The Free Motion Quilting Project: Day 221 - Maelstrom

Monday, October 18, 2010

Day 221 - Maelstrom

Today let's learn a new design that's kind of a mixture of two oldie goldies: Super Spiral and Wobbly Cosmos.

When these designs combine, they create a neat new design called Maelstrom:

free motion quilting | Leah Day

Today I'm packing, writing, and generally gearing up for my next set of workshops in Greensboro, NC.

While I have decided to generally stop traveling, I'm still booked up for the next six months. I also really enjoy traveling to Greensboro because the trip is really easy, there are many awesome detours to take along the way, and I love teaching at Ye Olde Forest Quilt Shoppe.

Now let's get back to learning how to quilt Maelstrom:

Inspiration - Water has become a major inspiration for my designs. Swirling Water, Ocean Current, and Flowing Lines were all inspired by water.

Lately I've been looking at photos of the ocean, storms, and whirlpools and designing a Maelstrom just seemed a natural design to try!

Difficulty Level - Beginner. Just like Super Spiral and Wobbly Cosmos, Maelstrom is a very easy design to quilt. The wonderful thing about this design is it's more free form and organic, which makes it much more forgiving and easier for a beginner to quilt.

Design Family - Center Fill. This design is quilted differently because you start in the center of your quilting space and work out. This means that you don't have to take the wiggly Maelstrom lines all the way to the edges. Play with varying the length to see all the different textures you can create with this design.

Directional Texture - Center Focused. Like almost all center fill designs, this design will focus your attention right into the center of the design.

Suggestions for Use - I'm always looking for interesting designs to put into slightly odd places. Many quilters would leave the centers of flower appliques alone, reasoning that this is a very small area and doesn't need a lot of texture.

I disagree. I think adding a bit of extra texture to these little areas of a quilt can add loads to the overall design so definitely try Maelstrom in the centers of your flower appliques, or any circular shape you might normally leave empty.

Back of Maelstrom
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. When you do start travelling agin - put New Zealand on your to-do list. We'd love to have you!

  2. Love, love, love, love, love, love, LOVE this design!


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