Monday, August 31, 2009

Day 18 - Spiral Chain

Today I've been pondering my dislike of Basic Spiral. That filler worked okay, but remember that I disliked certain areas of the fill.

So I decided to create Spiral Chain to see if I could get the handle on a good spiral quilting design.

quilting | free motion quilting
But the truth is, I really don't care for this design either! Maybe me and spirals just don't mix.

Your choice of free motion designs is entirely based on personal opinion. Some shapes will be easier for your body to create, while others will seem ridiculously difficult.

Usually this is due to muscle memory. Some shapes are easier to do because your body is used to making that movement. If you find yourself struggling with a certain shape or design, draw it several times, and you'll find it much easier to quilt.


Inspiration - I love the spiral shape, but creating a filler design with them is proving tricky! Maybe spirals work best when they're part of the quilt design (piecing or applique) itself and not part of the quilting?

Spirals can be very dramatic shapes, like in this quilt Life and Fire:

Difficulty Level - Beginner. With this filler you need to do some split second estimation to gauge how much space you need to get inside the spiral and back out. As with all the other designs, sometimes all this takes is practice!

Design Family - Edge to Edge.

Directional Texture - This is a tough one. Because all the spirals run in a line, technically there's a definite horizontal or vertical directional texture going on. But because they're spirals, they go in all directions. It is a safe bet that you should use this design in areas where you want a lot of movement and showy quilting.

Suggestions for Use - Like Henna Foofy, these wave spirals would look terrific as the edging of a quilt or the cuffs of a jacket. It would also look terrific expanded in the sashing between quilt blocks.

Back of Spiral ChainFeel free to use this free motion filler designs in your quilts,
and make sure to tell your friends where you learned it.

Click here to support the project by visiting our online quilt shop.

Happy Quilting!

Leah Day

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Day 17 - Matrix

Today's free motion quilting design is so easy, but beautiful I'm kicking myself for not creating it sooner!
quilting | free motion quilting
As complex as it looks, Matrix is only created with overlapping lines. It's as easy as stitching cross hatch grid, only instead of worrying about keeping your lines perfectly straight, all you have to worry about it keeping them an equal distance apart. Very Easy!


Inspiration: I really love to do grid quilting in the open areas of wholecloth quilts like my Duchess (image to the right). Suddenly I thought "Can't I do this without marking?" but I kept wondering about the lines getting all wobbly with no marked lines.

Then I had the brainwave to make the lines wiggly on purpose! It's amazing what a simple concept can create.

Difficulty Level: Beginner. How hard is it to stitch parallel wiggly lines?

Design Family - Edge to Edge.

Directional Texture: Both all directions and none. This filler does add a lot of directional texture, but because it's so consistent (i.e. the lines are equal distance apart) it's also very flat and can easily recede into the background.

Suggestions for Use: Background areas could easily be filled with this design in no time, It would also look terrific over appliqued flowers and vines.

Back of MatrixFeel free to use this free motion filler designs in your quilts,
and send in a picture to show it off.

Click here to support the project by visiting our online quilt shop.

Happy Quilting!

Leah Day

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Day 16 - Brain Coral

This design is also featured in the book From Daisy to Paisley along with many other free motion designs from this project! Click here to learn more about this beginner level book and DVD.

Today is Day 16 and I'm looking back through these fillers in wonder. 16 different designs!

I never thought it was possible to have so many possibilities, but subtle difference in shape, such as deciding to create a point or turn a corner, can make a big difference in the look and texture of these fillers.

The filler I'm showing today is a great example of this. It's called Brain Coral:

quilting | free motion quilting
free motion quiltingThis filler is really just a play off of Stippling! Do you see how?

Rather than make a single, super wiggly, but never crossing line, I've instead made a parallel set of super wiggly lines.

The first line of stitch is basic stippling, but echoing those stitches just one time can make a big difference in the texture it creates.

Watch How to Quilt this Filler in a Free Motion Quilting Video


free motion quiltingInspiration: My husband, Josh Day, has maintained a 10 gallon saltwater tank since the summer of 2005. In this tank, he has beautiful corals and occasionally a bright, spunky fish.

One of the corals in the tank is called an Open Brain. This gorgeous coral is actually pretty closed up in this picture, but at night is opens up like a monster and expands to 2-3 times this size!

Difficultly Level: Beginner. Think of this design as the more responsible cousin of Stippling. Simply maintain an even stitch distance in your echo quilting and have some fun!

Design Family - Echoing.

Directional Texture: No Direction. Similar to Stippling, Brain Coral gives wonderful texture without a ton of distraction.

Suggestions for Use: Any art quilters out there needing to stitch some coral? No? Well in that case it would make a great fill around vines or other organic shapes. As you can tell from the video, this filler can easily trap you in a corner so just be careful when stitching across wide areas.

Of course, even if your trapped, you can always wiggle yourself back out again by traveling along your previous stitching!

Back of Brain Coral
free motion quiltingFeel free to use this free motion filler designs in your quilts,
and make sure to tell your friends where you learned it.

Click here to support the project by visiting our online quilt shop.

Happy Quilting!

Leah Day

Friday, August 28, 2009

Day 15 - Flowing Glass

Isn't it crazy how fast time flies? Four and a half years ago I was getting married and had never created a quilt.

Six years ago I thought my greatest ambition was to become a famous jewelry and beadwork designer. And eight years ago all I wanted to do was make lampwork glass beads.

It's funny to think about how different my life is now from what it was then. The wonderful thing is that my love for molten glass can still be expressed in beautiful quilting stitches, like in today's free motion quilting filler: Flowing Glass.

quilting | free motion quilting


Free Motion Quilting Video on Flowing Glass

Inspiration:
Lately I've been reading the Nora Robert's Born In Series, and the main character in Born In Fire is an amazing glass blower. Of course her talent and beautiful art leads her to find the man of her dreams, fall madly in love, and live happily ever after, of course, in Ireland.

This filler makes me also think of pebbles in a stream and flowing water. Once I listened to a talk by a glass blower at a Renaissance Fair who claimed that glass was a constant liquid, even when it looks solid to us, it's really still flowing and moving like water.

Difficulty Level - Beginner. Concentrate on maintaining an equal distance between your wavy lines of water and the shape of your glass globes and this filler will always come out perfect.

Design Family - Edge to Center.

Directional Texture: 2 directions. This is a vertical or horizontal filler because when you look at it, you can't help but see the lines created by stitching to the middle and back repeatedly.

Suggestions for Use: This would look great as a horizon line in a sunset quilt or as fill in pretty much any area of a quilt. It's a gorgeous filler that takes very little time to apply and the end result is gorgeous!

Back of Flowing GlassFeel free to use this free motion filler designs in your quilts,
and make sure to tell your friends where you learned it.

Click here to support the project by visiting our online quilt shop.

Happy Quilting!

Leah Day

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Day 14 - Circuit Board

I'm feeling a bit wired with today's free motion filler design Circuit Board!

quilting | free motion quilting
free motion quiltingAdmittedly, this filler isn't consistent throughout this sample, but I wanted to show you how simply by changing 2 things: the length of the stitched lines and the distance between them, you can achieve a completely different filling look.

Free Motion Quilting Video: Circuit Board

Inspiration:
Despite the title, circuit boards were really not on my mind when I started quilting this filler. Actually it reminds me more of South American hieroglyphics!

Difficulty Level: Beginner. I mention in the video the importance of drawing this filler to gain muscle memory. If you find yourself struggling to quilt a certain shape or getting a shape to a specific size, draw it! Chances are your brain just isn't quite wrapped around the design yet, but if you draw it a few times, the quilting will be much easier.

Design Family: Independent.

Directional Texture: No specific direction. When stitched densely, this filler has a very flat, directionless effect. When you look at a page of hieroglyphics or even regular writing, there usually isn't a noticeable direction for your eyes to follow.

Suggestions for Use: Directionless fillers work the best as background or placed in small tight areas where a lot of movement wouldn't look good.

This filler would look especially funky in the center of flowers or even leaves. The modern, boxy texture might contrast nicely to organic shapes and smooth lines.

Back of Circuit Board
free motion quiltingFeel free to use this free motion filler designs in your quilts,
and send in a picture to show it off!

Click here to support the project by visiting our online quilt shop.

Happy Quilting!

Leah Day

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Day 13 - Wandering Clover

This design is also featured in the book From Daisy to Paisley along with many other free motion designs from this project! Click here to learn more about this beginner level book and DVD.

For Day 13 I've decided to mix things up a bit. If you haven't noticed already, I rarely create free motion designs where the lines of quilting cross.

I'm not a fan of flowery shapes particularly, so I decided to test my limits by designing this Wandering Clover:
quilting | free motion quilting
My personal opinion is that a filler should fill a space and add some texture and interest, but not draw so much attention that it competes with the major design elements within the quilt.

But I'm finding that really any filler design, even a Cat Hairball filler, can be used just about anywhere without being distracting so long as you use threads that match with your fabric color.

So this means that the real determinate of eye distraction is color, not texture!


Inspiration: With this filler I just sat at my sewing machine and started stitching. I really had no thought in my head at all, but after the three petals formed, I thought "Oh, clover! Cool!" and just kept on quilting.

free motion quiltingTechnically this filer doesn't look anything like clover as you can see from this picture:

But what plant has three leaves and twists like a vine? Poison Oak. Sorry, but I prefer to think of this as clover because at least I'm not horribly allergic to it!

Difficulty Level - Beginner. The one thing I can say for this filler is it hides its mistakes. Don't worry about every leaf being perfect or the line wandering just so. The texture blends itself very nicely so you can hide your mistakes so long as you keep moving evenly.

Design Family - Independent.

Directional Texture - No Directions. This is what I call a flat filler, or background fill. It's perfect for small tight areas that just need the piss stitched out of them, but no extra directional texture.

Suggestions for Use - Background is pretty much background in any quilt. You could easily expand this to stitch to meander over the whole surface of your quilt, but you'll want to expand the clovers to about the size of your hand first, otherwise you'd be quilting that sucker for the rest of your life!

Back of Wandering Cloverfree motion quilting
As you've probably noticed this week that you can't quite see the stitching on the backs of these blocks.

I've been using The Bottom Line thread, which is probably the thinnest thread in existence. You'd never know it was white thread on lavender fabric because the thread is so fine it blends right in.

Just goes to show that your thread choice matters in any quilt!


Happy Quilting!

Leah Day

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Day 12 - Tree Roots

Now for Day 12's quilting filler! This free motion filler of Tree Roots is inspired by the trees that so often show up in Dottie Moore's work:

free motion quilting | free motion quilting pattern

Inspiration: If you haven't already, go check out Dottie's work here. You'll be very glad you did.

Difficultly Level: Beginner. Depending on how "rooted" your mind is, this will either be easy or hard! Concentrate less on filling in the area perfectly and more on building a beautiful, life fulfilling tree root system.

Design Family: Independent

Directional Texture: All directions or none. My personal opinion is that this filler could be used anywhere: background, small areas, and big spaces equally well. Experiment with it and give yourself permission to play!

Suggestions for Use: Hmmm...Tree Roots? That's not very hard! You could also use this filler around Celtic knots for an interesting background and textured alternative to microstippling. This filler would also look terrific in the sashing of a appliqued quilt or surrounding flowers in a grandmother's flower garden.

Back of Tree Roots
free motion quilting | free motion quilting patternFeel free to use this free motion filler designs in your quilts,
and send in a picture to show it off!


Happy Quilting!

Leah Day

Quilting inside a Box of Limitations

In March 2007 I attended a workshop that literally changed my life and my quilting forever. Of course, like all life changing experiences, I absolutely didn't realize it at the time!

The workshop was with Dottie Moore, an amazingly talented fiber artist that lives less than an hour from my home.

Dottie Moore opened my eyes to some of the limitations I was putting on myself as a quilter. Limitations like always using 3 layers in a quilt. Of course, we have to have at least 3 for it to be a quilt, but who says there can't be more?

I'm familiar with limitations because I lived an breathed in restricted air space for 8 years while I was into beadwork.

No! Stone beads CAN NEVER be placed next to glass!
NO! Purple MUST be put with BLACK!
NO NO NO! Stitching beads on fabric is CHEATING!

Get the idea?

My question is this: Are you doing this to yourself in your quilting time too?

While I was doing beadwork, I thought I loved it. Only after I got into quilting did I realized how much of a struggle it was. So many rules, so many limitations, and all I was doing was stringing beads!!!

But these kinds of limitations can happen just as easily for quilters:

A quilt is only a QUILT if it is made by HAND!
Your blocks MUST be put together with 2.5" sashing!
Machine quilting is NOT ART, it's LAZINESS stitched in SATANIC THREADS!!!

Okay, maybe I'm going overboard with that last one, but seriously, how often have you felt like you've been quilting inside a box of limitations?

I recently realized the growing number of limits I was putting on my quilting, even putting on these free motion filler designs.

The desire to finish a quilt quickly can sometimes overwhelm my desire to try something new. Because of this, I often choose the 2 easiest fillers for me to stitch: Microstippling and McTavishing.

It's not laziness so much as impatience and fear of trying something new, but I always end up with reasons to justify my choice:

The areas were too close together, I HAD to use Microstippling.
This quilt has so many open areas, I HAVE to McTavish.
I need to finish this TODAY, therefore I MUST use THESE stitches.

The point of designing a new filler every single day is to use them! So from this day forward, the gloves are off!

I HAVE to use at least 1 new filler design in EVERY project I start or have in progress, even if it looks WEIRD.

Worst thing that will happen? My quilts might look a little strange to me, but probably not to anyone else.

The BEST thing that could happen? I might actually release my fear, squelch my impatience, and realize the true art of quilting isn't in getting something done RIGHT NOW, but in getting it done right.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Day 11 - Moon Paisley

This design is also featured in my book From Daisy to Paisley along with many other free motion designs from this project! Click here to learn more about this beginner level book and DVD.

It's Day 11 and I'm completely over the moon about this project!

This is a fun variation of the Paisley Design that uses half-moon shapes instead of tear drops:

Inspiration - Paisley is one of my favorite designs, but I never realized until working on Release Your Light that this design has millions of possible variations. All you have to do is change the starting shape and you can come up with a totally new design!

Difficulty Level - Intermediate. This design is not difficult, but you will need to focus on the crescent moon shapes as you stitch them.

If you have trouble stitching them, stop and draw the design for a little while and you might find it easier to stitch. Building muscle memory is a wonderful thing!

Design Family - Pivoting

Directional Texture - All directions. This design is stitched swirling in all directions and will give you a wonderful texture all over your quilt.

Suggestions for Use - This design can easily be stitched small and tiny in the complex areas of your quilt or it can be stitched really big to cover the whole surface in a short space of time.

Try using this design around curving applique designs for an interesting contrast in texture and shape!

Back of Moon Paisley
Feel free to use this free motion filler designs in your quilts,
and make sure to tell your friends where you learned it!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Day 10 - Sashiko Shell

For day 10, we're going to take a trip to the past, my past to be precise! When I first got started quilting, I loved Sashiko, or Japanese style quilting.

Sashiko is different from the typical quilting you see in America because the emphasis is on the lines of quilting stitches. Instead of hiding stitches in the ditch, Sashiko stitches are usually a contrasting color and definitely stitched to show!

Today's free motion filler stitch was inspired by a traditional Sashiko quilting stitch:

free motion quilting design | quilting pattern

In Sashiko quilts, stitches are usually 1" or more apart, so fillers are usually not stitched this densely. Because it's so tight, you don't have to perfectly space and stitch it like traditional Sashiko. This gives the filler a more organic look, almost like rattlesnake skin!


Click Here if the Video Does Not Appear

Inspiration - Sashiko quilting! This was a huge source of inspiration for me when I first started quilting because, even in the beginning, the idea that the quilting makes the quilt was definitely something I believed in.

Difficulty Level - Beginner. Keep your shapes as consistent or inconsistent as you want. It really doesn't matter with this filler because it all receeds into the background.

Design Family - Stacking.

Directional Texture - No directions. This is a background filler like stippling or pebbling. There's nothing much for your eyes to catch on, so this would be a terrific filler to place where you don't want a lot of movement or distraction.

Suggestions for Use - Backgrounds can be easily filled with this stitch! Other uses include rattlesnake skin, centers of flowers, and small tight areas that just need a little stitching to finish off, like the insides of celtic knots.
Back of Sashiko ShellFeel free to use this free motion filler designs in your quilts,
and send in a picture to show it off!

Click here to support the project by visiting our online quilt shop.

Let's go Quilt!

Leah Day

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Day 9 - Cursive F's

For Day 9 I want to share with you an excellent site on traditional Henna designs and my free motion quilting filler created with the Henna "Fooffy" design element:

free motion quilting design | quilting pattern
While most quilters wouldn't immediately think of Henna body art designs as sources for free motion quilting inspiration, I do! In fact, these traditional designs lend themselves very well to free motion quilting because of the way they are created.

When you have Henna applied, the artist works with a small bag with a tip, almost like a pastry bag, filled with liquid Henna pigments. These pigments smear very easily, so they're always applied in a continuous line fashion.

Even better, most Henna designs are also very simplistic shapes that are repeated numerous times to give an all over effect - just like free motion quilting!


Inspiration - The Henna Page Online is the absolute best source for free Henna information and designs on the internet! Check it out and see how many designs you can translate to your quilts in free motion stitches.

Difficulty Level - Beginner. Just about everyone has had cursive writing brained into their skulls by the age of 12, so cursive "f's" should be no trouble. Just think of your needle like a pencil and your quilt like your paper and "write" to your heart's content.

Design Family - Edge to Edge.

Directional Texture - All directions with a catch. Look back at the example. See how the lines of "f's" stack on top of one another? This creates lines that your eyes will catch when skimming across a quilt.

Of course this wouldn't matter if it was an expanded free motion designs stitched over the whole surface of the quilt, but if you put this in the background of a wholecloth, it's going to show.

Suggestions for Use - Because of the lines, I personally don't think that the "Fooffy" design works well over a large area. Instead, I believe this free motion stitch will look terrific in small, tight areas like flowers, stems, and leaves.

This would also look awesome as the trim along the last 1/2" of a quilt right before the binding or along the sleeves and cuffs of a quilted jacket.

Fooffy creates perfect leaves!
Feel free to use this free motion filler designs in your quilts,
and make sure to tell your friends where you learned it at!

Click here to support the project by visiting our online quilt shop.

Let's go Quilt!

Leah Day

Friday, August 21, 2009

Day 8 - Fern & Stem

This design is also featured in the DVD Beginner Free Motion Quilting Fillers, as well as the book From Daisy to Paisley. Click here to learn more about this beginner level book and DVD.

Today is Day 8, so I've officially completed one full week of free motion filler (say that three times fast)!

Last night I went to a quilt guild meeting and met Priscilla Hair, the self proclaimed Queen of South Carolina Quilting! This is one amazing quilter who shared a funny, entertaining trunk show of beautiful quilts.

The reason I mention this meeting is because today's filler is actually inspired by Kay Young, another quilter in my guild.

free motion quiltingThis is a very interesting filler that creates a lot of movement and texture for your eyes.


free motion quiltingInspiration - Kay's quilting and the many mimosa trees around my yard inspired this filler. You could also look at fiddle head ferns for more inspiring free motion quilting designs.

Difficulty Level - Intermediate. If you were covering a very large section of quilt, it might be tricky to stitch the stem all in one go, but as long as you keep your stitches consistent and an even distance apart, this filler will always look terrific!

Design Family - Stem Centered.

Directional Texture - All Directions! Depending on how wiggly your fern fronds, this filler could have movement in all directions.

Suggestions for Use - This filler contains a very noticeable stem that definitely becomes a design element in itself. Because of this, you wouldn't want to use this quilting filler in a situation where the stem conflicted with other quilting elements like in a wholecloth.

Instead, Fern & Stem looks best over busy fabrics filling up large empty spaces such as borders and block backgrounds.

Back of Fern & Stem
free motion quilting
Feel free to use this free motion filler designs in your quilts,
and make sure to tell your friends where you learned it.

Click here to support the project by visiting our online quilt shop.
 
Let's go Quilt!
 
Leah Day

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Day 7 - Echo Rainbow

Yesterday we learned about Echo Shell and how to make it look both random and natural. Today for day 7 we're going to learn about Echo Rainbow, a more structured free motion quilting filler.

free motion quiltingAs you can see this filler uses wide, half circle shapes that are echo stitched with multiple rays each. This gives each half circle the look of fat rainbows.

Because they're stacked like bricks on top of one another, these fillers appear much more regimented than the random patterns created by Echo Shell.


free motion quiltingInspiration - The cover of the book "Quilts of Provence" again played an important role in designing this free motion quilting stitch. It just goes to show that one picture, image, object, painting, or sculpture can inspire multiple stitching designs and motifs.

The sky really is the limit!

Difficulty Level - Intermediate. These rainbows are very easy to stitch so long as you maintain the same distance from your previous stitching as you echo back and forth. The difficulty is in travel stitching to the areas you need to quilt and stacking the rainbows perfectly together.

Design Family - Echoing.

Directional Texture - This is another 3 direction filler. Like Echo Shells, you can definitely tell where you start with this filler because it's almost like your horizon line. For this reason, it's a great sky or border filler, but probably not the best to fill in blocks around appliques where you really want more movement from all directions.

Suggestions for Use - Sky and borders! If you were into quilted clothing, this would also look great as the filler going up a jacket.

Back of Echo Rainbowfree motion quiltingFeel free to use this free motion filler designs in your quilts,
and make sure to tell your friends where you learned it at!

Click here to support the project by visiting our online quilt shop.

Let's go Quilt!

Leah Day

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Day 6 - Echo Shell

This design is also featured in the book From Daisy to Paisley along with many other free motion designs from this project! Click here to learn more about this beginner level book and DVD.

Today is day 6 and the free motion design I'd like to share is called Echo Shell. You may have seen a version of this before:

free motion quiltingThis difference between this filler and the typical echo half circle filler is that this is much more random. Notice how all the circles radiate out in different directions with different amounts of rays? This causes the filler to appear much more random and, at least in my opinion, more pleasing to the eye.

Here's an example of a less random Echo Shell:


free motion quiltingInspiration - My wonderful hubby gifted me with "Quilts of Provence," a beautiful book on french Provence quilting. The cover displayed a quilt with a design that inspired this design.

Traditional echo shell has been around for hundreds of years as first a hand quilting stitch, then a machine quilting free motion stitch. Now placed in a random arrangement, echo shell is ready for the modern age!

Difficulty Level - Beginner. Because you have complete control over the direction and size of the shells, this is a pretty easy filler to learn.

Design Family - Echoing

Directional Texture - 3 directions. This is one filler that is very obvious where the starting line is because it grows from the bottom up or top down. This gives your filled space an appearance of going in 3 directions.

Suggestions for Use - Like yesterday with the Basic Spiral, this is a pretty dominate filler. It would look great as the sky in a simple landscape quilt. The echo shells have a bit of a Greek look to them, don't you think? Maybe a good idea for a tribute to the Odyssey!

Back of Echo Shell
free motion quiltingFeel free to use this free motion filler designs in your quilts,
and send in a picture to show it off!


Let's go Quilt!

Leah Day

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Day 5 - Basic Spiral

This design is also featured in the book From Daisy to Paisley along with many other free motion designs from this project! Click here to learn more about this beginner level book and DVD.

Day 5 is here and I've got an interesting free motion quilting filler for you! Today I created this sample of Basic Spirals:


free motion quiltingThe thing is, I don't particularly like this sample. Yes, the spirals look good, but I don't like the areas between them, particularly when the areas required a boxy shape to fill the space.

This is one of those things that an happen when free motion quilting: your main motif might look great and fill in loads of space, but the area around it doesn't look as good.

In this situation, I liked the places where the line came to a point like here:

free motion quiltingBut I really hated those areas where it turned boxy, like here:

free motion quiltingThis filler is still a very nice looking stitch and most quilters probably won't be as picky as I am being. I get picky because these areas snag the eye and fillers are meant to be consistent throughout.

This is another reason why I don't like fillers where the lines cross excessively. Your eyes can't process all the lines and it ends up looking like a kid's crayon scribble. Of course, in the right place, crayon scribble might look good, but I certainly haven't found that place yet!

Of course with practice and correct placement of the spirals, I might be able to completely eliminate the areas I don't like. This is definitely one of those free motion stitches that you could practice over the whole surface of a twin sized quilt and by the time you get done, you'd be a master at it.


Inspiration - I have seen this filler in a quilt before and was reminded of it when stitching Swirling Flames. Spirals are so beautiful!

Difficulty Level - Beginner. The spirals themselves are not difficult once you get the hang of them, it's the areas around the spirals that are tricky.

Design Family - Independent.

Directional Texture - All directions! Spirals really grab your eyes and stimulate your mind when you look at them. I love including spirals as motifs in quilts and now they can be added as filler as well!

Suggestions for Use - This is a pretty dominate filler, so you don't want to put it anywhere you want a solid feel. Those places are always better filled with microstippling. Use Spirals around applique to create movement, particularly around flower shapes. It would also work terrifically as waves, wind, or clouds in a landscape quilt.
Back of Basic Spirals
free motion quiltingFeel free to use this free motion filler designs in your quilts,
and send in a picture to show it off!

Click Here to support the project by visiting our online quilt shop.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Day 4 - Swirling Flames

On to day 4! Today I want to show you a free motion quilting variation on Gentle Flames called Swirling Flames.

It's amazing that with only two differences, this filler stitch manages to look entirely different:


This filler is much more adaptable to various sizes and shapes of quilting spaces and gives your eye a sense of movement from all directions.


free motion quiltingInspiration - This is the first free motion quilting filler to be inspired by another filler! It just goes to show that even our most tried and true patterns: Stippling, McTavishing, Pebbling, and Paisley could all look different with just a few variations in size, shape or direction.

Difficulty Level - Intermediate. This filler is more challenging because you're filling in the space from many different directions. The initial curvy "V" shapes are going to be very easy to quilt, but filling in the little spaces around them requires a little more planning.

Just take your time, and if you have to, stop and think about it until the stitch becomes naturally ingrained into your brain!

Design Family - Edge to Center.

Directional Texture - All directions! This is an excellent filler for creating movement and drama to your quilt because of all the texture created by the swirling lines of quilting.

Suggestions for Use - Gosh, there are so many: waves, ground, sky, background, sashing, borders, anywhere! This is one versatile filler because it could really go anywhere and look beautiful.

Back of Swirling Flames
free motion quiltingFeel free to use this free motion filler designs in your quilts,
and make sure to tell your friends where you learned it.

Click here to support the project by visiting our online quilt shop.
 
Let's go Quilt!
 
Leah Day

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