The Free Motion Quilting Project: Day 141 - Swirling Water

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Day 141 - Swirling Water

Well, I haven't yet destroyed the original My Cup Runneth Over, but I am thinking hard about the next version.

One thing I do know that I will do the same is the filler I used over the water section called Swirling Water:

free motion quilting | Leah DayThis was a particularly tricky design to come up with as I wanted something very swirly, but no gaps or open spaces like Basic Spiral.

It's a little bit more advanced, but not terribly so. The biggest trouble I have is thinking ahead and knowing where to go in advance. It's almost like playing chess in a way - you always want to be 2-3 moves ahead.

Difficulty Level - Intermediate. This design is complex, but it flows very nicely. I got into a great rhythm with this design very quickly.

It's just a shame that dense stitching doesn't look as good (in my opinion) on fused fabric. Maybe it will look better when I get it wet and block it?

Design Family - Branching.

Filler Design Type - Branching. This design is formed by first forming a swirl motif, then branching off to create the next swirl. I found that this makes the design very versatile and able to fit into just about any area of your quilt.

Directional Texture - All Directions. I really want to play with this design a lot and see what will happen if I extend the wiggly line areas before the swirl. I think this design could have easy variations to look like a swirling snowstorm or a windy background.

Suggestions for Use - Honestly, I'm planning to use this design anywhere and everywhere I can! I think it will look great stitched big on bed quilts and stitched densely on wall quilts. The sky is the limit!

Back of Swirling Water
free motion quilting | Leah DayFeel free to use this free motion filler designs in your quilts,
and send in a picture to show it off.

Click here to support the project by visiting our online quilt shop.

Let's go Quilt!

Leah Day


  1. That 2-3 moves ahead thing is a big problem for me in free motion quilting. I (very)recently had a conversation with MR that I can't play chess because even when I learned the moves I don't think the way one needs to in order to play a good strategic game. So interesting that you would use that as an example of the thought process. Now I know what to work on to get me there! Thanks :)

  2. Good to hear you are hanging in there with your quilt for now. Remember it is a matter of perspective. Your quilting on a bad day is still much improved over mine on a good day. I know it is a matter of practice and learning from our mistakes. It is all about the Journey. Thanks for taking the time to share yours.

  3. It might help if you did samples of different fusibles, to see their hand and how they sew. They are not all created equal! If you want a very light hand, Misty Fuse is the best.

    And if raw edges drive you to distraction, it's probably not the technique for you.

  4. Just what I've been looking for! Can you suggest how to size the design for a large quilt?

  5. You left us with a cliffhanger the other day. I was checking in on a regular basis to see what you decided to do.

    I love swirling water. You are right it would work so many places. I'm going to try it as soon as the grandchildren go home this afternoon.

    Finishing your quilt at some point is a good idea. I agree that using the fusible stuff really does change the hand of your fabric, but because you quilt so heavily it shouldn't make that much difference on the finished product. I also understand what you were saying about the goddess herself, but that is closeup while you are working on her. Things are better from the other side of the room. Keep up the great work!


  6. Things are often better if you step away for awhile. Hang in there. Love this little pattern btw.

  7. Thanks for the video. That's going to be my new favorite filler. Great job!

  8. I love this filler. I can see many ways I might use this one.

  9. I use this filler as "wind" as much as possible. . . I just finished a quilt where I used it as the background. . . I gave you all the credit in the world! ;c)


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