The Free Motion Quilting Project: Day 169 - Tear Drop Tree

Monday, May 3, 2010

Day 169 - Tear Drop Tree

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

I was asked a lot this weekend why I wanted to start this project and why I felt like I needed to make 365 designs.

The easy answer? It takes creating a lot of designs in order to find the few designs that really work the way I want them to work and fill with really interesting textures.

If I'd set the goal for only 50 or 100 designs, I would never have considered trying some shapes or stitching methods because I didn't have to push myself.

For example, today's design is an experiment in branching, independent designs combined with pivoting tear drop shapes. Who would have thought they could make a pretty neat design when squished together?

free motion quilting | Leah Day
Ah! It's good to be home and unpacked from the expo. While I like talking in person and I love to teach, it is really nice to come home and work in my pajamas for a few days.

Yesterday I spend a lot of time working on a new update to my Quilt Shop. I'm planning a HUGE sale to celebrate the midpoint of this project and it should kick off on Wednesday, May 12th.

I'll also be revealing my changes to this project and business that week as well. Definitely keep up with the project in the coming weeks so you don't miss any of the exciting announcements!

Difficulty Level - Intermediate. This is a very similar design to Lollipop Chain and is very simple to stitch. Just make sure to travel carefully over your stems as you branch into new tear drop shapes.

Design Family - Independent. While it may look very different, this design is actually stitched in a manner similar to Stippling. You're continually branching out and "growing" the design in a very independent way all around your quilting space.

This means that this design can really work in just about an area of your quilts because you have so much control over the sizes and shapes of the branches and leaves you're working with.

Directional Texture - All directions. This design definitely has movement coming from all directions, but you could easily change it to have horizontal or vertical texture if you stitched the tear drop branches in rows instead of randomly.

Suggestions for Use - For some reason, this design is making me think of the fun, cheerful moda spring prints that would be perfect for a baby quilt.

Maybe try expanding Tear Drop Tree and stitch it over a small crib quilt for a friend or for charity. If you're a beginner, this is one of the best ways to learn free motion quilting and no one will be able to notice any of the mistakes you make!

Check this out! Longarm quilter, Jean R. used Tear Drop Tree on a large scale on her quilt. Doesn't this look great stitched over the surface?!

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. Boy, Leah, that is one cute quilting pattern. I love it! You're still coming up with something new. That's amazing! I can't wait to try this one. It's going into my design notebook right away.

  2. I love the names of your patterns. Sometimes I wonder if the names or the shapes evolve first. I especially like this one.

  3. Love this one! Are you going to make a similar one with a leaf shape?

  4. Love it, love it! I need to take the dive into quilting (meaning the decorative stitching, not the making of a quilt -- I've done that pleanty). This design might just be the one!

  5. I just finished a quilt on my long arm using the tear drop tree design. For the first time trying this it, it turned out pretty good. I used this pattern on my own personal quilt, just in case I didnt do it correctly. I did find out one thing,after doing a few blocks, I tried to curve some of the branches, instead of straight lines, and I really liked the pattern it gave with curved lines. I am anxious to try more of your patterns. Thanks for sharing these.


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