The Free Motion Quilting Project: Day 152 - Trailing Spirals

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Day 152 - Trailing Spirals

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

Way back on day and day I ran designs named Flowing Glass and Trailing Tears. I really loved both designs a lot, so much so that I ended up making stencils out of both of them.

But I always felt that these designs could use another variation, and today I've finally created a new version with spirals!

free motion quilting | Leah Day
It's been a long time coming and I've put it off as long as I possibly can. Today I will do my taxes...dum....dum....DUMMMMM!

But I'm really trying to have a good outlook about this. Just like with enjoying quilting for the process of quilting, I'm going to try to enjoy doing my taxes because it's will make the job so much easier than hating it.

And further proof that my new ideology is working: I finished the gift baby quilt last night after my lecture and I wasn't even TRYING to finish it!

I was just quilting, listening to some great music, and having a nice time and then WHOOPS! the quilt was done.

So cross your fingers that my cheerful attitude works for taxes as well!

Difficulty Level - Beginner. This is a really easy design, especially if you're just wanting to try out spiral shapes for the first time. The spirals stay fairly far apart so it's a great learning design without a lot of stress about making everything fit together perfectly. 

Design Family - Edge to Center. This design is stitched first into the center of your quilting space, then once you fill one whole side, you'll go back and fill the second half.

Because of the way it is stitched, this design will work really well in open areas, like your sashing. I'm really trying to convince quilters to use bigger sashing, like 4" or even 6" because it's such a fun place to show off with free motion quilting.

The plus side is you'll also finish your quilt faster and with fewer blocks if you use wider sashing.

Directional Texture - 2 directions. This fill flows from one side of your quilting space to another so it works great as a horizontal or vertical filler.

Suggestions for Use - I think I'm finally going to get all 15 of the Basic Blue quilts I pieced for How to Piece Perfect Quilts basted and ready to quilt.

These quilts are all very simple blue and white quilts perfect for showcasing free motion quilting designs. Best of all, these blue quilts all have 3" sashing or wider so I'll have more than enough room to play with Trailing Spirals in these nice open areas!

Back of Trailing Spirals
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. Very cool, am going to have tell my Quiltin' Chick friend Claire about this. She's gotten into free motion quilting in the last year or sew :). She just has a regular sewing machine and does beautiful work.

  2. I like this! I might even manage this without too much ripping!! I am really enjoying playing with your designs, not every day, but from time to time, mostly on table runners actually. Because you explain so well there's a grand sense of achievement, which for a dunce like me, is ACE!!

    So a big vote of thanks to Leah!!!

  3. This is a really pretty design, great job.

  4. Oooh, I really like this one. For some reason it reminds me of sea monster tentacles!

    Good luck for your tax return :)

  5. I LOVE this one. This is one of my favorites. I like so many, though, it's hard to pick.

    You'll be okay with your taxes. My husband and I have a small business but we usually pay and accountant to handle our taxes. But this year we got brave and I did our taxes for us using H & R Block's online system. I was so scared and intimidated, but it was not as bad as I thought it would be. I have faith in your abilities : )

  6. I love this one. Looks like it could scale up or scale down and look terrific either way.

  7. Thanks for posting this. I am using it right now in the "jet streams" behind the airplanes on my son's airplane quilt. All of my spirals are going one direction, but it is based off of this filler pattern.

  8. I really, really like this design, and hope to try it on a practice piece today !

    Thanks so much.....I think that I'm going to be spending alot of time of this site. How can a person get your book?

  9. came across this when I was looking for a border quilt design for a neighbors MAXINE quilt that I'm long arm quilting for her, thought this looked like the steam from her coffee, not sure if I will use both sides or just coming from one side

  10. Leah -- Do you think it would be possible to adapt this design to make it an all-over FMQ? I'm thinking one could do it in interlocking rows.
    Thanks, Myra


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