The Free Motion Quilting Project: Day 225 - Echo Arches

Monday, November 1, 2010

Day 225 - Echo Arches

Wow! It's good to know I'm not the only one who's experienced hoity toity sales clerks who think pricing their items is beneath them.

While I'm still a bit miffed at the way I was treated, letting off some steam was enough to let me head back into the studio and create a new echoing design:

free motion quilting | Leah Day
Lately I've been reading "The Life of Elizabeth I" by Allison Weir and I'm fascinated with the elaborate designs and over-the-top gaudiness of that era. Back then royalty needed to look more beautiful and spectacular than anyone else and the descriptions of how Elizabeth would deck herself out is really amazing.

Echo Arches was inspired by images of a cathedral in a BBC series called Monarchy. The narrator will often walk through these huge buildings and the rings of arches and stones make for an impressive back drop to the story he's illustrating.

I decided to try my hand at playing with the arches and I think they'll definitely go into my Queen Elizabeth wholecloth I'm planning to make one day.

Now let's learn how to quilt them!

Difficulty Level - Intermediate. While teaching classes on free motion quilting I usually have a few people that naturally quilt Pivoting Designs well and another group that rock Echoing Designs. It's funny how that works so definitely try this new design and see which group you fall into!

Design Family - Echoing. These designs are created by stitching a shape, in this case a pointed arch, then travel stitching and echoing that shape multiple times.

The scale of the design (how big it is and how much space it takes up) is set by your starting shape and your echoes. If you want this to take up bunches of space, make your starting arch HUGE and your echoes really WIDE and it will cover your quilt faster than minute popcorn (well, maybe not that fast).

Directional Texture - All Directions. I like the look of this design because the arches really stand out, almost like little almonds, from between the rows of echoes.

Suggestions for Use - I'm planning to use this design on a wholecloth quilt where I will minimize the arches so this design reads a bit flatter and more as a background design. Another nice use would be to quilt this on a large scale over a holiday or Christmas themed quilt. For some reason this design just feels kinda formal to me!

Back of Echo Arches
free motion quilting | Leah Day
Feel free to use this free motion quilting design 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. OOH...this would be pretty with pebbles in the middle of the arches too...

  2. Leah, I saw this video on YouTube and thought of you immediately, and your over the top quilting.
    Really like todays design!

  3. Thank you so much for sending me that link Debbie! I could watch zentangles being drawn all day long!

    Let's go quilt (or draw),


  4. I like this design and will try it on my next block for the baby quilt I am making (quilt as you go). Your organizing the filler designs by skill level, type and texture was very well done. It will be easier for me and I imagine for everyone else to find the type of designs needed for different areas of quilts. Great job.!!


Help us create more quilting tutorials! Check out our quilt shop at