The Free Motion Quilting Project: Day 176 - Spiral Matrix

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Day 176 - Spiral Matrix

I guess I should call this week Variation Week because all I seem to be stitching is variations of older designs!

Here's another variation of Matrix that involves filling the squares of the wiggly grid with spirals:

free motion quilting | Leah Day
Last night I stayed up late listening to a wonderful book called "The Blood of Flowers" by Anita Amirrezvani while piecing together the lighter half of Shadow Self.

This was a wonderful book about an Iranian woman in the seventeenth century that defies convention to become an amazing carpet maker.

While I know nothing about carpet making, I definitely identified with the main character and her passion to learn design and colorwork.

After listening to the book, I now want to explore Arabic and Oriental carpets and designs for possible patterns that can transfer into quilting. There is an amazing world of design possibilities outside of the traditional quilting world!

And speaking of nontraditional, let's now learn how to stitch Spiral Matrix:

Inspiration - Working on Shadow Self, I'm starting to see the very important role that grids can play in a quilt. A grid design (think of a wire fence) gives your eyes a place to rest, especially in a complex quilt.

It also serves as a flat area with virtually no movement. Grids are the ultimate background quilting design! If you want an area to be flat and you want it to recede: stitch a cross hatch grid over it!

But even curvy grids like Matrix, or half curvy grids like Matrix Rays, have the same flat, receding texture. Spiral Matrix adds just a bit more texture to the mix, but it will still make a great filler for the background or dead space of a quilt.

Difficulty Level - Advanced. This design requires a lot of traveling and precision stitching so definitely try it once you have a pretty good handle on the speed control of your machine.

Design Family - Edge to Edge.This design is worked from edge to edge, then once your grid is set, you will use this foundation to fill every other square with a spiral. It's a bit time consuming, but the end result is definitely worth it!

Directional Texture - No direction. Yes, this is a very attention getting design, but it's still fairly flat and directionless.

Suggestions for Use - Do you have a small baby quilt to work on this spring? Try using this Spiral Matrix design on a very large scale for a fun, challenging project!

Back of Spiral Matrix
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. Wow, I love this spiral matrix. It's really creative! The square angles within the matrix would make you think the design might not have that flowing feeling, but the slightly curvy boundaries give it a magical feeling of movement. A wonderful mix of straight lines and sharp angels with gently curving lines. Really is artistic to the eye! It makes me think of a flag waving or a quilt blowing in the breeze on a clothesline. Brilliant! I can't wait to figure out where I can use this design.

  2. Just found this site - love it, love it, love it. I have been stitching a sort of spiral matrix by hand - but I'm blown away by your free motion stitching. Thank you for sharing.


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