The Free Motion Quilting Project: Day 69 - Prickly Holly

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Day 69 - Prickly Holly

I've been getting a lot of requests for holiday inspired designs, especially Christmas. So let's get started with Prickly Holly!

It's funny how I can come up with several holiday inspired designs like Spider Web, In Stitches, and Poinsettia with no trouble at all, but when I sit down with the intention of creating Christmas designs and nothing comes to mind.

So I started flicking through Christmas magazines from years past and looking for designs and ideas that are particularly suited for free motion designs.

Of course, holly leaves are some of the first to jump out at me and I think this design will make the perfect filler for any red, white, or green quilt.

Inspiration - Holly leaves are obviously the inspiration, but I wonder - why in the world are holly leaves and berries considered a Christmas decoration?

Turns out there's a really good book called The Boggart that I read way back in 5th grade (is it disturbing that I can remember that far back or what?) that mentions holly berries and leaves being used for Halloween, not Christmas, to ward off an evil female spirit.

Pretty cool, huh! It's an excellent book if you're looking for something light and simple to read as the weather turns cooler. 

Difficulty Level - Intermediate. The design itself is not hard, but maintaining the shape can be tricky, especially in weird areas. 

Design Family - Stacking. The holly leaves chain together to fill the space so they really can be used in any area of your quilt. They are time consuming, so make sure to place them where you won't be finishing a quilt for 2009 in 2010! 

Directional Texture - All directions. The holly leaves seem to come from all directions so you can really use this anywhere that you want an eye catching texture on your quilt.

Suggestions for Use - I like the idea of a red and white 9 patch quilt that is stitched with green contrasting thread over the white sashing. Why do I like the idea of it?

Because I have had the quilt top pieced for 2 years, yes! 2 YEARS without quilting it.

It's officially on my quilt hit list. Candy cane's days are numbered...

Back of Prickly Holly
Feel 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. I think this is one of my favorite designs. Thanks!

  2. Had to comment on the The Boggart. When my kids were younger we read this book, and listened to it on tape - it was one of our favorites. She's a fabulous writer!

    Love your site!

  3. How gorgeous! What type of sewing machine are you using to create these awesome FMQ designs?

  4. Delightful - you have me considering trying out something a bit more that the basic meandering stitch - and I have a lovely Round Robin top, handpieced, and have been gathering courage for over a year to quilt (still dithering, but maybe) - how do I email you with some suggested patterns to make your 365 list grow - you see you have me doodling design ideas

  5. I love this design and will know that I'll use it this Christmas!
    Thanks for posting this one:)
    Laura T


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