The Free Motion Quilting Project: Day 239 - Flame Ray Flower

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Day 239 - Flame Ray Flower

free motion quilting | Leah DayFor the last 3 months, we have lived with Sinkhole on our dining room wall. While beautiful in an unfinished / super dark quilt kinda way, I have to admit to being rather sick of looking at it over every meal.

So in its place I've hung Shadow Self, and it's amazing just how bright and cheerful the dining room has already started to feel. Part of that effect is due to the quilting design of huge flame rays radiating out from the center.

Looking at those rays, I decided it was time to try to quilt them into a new filler design:

free motion quilting | Leah Day

While this design doesn't shout "FLOWER!" at you at first glance, it certainly could if you changed it a bit. I've quilted it into this block to fill the block completely.

If you'd like the rays to look more like flower petals, simply bring the rays into a point at the ends, rather than continuing to expand them.

Difficulty Level - Intermediate. As you're quilting the first half of your flame ray, think of Sharp Stippling because that's exactly how it works! I find it always helps to have an idea like that in your head so the shapes of the design stay consistent throughout.

Design Family - Center Fill. Flame Ray Flower starts in the center of your quilting space and radiates out. Because of the way it's created, this is a design that is much easier to quilt in the large, open spaces of your quilt rather than in the tiny, complex areas.

Directional Texture - Center Focused. If you'd like to draw even more attention into the center of this design, consider starting with a smaller circle, and travel stitch a bit in this area to build up the thread. This will create heavier stitching in the center which will draw your eyes right in!

Suggestions for Use - This design has a lot of possibilities. You could use it as a flower in an applique quilt, or to fill in a whole block in large scale on a bed quilt.

While you're quilting it, think of the many possible variations! I was thinking of Sharp Stippling as I created the rays, but what if you swapped it out for Alien Fingers? What kind of texture could be created with that design instead?

Back of Flame Ray Flower
free motion quilting | Leah DayFeel 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


  1. Thanks for this year spent looking at your video.
    ciao ciao and Merry Christmas

  2. Awesome design, Leah! While I was preparing breakfast this morning, I looked at my "quilted" paper towels and saw a free-motion quilting design in it. It similar to one you've posted, but with a twist. I'm considering sending you the paper towel just to get your take on it. Do you accept ideas for new and different designs like this?

  3. You've got me thinking here. I work with Reiki (Chi), and I can't help wondering if you've created a sort of energy vortex with Sinkhole...which could explain the drain you felt when you looked at it in your dining room. Then again, it just might be your own personal connection to Sinkhole, a reminder of the life experiences and emotions that inspired you to design this quilt in the first place. Still, I think I'd like to do some research on the idea that we might actually be able to create an energy vortex with visual media. Wow, and yikes!


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