The Free Motion Quilting Project: Totally Filler Tuesday--Josh's Favorites

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Totally Filler Tuesday--Josh's Favorites

Once again, it's Josh here.

It's Totally Filler Tuesday and today we're going to live up to the name by taking a stroll down memory lane and showcasing several of my personal favorite free motion filler designs.

With more than 200 filler designs already, the sheer volume of designs can get a little intimidating. Today I'm going to narrow down the aperture and focus on a few designs with some common themes.

Let's begin with an ancient and long extinct invertebrate, Trilobite.

Looking at this I feel like I'm in a fossil museum. Some other names that were tossed up for consideration were Nightcrawler, Millipede, and my personal favorite--Infinipede. These names were scrapped as multiple-legged insects are probably not what a quilter wants to be thinking about while stitching this design.

Leah states, "Because this design can easily dominate other designs, I'd hesitate to use it as a background filler. It would simply out compete everything around it! Make sure to place it in small areas, like sashing, where it can run free on a limited range (kind of like cage free chicken)."

Personally I can see this design as a thin but eye-popping border piece. One or two trilobite lines, tops, either as a final border or to break up portions of the quilt. This would look great in a sea or fossil themed quilt.

Click here to read the full entry on the Trilobite free motion filler design, complete with detailed instructions and a how-to video.

Next we have an interesting design called Little Hands and Fingers.

This is a unique and pretty wild design. The flow reminds me of coral polyps, which are essentially the bright buds or "flowers" that make up the colorful parts of coral species. It simultaneously reminds me of newspaper comics and Hieronymous Bosch.

Leah has a unique idea on how to utilize this design: "Here's my way cool idea: take the hand print of a whole bunch of kids (or one single kid with a long attention span) and applique or paint their hand shapes onto fabric squares. Put these together with a thin sashing and stitch Little Hands and Fingers all around the edge of the sashing as though the hands are gripping the block."

Another one of my favorites and also a design that's easy to miss is Oil Slick.

free motion quilting | Leah Day
It's like Salvador Dali's clocks and the BP spill. You could use this one practically anywhere. What I love about it is the repeat running over thread lines, making it thicker in the middle portions but thinning as it moves out. This is a pretty simple design and if I ever started quilting I think I'd begin with this one. There's just so much potential behind this.

Tomorrow I hope to film and hopefully blog Leah's new 2-room quilting wing. And I'll share a few more of my own favorite filler designs from the project as well. I know right now there's one I know I love but for the life of me can't remember or find.

Let's end with a fun, easy, and delicious pork tenderloin crockpot recipe!

1 pork tenderloin
1/3 cup French salad dressing
1 can cranberry sauce
1/2 cup onion, minced finely
1/4 cup celery, minced finely
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp sweet basil, dried
2 cloves garlic, minced

Mix French dressing and cranberry sauce thoroughly. Combing all other ingredients in sauce save for tenderloin. Place tenderloin in crockpot and cover in sauce. Cook on high for 5 hours or low all day.

See you tomorrow!



  1. Love x3 oil slick! It is super cool! It's nice that you are going back through some of the older designs. I came to this blog pretty late in the game, so it's terrific to see some of the fillers that I have missed.
    Still waiting to see that fish tank, Josh! Hope Leah is enjoying her vacation!

  2. The recipe sounds good, and I do like the older designs that you chose because they all look like they could be found in nature if you are looking at the right place.

  3. I can't wait to try your designs:) I'm home from a trip abroad and guess whose blog I'm checking on first:) Thanx!

  4. I love that oil slick! I used a version of it in the ocean part of my pelican quilt -- it was perfect! Thank you.


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