The Free Motion Quilting Project: Day 101 - Heat Coil

Friday, December 4, 2009

Day 101 - Heat Coil

You know, creativity and inspiration really are everywhere. Seriously, everywhere!

Otherwise, how would it be possible to make a design inspired by the heat coil of my cooktop?

free motion quilting | Leah Day

Inspiration - It's truly amazing how inspiring simple shapes and textures can be. I was making eggs the other day and noticed the design created by the heating coils of the cooktop.

It's actually a very neat design, but I'd never noticed it before. It just goes to show that there are designs all around us, we just have to open our eyes and see them!

Difficulty Level - Beginner. This is really a great skill building design. Not only do you get to practice stitching straight lines through your quilting space, but you also get to practice curving spirals and echoing your previous line of stitching.

I mention in the video that the density of the design is completely controlled by how close you echo your previous stitching. In the photo, I've echoed around 1/4 inch, but you could easily echo 1/2" or 1" for a design that's less dense and covers much more space in less time.

Design Family - Edge to Edge. This design is created by first stitching edge to edge to form your foundation, then you travel to the center of the design and spiral your way out.

This is a design that will work really well over your whole quilt, especially over big blocks. If you're needing a big, all-over design, Heat Coil would be a good option to get your quilt finished quickly.

Directional Texture - Center focused. This design is definitely a bulls eye for your eyes! Of course this can be a great way to attract attention to certain dramatic areas of your quilt.

Suggestions for Use - Have you ever heard that babies really appreciate sharp color contrasts? My son would stare and stare at black and white fabric contrasts when he was little, but had very little use for blue, green, or yellow.

If you're wanting a baby blanket that will keep your newborn kid or grand kids amused for hours on end, try this simple, very nontraditional baby quilt pattern:

- Cut 2 pieces of black fabric the size of your desired baby blanket.
- Cut 1 piece of batting the same size.

Sandwich it up and then mark random squares between 6" and 12" all over the quilt.

Thread up white thread and quilt the outline of the squares, then quilt Heat Coil or another large, graphic design of your choice within the squares.

The white thread will contrast sharply with the black fabric and make for a super contrasting baby quilt. Set a newborn baby on his belly looking down on the quilt and enjoy at least 30 minutes of peaceful quite time while the kid is hypnotized by the contrasting colors.

I don't guarantee it will work for all babies, but it's sure to be an easy, fun project!

Back of Heat Coil
free 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. Thank you! I just finished a spider piece (see my recent blog on could have used your heatcoil so beautifully in that time for sure. I love your site and thank you for your great videos...clean, clear and creative!

  2. made a mistake on my site't have a www to it. I continued on with your sewing machine history...such an important story! My bernina 830 rarely fails me. Thanks again!


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