The Free Motion Quilting Project: Quilt Along #24 - Tree Roots

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Quilt Along #24 - Tree Roots

It's quilt along time again!  I hope you've had the chance to hop on your sewing machine and practice quilting Bare Branches.  While the straight lines and travel stitching can be tricky, it's sure to really boost your free motion quilting skills

This week we're going see what happens when Bare Branches goes all wiggly and wobbly!  When you make all those straight lines curvy, you end up with Tree Roots:

free motion quilting | Leah Day
This was one of the very first designs I created back in 2009 and it remains one of my absolute favorites.  The flowing, growing texture is the perfect addition to quilts of all shapes and sizes.

Let's learn how Tree Roots works by stitching a few simple rows, then expand with a totally random, free form version in this video:

Here's a photo of all the different versions and rows of Tree Roots stitched in the video:

free motion quilting | Leah Day
Really, there's no right or wrong way to practice any design.  Generally this year I've found that by teaching the simple, repeating rows you're able to see the basics of the design and get the hang of the movement.  Then once you try the totally random, totally free form version of the design, it's a lot easier to remember the steps to keep the design working smoothly.

Instructions for Linking Up Your Blog:

1. Write your blog post. Publish it on your blog.

2. Copy the link of the specific blog post. This is not just the link to your blog itself (, but the link to the specific post:

3. Click the blue link up button above and paste your link into the box.

Keep in mind that you're posting your progress from LAST week on THIS week's post. This way you have time to watch the lesson, play with the ideas, then post your progress to the next quilt along. I hope that makes sense!

Let's go quilt!

Leah Day


  1. I am glad you are showing lots of different designs. I think I'll use more of them to fill up the negative spaces in my modern quilt.

    Thanks for your encouragement on my blog!!


  2. Leah, you always do such a great job with your videos of quilt stitching. This one on Tree Roots was one of my favorites. It was a bit longer as far as stitching time, but I totally enjoyed watching. I got into it and found myself anticipating where you were going next or where I would go and you usually went there, too. Ha, maybe things are finally beginning to make quilting sense to ME!! Thank you.

  3. You are so right, that is such a graceful design and so versatile. Would be so perfect on a very "angular" pieced quilt!

  4. Leah,
    I noticed with both tree roots and tree branches that you seem to be able to keep your long lines parallel Did you make marks on your fabric to help you out? Or when I finally get so I do it, will those parallel lines come naturally? right now, my branches/roots don't look so good.

    Also, I'm struggling with quilting flames....I want flames!! Any hints on how to make it flame like instead of big fat leaves with pointed ends?

  5. I love this design on My Cup Runneth Over! It looks like lightening bolts going through the water


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