Wings Sew-Along: Part 2 - Quilting

Onwards to Part 2 of the Wings sew-along!  We'll do just a little bit more prep work today, and then it will be time to start sewing some of the beautiful wing details.  

Today we'll be moving back and forth a bit between tracing, sewing, and trimming - we'll cover quite a lot of steps, but the wings will really start to come together!  

Goals for Part 2:

  • Trace quilting lines onto the sew-in interfacing
  • (Monarch Wings only) - apply quilted appliqués
  • Sandwich, pin, stitch detail lines
  • Trim thread ends
  • Trim batting and interfacing  


Trace quilting lines ("Cutting and Quilting Wings" section of tutorial)

Tracing the quilting lines onto the sew-in interfacing creates a perfect template for all your lovely, detailed stitching lines, and the sew-in interfacing will also provide an extra layer of rigidity to keep the wings perky. 

If you'd like to make some progress on your wings while spending time with your children, this is a lovely opportunity to sit down at the table and draw together.  Paper and crayons or paint for the littles, and wing tracing for you!  Children love to see what we are working on, and I find that including my daughter is a wonderful way to model the importance that our family places on creativity and making.  Taping your pages to the table ensures that your template won't be inadvertently bumped askew by little hands.  

Sandwich, pin, and stitch quilting lines 

After you have pinned your fabric/batting/interfacing "sandwich", it is time to start stitching all those lovely detail lines. 

The construction may vary slightly here depending on which Wings you are sewing.

For the Monarch Wings only
We need to apply our quilted appliqués first, so they will be included underneath the quilted detail lines to create the thickened veins.  Start by tracing pieces B, D, E, and G onto your heavyweight fusible interfacing, and apply to your desired appliqué fabric.  Then, cut them out precisely.  (You can prepare your remaining appliqués now, or wait until later on.)

On your wing "sandwich", stitch the seam allowance and the detail and appliqué guidelines as indicated in the pattern.  Then, sew your prepared appliqués onto the Wing in their correct spots, with a regular zigzag stitch.

Ensuring that you are happy with your bobbin colour for the front of your Wings, stitch through all the detail quilting lines, using the interfacing template as a guide.  The pattern includes lots of great tips for doing so securely and neatly.  Then, flip your Monarch Wings back over, and stitch back over the detail lines with your desired satin or triple-stitch, to create the Monarch's iconic thick wing vein lines.

All other Wing types:
We will go straight into stitching the quilting detail lines at this point.  (Stitching the appliqué lines is not necessary, unless you'd like to use them as a guideline for placement.)  Set your stitch length to around 2mm (a bit shorter than usual), and make sure you have plenty of thread left on your bobbin!  

All Wings:
This step is fairly involved, so take your time carefully sewing around all those curves.  I found I needed a break between wings to step away and to stretch and breathe a bit!  In all, I probably spent about 45 minutes stitching the detail lines on both Wings (I was working at a leisurely pace, and with occasional interruptions).  The Wings will look so pretty when the detail lines are stitched - the quilting really accentuates the beautiful shapes. 

Trim threads and wing edges, mark strap placement

We now have quite a lot of trimming to do.  These tasks will keep your hands busy, but don't require intense concentration, so are perfect activities to do in the evening while sitting down with a cup of tea and a movie.  All of those detail lines create quite a number of thread ends to trim, so settle in comfortably with your scissors.  Afterwards, turn your attention to trimming the excess batting and interfacing - doing this will help immensely once it comes time to turn the wings. 

Whew, we now have a pair of wing pieces with beautiful quilted detail lines - they are really starting to come together!  I've used 3 layers of quilt batting in these ones, and the quilting lines stand out beautifully.  Here are my wings sparkling in the sunshine - my daughter is getting excited to wear these!

If you are sewing Monarch Wings, yours will look a bit different - you'll have a few appliqués already, with beautiful thick-stitched veins starting to bring your Wings to life!

We'll be back soon with Part 3 of the Wings Sew-Along, allowing time to approach the tasks in Part 2 at a fairly leisurely pace.  We hope that you enjoy seeing the magic of the wing details emerging! 

If you have any questions or comments, please leave a comment on the Twig + Tale Chat Facebook group. 

Also, please feel free to share photos of your wing progress on the Twig + Tale Chat Facebook group or on Instagram tagged with #TTWings, #TTWingsSewalong and @twigandtale. We'd love to hear how things are going!  

 <Cover image by Chloe Chew>