The Free Motion Quilting Project: Day 4 - Swirling Flames

Monday, August 17, 2009

Day 4 - Swirling Flames

On to day 4! Today I want to show you a free motion quilting variation on Gentle Flames called Swirling Flames.

It's amazing that with only two differences, this filler stitch manages to look entirely different:

free motion quilting | Leah Day

This filler is much more adaptable to various sizes and shapes of quilting spaces and gives your eye a sense of movement from all directions. - This is the first free motion quilting filler to be inspired by another filler! It just goes to show that even our most tried and true patterns: Stippling, McTavishing, Pebbling, and Paisley could all look different with just a few variations in size, shape or direction.

Difficulty Level - Intermediate. This filler is more challenging because you're filling in the space from many different directions. The initial curvy "V" shapes are going to be very easy to quilt, but filling in the little spaces around them requires a little more planning.

Just take your time, and if you have to, stop and think about it until the stitch becomes naturally ingrained into your brain!

Design Family - Edge to Center.

Directional Texture - All directions! This is an excellent filler for creating movement and drama to your quilt because of all the texture created by the swirling lines of quilting.

Suggestions for Use - Gosh, there are so many: waves, ground, sky, background, sashing, borders, anywhere! This is one versatile filler because it could really go anywhere and look beautiful.

Back of Swirling Flames
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. Leah, this is so stunning. The first thing that came to mind was "amber waves of grain".
    Thank you for sharing your processes, hints and who you are!

  2. I wish this demo had been a bit longer so I could see the transitions and how to fill in the between spaces. I'm an experienced quilter but just not in free-motion, but I have watched this video many times and still feel something missing. Otherwise I am just LUVING your blog. I've started a notebook too. Thanks so much.


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