Cuckoo Clock Face with Soap Bubble -- Am I On The Right Track?



Please tell me if I’m going about this the best way.

I’m modeling the face of a cuckoo clock for my next design, a Modern Quilt Cuckoo Clock. Since it’s a quilt, the lines are like stitching, so the “fabric” with the batting behind will puff up a bit between the stitching.

The circles on the top left are also stitching so they will puff. The circle in the center toward the bottom will be the clock face which will puff. And there’s a cuckoo door missing. But for now, I’m trying to figure out how to best go about this.

I drew this out and made it a group. Then I drew a long rectangle on top of the next to the right-most long rectangle and moved it. Used Soap Bubble to puff it.

Then I did the next strip going left, which had a bite out of it for the clock face.

Am working my way along.

My plan is to put all the parts together after I puff them all, and make it one piece for a CNC machine.

There are some quilt blocks that will be make separately and glued on. And some animated pieces that will do their thing via linkage and holes above the surface, so this is the base.

Does this sound like a good plan?




I would HIGHLY recommend some visual aides. While I can kind of make out what you are trying to do, a picture or a .SKP file of what you have got, so far will go way further and yield better help that trying to describe what you are planning.



Duh! Got interrupted and forgot to attach it.Thank you for the reminder. Would a Sketchup file be


Yes, I would think so. I am still struggling a bit to work out what the diagram means so seeing it in even an early stage of 3D would help, I think.

Presumably the four strips on the right will fit above and to the right of the small circle in the big rectangle, which is the clock face - is that right? And the small square-ish grids on them are the rows of stitching you refer to, smaller on the left hand pair than the longer right hand ones?


Modern Quilt Cuckoo Clock.skp (1.2 MB)

The strips to the right are the pieces that I traced and will put back together to make the quilt/clack face. The purpose of duplicating them is to puff them up with Soap Bubble.

That strip up above all of it, yellow and white patch work, goes on the right side in that blank section. It’s been puffed.

So the lines are a result of Soap Bubble. Haven’t gotten to smoothing them. next thing to learn.

I’ve attached my design to help you all get the idea. The pinwheel to the left bottom will move when the cuckoo goes off. And of course, the cuckoo door (center topish pinwheel) will open.


It’s looking good already.

To make it easier to Smooth the quilted surfaces, make one of your identical quilt squares into a Component, not a group, and replace the other identical Groups with copies of that component. That way, you just have to R-click/Smooth/Soften edges to one component, and the others will all be smoothed at the same time.

Otherwise, you have to repeat the process for each Group individually, a great waste of time.


That’s so helpful! I’m making good progress!

After smoothing I still have some cleaning up to do. But I can’t get rid of those lines by selecting them and hitting delete or with the eraser tool, even with Control held down – deletes the whole thing. Is it a function of having been made in Soap Skin Bubble?


Select them again, and Soften/smooth, but look at the slider and increase the angle - that should fix it. On my phone at the moment but will check on computer shortly.

I can’t see it being a result of using Soap Skin Bubble.


Figured it out. I am working super small. My quilt pieces are 3/4" wide for example. Soap Skin Bubble leaves out snippets along the edge of the skin when working at such a small scale. So I just tried making one of my shapes much larger, measuring in feet, bubbling it, then scaling it back down to my puny size that I need. So far so good!


That would have been my next suggestion - glad you figured it out yourself. Anything like SSB or the native FollowMe tool that creates very small geometry in SU may fail, since SU merges points a very small distance apart and hence may fail to create small edges, though it can preserve them when scaled down.


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