on the fabric and go the opposite direction.  Note that I’m trying to keep the direction changes with very rounded edges.  That creates the water ripple effect.  Then you may get to the edge of your quilt or area, and need to “move down” so that you can continue this motif on a second layer.

In the very last section there near my needle, I made the edges of my ripples with a more sharp turn instead of the rounded edge to show you that you can vary this effect up.

Here’s how it should look on your quilt, but if you prefer the vertical orientation, that’s ok too! This motif takes some practice to be able to get the flow of the turns just so, so if you have a practice top or even a quilt top to practice on, try this one out.

Be sure to look for our other Machine Motif blog posts for more machine quilting techniques to try!

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