The Free Motion Quilting Project: Day 120 - Bubble Wand

Monday, January 18, 2010

Day 120 - Bubble Wand

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

I was looking at my husband's fish tanks yesterday and realized yet again that there is a wondrous amount of inspiration to be found there.

Today's design is inspired by the bubble wands he sometimes uses to aerate his tanks:

free motion quilting | Leah DayLast night I burned the first disc of the beginner dvd and will check it out this afternoon. This is the thing that usually takes a lot of time because I start getting obsessive-compulsive about every little thing.

But with this, I'm really trying to disengage my inner perfectionist and not take so much time changing tiny things that no one will notice anyway.

James is out of school today for the holiday and tomorrow for a teacher workday. I've been promising to make muffins and cookies with him, so I'm off to the store to pick up the essentials for Banana Crunch Muffins and Monster Cookies. YUM!

But before I go, let's learn how to quilt Bubble Wand!

Difficulty Level - Intermediate. This design is really not that hard so please don't be intimidated. I rated it at intermediate because there is such a large amount of traveling in this design.

Traveling is a challenging technique to learn for a beginner because you not only need a good balance between your machine speed and your hands, you also need good control over the quilt and the movements that you make.

To practice traveling, try making up a practice square and stitching long, straight lines, stop, then stitch right along your stitching line all the way back. After filling a 12" square with these traveled lines you'll either be really good at it or ready to strangle me!

Design Family - Edge to Edge. This design first starts with a stem that is then filled with the circular bubbles.

Stem designs can typically be wiggled in anywhere on your quilt, but because they're so attention getting, you probably want to put them in the open, uncomplicated areas of your quilt.

Directional Texture - Two Directions. Because this design is stitched along a stem, your eye will always be attracted to that shape and give your area a definite horizontal or vertical texture.

Suggestions for Use - This design just feels really fun and cheerful to me! I think it would make the perfect design for a big kid quilt.

Combine Bubble Wand with Sunshine and Creepy Bug for a really cool kid quilt. As James likes to say now "AWESOME!"

Back of Bubble Wand
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. I love this design!!! You are going to make me a machine quilter yet!! I can feel it! And thank-you for the beginner DVD that you are creating. With as much info as I get from the little clips on your blog, I can just imagine how wounderful the DVD is going to be!!!!

  2. Thanks for sharing your designs and your life. I agree with you regarding the meditatiie state you get to when you reach your creative zone. To enjoy each step of the process, ahhhh that is heaven. Jane

  3. I love it that you just keep noticing things that inspire more designs. Actually many of us could come up with designs if we would get out of some preconceived mindsets. But we are stuck. Plus, you apparently have more energy than ten of us put together.

  4. Another winner Leah
    I'm still recovering from shock - I've been asked to speak at our Guild meeting in June - they must think I've loads of quilts to talk about - not so - plenty of UFO's and pieced blocks, yes, but all but 1 completed top has been given away as a gift - now I know how you felt last week ;-0

  5. Ethne - You'll do just fine! Don't worry about not having enough to show.

    What matters more is what you say so practice this whole week while you're driving in the car or singing in the shower.

    It worked for me!



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