The Free Motion Quilting Project: Day 110 - Modern Art

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Day 110 - Modern Art

This design is also featured in the DVD Beginner Free Motion Quilting Fillers, as well as the ebook From Daisy to Paisley.

Two of my favorite designs from earlier in the project have been Trailing Tears and Flowing Glass.

I decided it was time to try a variation of these designs with sharper angles and straight lines. With just those simple changes we easily get Modern Art!

free motion quilting | Leah DayYou know something really weird?

I've hated modern art for most of my life. I thought it was too sterile, too clean, too perfect to be realistic.

And then I walk into my kitchen the other day and realize that I've pretty much designed the room with the exact clean lines and simplicity of most modern architecture!

It just goes to show that your taste can change at any given time and for any given reason.

I'm starting to realize that the reason why most modern homes look so clean and neat is because they're built with huge closets, drawers, and a million places to hide all the regular "stuff" that most of us leave lying around.

I'm starting to like the style because it's so simple and clean. Maybe this is my reaction because my studio and office and desk are always so cluttered?

I don't know if that's the reason or not, but I do find that when I walk into a room and there is nothing on the counters or tables, no clutter or "stuff" lying around, I feel more peaceful.

Maybe it's also a sign I should clean my office and studio more often! Okay, enough about my clutter issues, let's learn how to infuse our quilts with modern art!

Inspiration - I had a real hard time naming this design, but when I looked at it for awhile, all I could think about was modern art.

I'm going to set the intention this year to be more open minded. It's easy to get mentally stuck in a particular mindset about art or quilting. It's easy to form rules like "I only like..." or "This can only be done THIS way!"

I've found that these rules and opinions can really get in the way and form limitations to my quilting design and style.

The best rule to follow is that there are no rules! Let's just make it up as we go along!

Difficulty Level - Beginner. If you can draw a skinny triangle, you can stitch this design. In fact, I plan to use this design, expanded to a larger scale, over my latest Super Quick Quilt that I pieced with "Delft Remix" fabric by Susan K Stamilio.

Design Family - Edge to Center. This design is created working off the edge of your quilting space. Because of the way it's created, this design will work great in open, simple areas, like sashing.

You can also expand the design to cover big blocks really quickly. Details on that soon!

Directional Texture - Two directions. You can definitely see a horizontal / vertical texture with this design, but that doesn't mean it won't look terrific anywhere on your quilt.

Suggestions for Use - Rather than leave your sashing areas naked, or worse, ignoring them with a big, all-over meandering design, stitch Modern Art into these areas and give them a little more attention then they normally get.

After all, if you take the time to cut and piece all that sashing, the least you can do is show it off a bit!

Back of Modern Art
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. How do you drop your feed dogs on your Juki? I have been looking at them on line since your recommendation and just want to be sure that I know how to drop them.

  2. Hi Darlynn - Yes, on you can drop the feed dogs on the Juki Tl-98QE, but I honestly prefer not to.

    Instead I simply keep the feed dogs up, lower the stitch length to 0 and cover the whole bed of the machine with a supreme slider.

    I do this because I've found that many machines can have tension problems with the feed dogs down.

    Let's go quilt!

    Leah Day

  3. I am definitely going to try this one! With a small modification, LOL. Since I usually have narrow sashing, I will make my "art" run more parallel to this edge - long and skinny instead of tall and skinny.


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