The Free Motion Quilting Project: Day 20 - Tree Bark

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Day 20 - Tree Bark

Wow! Day 20 is here already! It's pretty amazing how well this project is going. The ideas just seem to keep coming for new designs every day while I'm driving, checking my email, changing my son, and watching a movie.

Ideas rarely come when I'm actually sitting at my sewing machine chanting "Design! Design! Design!"

But there are exceptions like the design that I'm sharing today: Tree Bark.

quilting | free motion quilting

Inspiration: I quilt in a ugly, low ceiling, basement room that is paneled with hideous fake wood paneling.

As much as I hate that paneling and keep swearing that I will one day take time off of quilting to paint it, it still managed to inspire a beautiful quilting design all on its own.

Lesson learned: even ugly things you absolutely hate with a passion can still inspire beautiful things.

Difficulty Level - Intermediate. With this filler you don't need to be consistent, keep your lines even, or play by any "rules." This makes this design much easier to create for those people who work best in free form.

For those of you who struggle and fight freedom, this design may be more difficult because you will be continually trying to place rules where no rules belong.

Design Family - Edge to Edge.

Directional Texture: 2 directions. This design looks great placed horizontally or vertically on a quilt.

Suggestions for Use: Of course, using this design just as Tree bark is pretty limiting. The "knots" of the wood really remind me of eyes and I think this general design method could be used to easily create rough, line drawn quilted portraits.

This free motion design also reminds me of water swirling around rocks or pebbles in a stream.

Back of Tree BarkFeel 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. Very nice,Leah. I have been thinking of doing some tree patterns and this will be perfect. BTW, I have removed paneling like you have very easily. Just pull it off the wall!

  2. Hi Mainer,

    I know! I've ripped a ton of the stuff out of the house already, but it will require taking a break from quilting, and that's something I'm not willing to do.

    One of these days I'll paint the walls and create a real picturesque quilting space, but for now it does the job. My dream is to one day quilt in a open studio room full of windows!

    Enjoy the blog and please send in a photo of your quilt when it's finished. I can't wait to see it!


  3. Dear Leah,

    I am doing your quilt a sampler course over on Craftsy, but I am so excited by the quilting I havent even started on the BOM blocks, instead I am quilting anything and everything and trying loads of your designs from the 365 project. I really must calm down and do those blocks! Thank you so much for being such a great teacher, and for this amazing resource!


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