The Free Motion Quilting Project: Day 214 - Ocean Current

Monday, September 13, 2010

Day 214 - Ocean Current

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

You know, some people on the internet are really crazy.

Sometimes I forget just how insane some people can be, but an occasional random comment is all it takes to remind me just how far out in left field some people are.

But I always try to remind myself to bend and flow around them. Don't let the occasional troll or evil stitcher distract me from my day. Let their crazy be crazy while I'm as smooth and flowing as this Ocean Current design:

free motion quilting | Leah Day
It's only noon and today is stacking up to be a very busy day! Josh and I got up early this morning to take James to school, hit the bank, recycle, and clean out the car. It's so nice to get everything knocked out one morning, except by the time we got home, we both needed a nap!

This afternoon, we'll be driving to Rutherfordton, NC for a lecture with the new Rutherfordton Quilt Guild.

I'm pretty excited about this lecture because it's the first time I'll be able to show off the 4 applique quilts created for the How Do I Quilt This?! Series. I think they're going to be a big hit!

So while I run off to check my quilts and finish packing the car, you enjoy learning how to quilt Ocean Current:

Inspiration - These very basic foundational designs are quickly becoming my favorite designs to create and quilt. Other similar designs include Desert Sand and Jagged Plain, but there are a million more variations just waiting to be made.

Difficulty Level - Beginner. This is a very simple design based entirely off a swirling foundational line. Make sure to leave plenty of space within your swirls so it's easy to fill with echoes through the background.

Design Family - Foundational. To quilt this design start with a foundational line through your whole quilting space, then travel stitch and echo this line, filling the entire background and enhancing the swirling texture. This design will work best in the open, uncomplicated areas of your quilt.

Directional Texture - All directions. I love how much movement this design creates with only one single spiraling line and then rows and rows of echoes.

Suggestions for Use - Need a design to fill the water area of a landscape quilt? This would be perfect!

Honestly this would look great no matter where you put it! I'm personally thinking about quilting up some new blue fabric with white thread to create a very interesting, non-traditional baby quilt.

Back of Ocean Current
free motion quilting | Leah Day
Feel free to use this free motion quilting design in your quilts

Let's go Quilt!

Leah Day


  1. Just wanted to take a moment to counter balance the " nasty- gram" you obviously got earlier ( based on what you said in your post).. I am SO enjoying your energy for this project and your free motion work has prompted me to kick up the gameon my longarm free motion work. I love passing info about your site onto my students! Keep stitching!


  2. I'm like Maddie, so here's a nice and warm comment: I love your work and thank you SO much for sharing your talents! and I especially like todays design.

  3. I also want to counter balance with a "nice-gram". Keep up the great work! You have a wonderful talent and we're thankful that you're willing to share it with us :) You're doing a great job!

  4. Wow! I really love that one and you just make it look so easy:)
    Thank you for sharing another design with us:)

  5. I discovered your blog in the last week and have enjoyed being able to look back at some of your for me...I'm a beginner!! Thanks for making it look so do-able!!

  6. I absolutely LOVE your blog and read it every day. Don't let one or two crazies ruin your "day." (pun intended) I like "Ocean currents" and will definitely be giving it a try.

  7. This is a lovely design - hope all went well at the guild talk you gave and that you let us know what their reaction was to the quilt/s

  8. Since my bestie turned me on to your site about 2 weeks ago, I am hooked and a total fan. You are pushing me to new areas that I have really been fearful of. I am taking a free motion workshop from Frieda Anderson next week, so between your blog, her workshop and the designs I purchased and downloaded from you, I should be attacking about 15 tops needing quilting. I inherited a stash in February with many unfinished projects and I am thinking they will be a good place to start to practice. Thank you, thank you, thank you. You are just what I have been looking for for over a year.

  9. Been on a little family trip and catching up in "blogland". Great to see you are not letting the "negatives" control your very positive life :o)

  10. I think a lot of us understand your feelings. My dad was an alcoholic, my mom sedated herself with food and telling her young children about their father. But, I knew I was loved. I want to say I enjoy your creativity. I sit down to micro-quilt and go blank (even though I have looked at many videos). You are so imazing! I am practicing the quilting on mini-quilts for Alzeimer's Art Quilt Initiative. Maybe I can make them some money and practice your wonderful designs. Thank you Leah, Susan

  11. I just wanted to share a variation that I did with this design which works really nicely in a sky. I love echo quilting, but sometimes it lacks definition. So rather than echoing in all the inside spaces, I stippled small areas, about an inch wide by a few inches long. It really makes the echoed lines and swirls pop out!
    I'll post a photo on Flikr when it's finished.
    Thanks a lot for your inspiring work!

  12. Absolutely love this design. I'm working on a king size quilt and believe I'll use this beautiful design. Thank you for sharing.

  13. Still love looking at your quilt designs. I have your book and whenever I want to use one of your designs I come back to your videos to give me the 'edge' on quilting it. I was excited to see you mention the Rutherford Quilt Guild. I remember your presentation to us well, you were then and still are a fabulous inspiration

  14. This most Gorgeous quilting pattern brought to mind an old question on mine:
    What about quilting with a double needle set-up? I daydream of being able to then easily, in ONE PASS, easily being able to quilt on BOTH sides of a seam at the same time.
    I love the resulting sturdiness of quilting on both sides of seams. And I’ve long been curious that no one mentions double needle usage for quilting??
    Thank you, again & again, for posting such lovely patterns for actually quilting, not just for piecing!!


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