The Free Motion Quilting Project: Day 212 - C's and E's

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Day 212 - C's and E's

Lately I've been looking back at Independent designs, like stippling, and trying to find interesting new variations that add a bit more thread texture to the surface of a quilt.

Of course, what is more similar to stippling than cursive writing?! Let's see what happens when we play with the letter "c" and the letter "e" in cursive:

free motion quilting | Leah DayAh! The joys of fall: brisk cooler air, occasional forays back upstairs to look for a sweater, and of course, the ubiquitous runny nose from my preschooler.

Despite the fact that our cold season starts the second James goes back to school (and ends the day he gets out), this year has set a new record. James was in school only 2 days - 2 DAYS -and came home with a runny nose that turned into a sore throat, cough, and fever.

And of course, Josh and I have already caught it! So while we drink our Echinacea tea and run upstairs to find a sweater to stave off the chill, you sit back and enjoy learning how to quilt C's and E's:

Inspiration - Stippling has a wonderful, flat, directionless texture, perfect for placing in the background areas of a quilt. However, sometimes I wish Stippling had a bit more thread buildup so the design would stand out a bit better.

I'm beginning to notice that the amount of traveling a design involves will determine how much the texture shows up on your quilt. A lot of travel stitching means the threads will build up and the design will stand out, particularly if you're contrasting your thread color with the color of your quilt fabric.

But minimal travel stitching means the design will be very subtle, standing out very little on the surface of the quilt. Stippling, of course, has no traveling at all. Creating this new design of C's and E's was an attempt to create an independent design similar to stippling, but with more traveling to make the design stand out even better.

Difficulty Level - Intermediate. This is a very simple design and because you've probably drawn many cursive C's and E's in your life, it will likely come very naturally to you.

As I mentioned in the video, I found it a bit easier to quilt the E's first, then loop up into the C shape, but play with it and see which way feels the most natural for you.

Design Family - Independent. These designs are all formed independently of everything around them. This means that C's and E's will work great both on a large scale and a small scale anywhere on your quilt.

Directional Texture - No Direction. Most Independent designs have no directional texture. They appear very flat on the surface and usually recede into the background very nicely.

Suggestions for Use - This design is really fun to quilt and once you get the hang of it, it will likely cover a lot of space very quickly. If you have a bed quilt sitting in the closet waiting to be finished, maybe try covering it with C's and E's stitched in the All Over Quilting style!

Back of C's and E's
free motion quilting | Leah DayFeel free to use this free motion quilting design in your quilts

Let's go Quilt!

Leah Day


  1. Hope you feel better! My boys are 10 and 12, and it does get better as they get older! But yep, sounds very typical, I'm afraid... I used to carry hand sanitizer in my car, and have my kids use it as soon as I picked them up at pre-school. It seemed to help some.

  2. Hope you and yours feel better soon!

  3. I remember the elementary years! I feel like I had a cold from K-7! It really does get better, though. I like a combo of ecchinacia and Airborne, plus the odd cold-eze here and there.

    I just love C's and E's! I am working on quilting my masterpiece (OK, my first ever quilt, but it is MY masterpiece), and am doing loopy flowers in the center of the blocks and I just tried C's and E's around the outside of the blocks. You should see how stinkin' cute it looks! I am going to name this quilt Cece Loopdeloop!
    Thanks for giving a total rank beginner the confidence to do this, Leah. You are the bomb diggity!!!!

  4. funny was just telling some of my students about your blog...had to send them all a link!! Txs for the comment on my blog

  5. Love today's design.

    Could be a way of teaching cursive writing to those who haven't learned to do it over the last few years as well!

  6. C's and E's is one of those variations that looks good from a distance, and would work well as an overall design.

    I haven't had a real cold since I started taking vitamin D, and I used to get five or six a year.

  7. I can really empatise after just getting over a nasty bug in our house so nasty no blogging for 8 days!!. Hope you get better soon.

    I love this filler stitch I will have to try this on the next project. Your blog is superb.


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