The Free Motion Quilting Project: Day 75 - Alien Fingers

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Day 75 - Alien Fingers

Let's try another stippling variation like Little Hands and Fingers, only this time we're going to stitch Alien Fingers!

free motion quilting | Leah DayI personally found Alien Fingers much easier to stitch because Aliens can have any number of fingers! It allowed me to go totally free form with this stitch and I think it looks better for it.

Back to my pondering on the difficulty of stippling...Why do we all insist on learning this design first?

Is it a form of free motion hazing or do we just like to make life difficult?

I don't know the answer, but I really hope that these stippling variations will help. It's nice to be able to think about something other than "meander, meander, don't cross your lines!"

Inspiration - To be truthful, I actually quilted this square before quilting Little Hands and Fingers and the real reason it was invented is because I screwed up making a human looking hand on the first row.

When it came out looking the way I wanted, but definitely not human looking, I just slapped a new name on it!

It just goes to show that sometimes your mistakes turn out too good to call them mistakes. Just keep quilting and see what you get.

It may not be what you expected, but it's better than giving up before you've had a chance to see what the design can do.

Difficulty Level - Super Beginner. This is very free form, but you still have something to think about, so yes, I think even beginners can tackle this design with no trouble!

Design Family - Independent. Yes, we do run in rows from edge to edge with this design, but because it fills so evenly, you really can't tell. This design will work wonderfully in any area of your quilt, big or small.

Directional Texture - No Direction. Alien Fingers is a background design and much like stippling, should be placed in areas of your quilt you want to recede into the background.

Suggestions for Use - After quilting this on black fabric and looking at it for awhile, I really thought it looked like some of the African dyed and painted fabrics I've seen.

This would look great stitched on a tribal quilt with browns, blacks, cream, and red colors.

Play with it and see what you come up with!

Back of Alien Fingersfree motion quilting | Leah Day
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 just recently discovered this blog and I'm completely hooked! My goal is to make a sample page of each of these designs, but I doubt I'll ever catch up. The Alien Fingers makes me think of seaweed, so there is another tought. Also a few areas made me think of the outline of leaves, such as Sassafrass (sp?) Thank you so much for sharing all of this with us and it really helps to see the inspiration and how you come up with the ideas. Thanks again! Debby also from NC, over in Mooresville.

  2. WOW how are you holding up - 75 down and only 290 days to go - this is some task / challenge you've taken on here - what about some tessellating shapes - I saw a saddle numah stitched with a horse quilting stitch, it was fantastic but there are other simpler shapes

  3. Great ideas Deb! I'll have to try this with fern filler and see what happens.

    Ethne - Yeah, things are starting to catch up with me. I'm going to be taking a break after day 100, but still posting daily on how to use the filler designs in your actual quilts!

    Tessellations are wonderful! I'll have to play with some ideas and see what happens this week.

    Now let's go quilt!

    Leah Day

  4. I am really enjoying watching the designs you create. I just wrote about your blog and linked to you on my blog. I hope that was OK? Guess I should have asked first. Thank you for all of the inspiration!

  5. Janet - That's perfectly fine! The more links the better!

    I'll make sure to share your blog with my readers this week.

    Thanks for spreading the word!


  6. I am really intrigued with this design. It reminds me of the Cuna Indian Molas.


Help us create more quilting tutorials! Check out our quilt shop at