The Free Motion Quilting Project: Day 16 - Brain Coral

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Day 16 - Brain Coral

This design is also featured in my popular ebook From Daisy to Paisley along with many other free motion designs from this project! Click here to learn more about our Beginner Free Motion Quilting Fillers DVD.

Today is Day 16 and I'm looking back through these fillers in wonder. Sixteen different designs!

I never thought it was possible to have so many possibilities, but subtle difference in shape, such as deciding to create a point or turn a corner, can make a big difference in the look and texture of these fillers.

The filler I'm showing today is a great example of this. It's called Brain Coral:

free motion quilting | Leah Day
free motion quilting | Leah DayThis filler is really just a play off of Stippling! Do you see how?

Rather than make a single, super wiggly, but never crossing line, I've instead made a parallel set of super wiggly lines.

The first line of stitch is basic stippling, but echoing those stitches just one time can make a big difference in the texture it creates.

Watch How to Quilt this Filler in a Free Motion Quilting Video

free motion quilting | Leah DayInspiration: My husband, Josh Day, has maintained a 10 gallon saltwater tank since the summer of 2005. In this tank, he has beautiful corals and occasionally a bright, spunky fish.

One of the corals in the tank is called an Open Brain. This gorgeous coral is actually pretty closed up in this picture, but at night is opens up like a monster and expands to 2-3 times this size!

Difficultly Level: Beginner. Think of this design as the more responsible cousin of Stippling. Simply maintain an even stitch distance in your echo quilting and have some fun!

Design Family - Echoing.

Directional Texture: No Direction. Similar to Stippling, Brain Coral gives wonderful texture without a ton of distraction.

Suggestions for Use: Any art quilters out there needing to stitch some coral? No? Well in that case it would make a great fill around vines or other organic shapes. As you can tell from the video, this filler can easily trap you in a corner so just be careful when stitching across wide areas.

Of course, even if your trapped, you can always wiggle yourself back out again by traveling along your previous stitching!

Back of Brain Coral
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.

Happy Quilting!

Leah Day


  1. Thanks ... that's a great variation on stippling!

  2. Love the addition of how-to videos! This definately helps someone like me who is primarily a visual learner. Love this inspiration for this design, too.

  3. These are the greatest demos I have found. Thanks for all your hard work. It is very motivating to see items demonstrated correctly. They really make me want to practice. Thanks very much for all your hard work. I will be sure to give you credit if I use a design of yours. Keep it going!

  4. So how do you save patterns you like?


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