The Free Motion Quilting Project: Day 314 - Cubic Ripples

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Day 314 - Cubic Ripples

Last week’s Pebble Ripples was such a hit, let’s see if we can play with that texture again, only this time stitched with squares:

free motion quilting | Leah Day
Here’s another great example of what awesome textures you can get simply by swapping out the curvy lines for straight lines.

free motion quilting | Leah DayDesigns like these can be used to evoke a flat, rigid texture on your quilts. Always remember that you can contrast more than just colors on the surface of your quilts. You can also contrast with the textures you stitch over the quilt and this can lead to many interesting effects.

I still feel, a full year later, that Shadow Self is my best quilt simply because of the quilting design. Over the dark side of the yin yang in the center, I only used designs with straight lines and sharp angles. The lighter side and borders are filled with flowing, curvy lined designs.

This contrast isn't apparent from a great distance, but as soon as you get within 10 feet of the quilt, you can see that the darker sections simply feel different. I only wish I'd designed this Cubic Ripples design last year so it could have been in this section of the quilt too!

Difficulty Level - Intermediate. I’ve rated this design as a bit more difficult than Pebble Ripples simply because it might be a bit harder to stack pockets of Cubing together. Try stitching the original design a few times, then try Cubic Ripples. How many more designs can we create with this simple formula?

Design Family - Echoing. If you’re not quite ready to jump into the dynamic texture of Cubic Ripples, try Echo Maze or Echo Crosses instead. Both designs have a similar boxy texture and will be a good place to start when trying out this design.

Directional Texture - No Direction. While my first reaction to this design was to put it in the multidirectional category, after looking at it a bit more I realized it’s actually a lot flatter and recessive than I first thought. Try using it in the spaces of your quilts that need to recede and flatten out so other textures can show off more.

Suggestions for Use - This design is extremely graphic and full of only straight lines and sharp angles. What would happen if it was stitched around flowing, fluid lines? The contrast in textures would be really interesting to see, so definitely play with this design surrounding organic quilting motifs.

Back of Cubic Ripples
free motion quilting | Leah DayFeel free to use this free motion quilting design in your quilts

Let's go Quilt!

Leah Day


  1. Oh I really like this one. Very nice!
    Mary Beth

  2. So glad I found your blog! I've been an avid promoter of free motion quilting and now I can learn even more, so much fun! Wow, I feel like a beginner seeing all of your wonderful styles. Thanks so much!


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