Free-Motion Doodle Challenge Day 11: Clouds
It's Day 11 of the #freemotiondoodleschool doodle challenge and the prompt for today is: clouds.
I'm really pleased with my "Clouds Jumping Rope" design. You see the design in the photo above? That one.
This is one of those designs that has shown me that there are ideas in my head just waiting to come out--ideas I have no idea I'm capable of creating. I'm not saying it's absolutely brilliant but it's cute and it's clever and it feels so much more creative than I've ever realized I could be.
I've realized something from doodling for free-motion quilting. I've come to find that when I show up, put in the effort, and apply myself to something, I end up surprising myself. I end up creating things I wouldn't have thought I could create.
Do you ever find yourself saying any of these things: "I'm not artistic." "I'm not very good at coming up with ideas." "I could never do that as well as _______."?
Sometimes we tell ourselves these things and we believe them without really challenging them. We've told ourselves these things enough times that they feel true. Putting them to the test can be kind of scarry because, "What if I try and what I find out is that this really is true? I'd rather not risk it."
I'm going to assert something here. I genuinely believe that if you try, you will surprise yourself. I'm not saying it will happen right out the gate. Often, it takes some time and effort to get to a point where we we're creating things that we feel really good about. I predict, however, that if you want to create original, creative free-motion doodle designs, you have what you need to do it. You have the creativity; you have the ideas; you have the capability.
I believe that.
Clouds Jumping Rope
Start by drawing a box on your paper. My box is about 6" square. You'll be creating the "Clouds Jumping Rope" design inside the box.
There are lots of steps to this design but it's really not too difficult.
1. Draw the top of the cloud's head and the first eye:
a. Draw a short scalloped line, starting on the left edge of your box and working
toward the center of your box.
b. At the end of the scalloped line, draw a circle.
c. Draw a smaller circle inside your first circle.
d. Fill in the second circle with lots of lines.
2. Finish the face:
a. Draw another circle to the left of your first, and then a smaller circle inside.
b. Fill in the second smaller circle with lots of lines.
c. Travel to the bottom of your second eye and then draw a scallop shape from the
bottom of the second eye to the bottom of the first eye.
d. Echo your first scallop underneath from the first eye to the second eye.
3. Fill in the mouth you just created with lots of zig-zaggy lines.
4. Draw the bottom of your cloud and its hand:
a. Trace up around the outside of your first eye and then travel back, from right to
left on your first scalloped line until you reach your box edge, where you started.
b. Travel down the left edge of your box until you get to where you want the
bottom of your cloud.
c. Draw a scalloped line from left to right and curving up to about a half inch to the
right of the mouth you drew in step 3. The scallops should be facing down--the
opposite direction from the scallops on the top of the cloud's head.
d. Draw a large scallop with the top of the scallop facing left.
e. Draw a smaller, upward facing scallop above this scallop. (This is the thumb.)
f. Draw the end of the rainbow jump rope that the hand is holding by drawing an
upward line that slants a bit to the right.
g. Draw a horizontal line across the top, from right to left and then another vertical
line traveling downward and slightly to the right, until you reach the top of the
hand to the left of the thumb.
5. Draw several vertical lines inside your rainbow jump rope end to form the stripes.
6. Travel from right to left along the thumb, the fingers, and the bottom of the hand.
Draw the right side of the cloud's arm by drawing a large scallop that starts where
the hand ends at the bottom and curves up and to the left to meet up with the
rainbow jump rope end, above the thumb.
7. Trace back down the arm to a spot that's at the bottom of the hand and about 1/8" to
the right of where the scallops the form the bottom of the cloud meet the hand.
Echo the bottom of your cloud back to the left edge of your box.
8. Travel back up the left edge of your box until you get about 1/8" above your first
scalloped cloud top line. Echo the scalloped line with another line traveling from left
to right and ending at the left side of the rainbow jump rope end.
9. Travel down the rainbow jump rope end and the left and bottom sides of the cloud
hand until you get a little to the right side of your cloud bottom echo. Draw a big
upside-down scallop that reaches from the cloud hand, down and across the box and
then back up to a point that is directly across from your first cloud hand and about
three inches to the left of the right edge of the box.
10. Draw the hand of your second cloud by drawing a smaller scallop from the end of
your large jump-rope scallop. This scallop will face with it's top pointing left. Draw
a smaller scallop above the hand scallop to form the thumb. This scallop should
11. Draw the left side of this rainbow jump rope end by drawing a line traveling up and
a little to the left, then draw a horizontal line across the top and another line
downward and traveling slightly left until it meets up with the top of the hand. Fill
the jump rope end with a series of lines to create stripes.
12. Trace the right side of the fingers and the bottom of the hand . At the bottom left of
the hand, draw a large, left-facing scallop for the arm. It should reach up and then
curve right until it meets up with the left side of the jump rope end. Travel back
down the arm to where it meets the hand. Draw the top of the rainbow jump rope
by drawing a large, down-facing scallop that echoes the bottom of the jump rope
that you already drew. This scallop will end on the arm of the first cloud, about 1/4"
to the right of and above the bottom scallop of the jump rope.
13. Draw a series of scallops between the rainbow jump rope top and bottom to form
stripes. Try to end on a stripe that meets up with the hand of the second cloud.
14. Travel along the bottom edge of the jump rope about a half inch. Draw a
downward-facing series of scallops from left to right until you meet the right edge
of your box.
15. Travel up the right edge of the box until you get to a point that's roughly directly
across from the top of your cloud arm. Draw a series of small, upward-facing
scallops that ends roughly 1/2" to the right of the jump rope end. Draw a face on
this cloud by repeating Steps 1-3. This time, draw the left eye first, then the right,
and then the smile down below both eyes.
16. Draw a series of small scallops that echoes the cloud forehead, traveling left to right,
until you reach the right side of your box.
17. Travel up the right side of the box about 1/2" and then draw a series of upward-
facing scallops that travels from the right side of the box to the top of the rainbow
jump rope end. Travel back on this line of scallops to the right edge of the box.
Travel up the right edge of the box another 1/2" and then draw a long tail and then
a swirl that ends roughly 1/2" above the rainbow jump rope end.
18. Echo this swirl and its tail back to its beginning and then trace your echo back to the
left outside edge of the swirl. From there, draw a second swirl with a long tail.
19. Echo this swirl and tail to its beginning, then trace back on your echo about 1/8".
Create a series of scallops that travels down and then in a circular direction from
right to left. End at about the 10:00 position of the circle.
20. Draw the left arm and hand of this cloud by drawing a scallop that faces left and
travels upward and to the left for the arm. Next draw another scallop that travels
upward and to the left and then around and back down about 1/4" to the right of
where it started. Draw the right side of the arm by drawing a scallop that travels
downward and tipped slightly to the right.
21. Draw the top of the cloud using a series of scallops then draw the right arm of the
cloud by repeating step 20 but drawing the left arm first, then the thumb, then the
fingers, and then the right side of the arm.
22. Draw a series of scallops traveling downward until you meet back up with where this
cloud began. Draw a series of scallops traveling in a circular direction from right to
left into the inside of the cloud. When you reach roughly the 10:00 position, draw
the cloud's face in the same manner you drew it in Step 15 for the second cloud.
23. Draw a series of scallops in a circular direction, counter-clockwise, traveling
around the left side of the face, down under the smile, until you meet up with
the right side of your cloud. Reverse directions and echo the scallops with
another set of scallops that travel clockwise in a circle. Bring these scallops
around the top of the face and around to the right side of the scallops you
used to get to the face. End at the point where this cloud started.
24. Travel down the tail and the swirl that are under this cloud. When you get to
the left outside line of this swirl, draw another swirl with a tail that travels
toward the lower left corner of your box. Draw another swirl with a tail, if
necessary, to get to where you meet up with the edge of your box in the area
of the lower left corner.
25. Draw a series of scallops and echoing scallops in this corner to resemble the
corner of a cloud. Travel along the bottom of your box toward the lower right
corner. If you want, stop somewhere along this bottom edge to draw one or
two swirls with tails.
26. Draw a series of scallops and echoing scallops to create the corner of a cloud
in the lower right corner of your box.
27. Travel up the right side of your box and draw a series of scallops and echoing
scallops to create the corner of a cloud in the upper right corner of your box.
28. Travel along the top of your box and then draw a series of scallops and echoing
scallops to create the corner of a cloud in the upper left corner of your box. If
you want, you can also throw in a swirl with a tail in this area.
Finished! Here's another photo of the completed design.
I hope you've enjoyed this tutorial and that you will find some great uses for this design in your own quilts. If you end up doodling and/or quilting it, please post photos in the comments, below. I really makes my day to see other quilters making use of my ideas. Imitation is the best form of flattery. :)
Finally, if you liked this tutorial, check out the books "Doodle School: A Daily Design Challenge to Up Your Free-Motion Quilting Game," and "Doodle Notebook for Free-motion Quilting: 150+ Inspirational Motifs." Dara Tomasson and I co-authored them and they're packed with more great doodle quilting tutorials.
Click the photos to take a look at the books on Amazon.
Until next time, keep on doodling and keep on doodle quilting!