The Free Motion Quilting Project: Day 322 - Spiral Mess

Monday, September 26, 2011

Day 322 - Spiral Mess

Well it doesn't look like I've made anyone too mad over my post on not wanting a longarm. More than anything else, I just want you to be able to love quilting, no matter what machine you're using!

Speaking of enjoying quilting, here's a funky spiral design I had loads of fun quilting:

free motion quilting | Leah DaySpirals on top of spirals on top of spirals creates a real Spiral Mess!

One of the easiest design types to master are Overlapping Designs because just like the name sounds, all you have to do is overlap shapes to fill your quilt.

You don't really have to worry about each spiral being perfect because you can always layer another spiral on top and fix any issues with it. Seriously - try this design or Venn Diagram or Heart Confetti today and see what I mean!

Difficulty Level - Beginner. This design might look complex from the photo, but it's actually very easy to stitch. Just concentrate on stitching each spiral. Try to ignore any spirals or lines you're overlapping, then use any line in the mess to travel stitch and swirl out with a new spiral.

Design Family - Overlapping. Almost all of the designs in this family are a bit messy! If you’d prefer it to look a little less chaotic, try expanding each shape so they’re really large, and only overlapping a small amount. This way each shape will stand out on the surface and not get crowded by the other spirals.

Directional Texture - No Direction. When you stitch this over an area, there's really no particular direction that the filler moves your eye to. It’s kind of like a messy bedroom - there’s no order here!

Suggestions for Use - This is one design type that is specifically designed to be stitched very big and very quickly. Use this design to fill a quilt quickly and get good practice at stitching spirals at the same time. Remember - no one will be able to tell if your spirals are perfect or not, so have fun playing with this design today!

Back of Spiral Mess
free motion quilting | Leah DayFeel free to use this free motion quilting design 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


  1. you're one of the few people I know that can make a "Spiral Mess" look GOOD!

  2. I can see I need to check out your many designs. You make it look so easy. Thank you for sharing them.


  3. Hi Leah,
    I watch your free motion quilting tutorials almost every day. I just want to tell you how much I admire your talent and willingness to help the rest of us improve our quilting skills. You are an excellent teacher. Thank so very much for sharing. You make learning fun!

  4. Your "Spiral Mess" is just my spirals - haha.

    I don't think I could try this one, as I don't think I'm quite the level where I would be able to make it look intentional. (Venn Diagram interests me, but still just for practice, I have a hard time backtracking over the circles- circles are hard!)

    A great design though to follow up on your post about not wanting to longarm. This design is a good reminder there are no rules in quilting.

  5. I love this one! As I was watching it I realized this would be perfect for the quilt I am working on now. It has some polka dots in the middle of the blocks and I wanted something circular on the edges of the quilt. :)

  6. Your post on long arms made me angry - not at you, but at the fact that you have to defend yourself. I mean - you - of all people. Your quilting is exceptional, and should speak for itself, regardless of the type of machine you use.


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