The Free Motion Quilting Project: Day 229 - Loose Weave

Monday, November 15, 2010

Day 229 - Loose Weave

Way back in July while I was writing From Daisy to Paisley, I took a good look at all the designs and decided we needed more Overlapping Designs. The tough thing is, these designs aren't easy to create!

Some shapes just end up turning into a mess on fabric when you overlap them randomly (see Cat Hairball Filler). Eventually I found that if you take out some of the randomness overlapping starts to look good. Case in point is this Loose Weave:

free motion quilting | Leah Day

free motion quilting | Leah DayHave you ever had a weekend or whole week (or even worse a whole month) were you pick out more stitches than you quilt?

I had one of those weekends.

Lots and lots of seam ripping as my inner nit picky seamstress criticized every wobbly line or demented feather on my quilted jacket.

But I prevailed and finished more than half the back! Let's hope the rest goes a bit faster and with less ripping!

Difficulty Level - Beginner. This design is really a lot of fun to quilt because all it involves is long, slightly curving lines stitched horizontally and vertically across your quilting space.

There is a bit of travel stitching involved to get from one "thread" of the loose weave to another so just take your time and mark a few lines to get the hang of it.

Design Family - Overlapping. I don't have a lot of these designs, but what we do have is very interesting. All of these designs will work great to cover large surfaces, but probably not the best for the small, complex areas of a quilt.

Directional Texture - 2 Directions. Loose Weave has a neat horizontal and vertical texture. If you quilted this densely it would have a texture a lot like Matrix - very flat and directionless. On a bigger scale though, it will always add a nice soft line to your quilts.

Suggestions for Use - There are so many pieced blocks out there with sharp lines and angles. Why not try to soften them up a bit and cover your quilt with this large scale, gently flowing weave? It will add a beautiful texture to the surface and quickly finish a bed quilt with the perfect amount of quilting.

Back of Loose Weave
free motion quilting | Leah DayFeel free to use this free motion quilting design in your quilts

Let's go Quilt!

Leah Day


  1. Wouldn't this look great in an African inspired quilt or use on top of some natural colored fabric to give the look and texture of a basket?

  2. Great idea QuilterGuy!



  3. This would also look good on a quilt or wall hanging that is made of flower pattern blocks. Even consider a flower scrappy quilt. The "loose weave" will look like a trellis all over the surface.

  4. Love the star and the feather on your quilt jacket. Look forward to se it finished!

  5. This is great Leah! Thanks for sharing. Would you suggest using this on individual blocks or over the span of an entire quilt???? Thanks so much:)

  6. Beautiful design!
    I'm curious though, why do you do one horizontal, then one vertical instead of all the horizontal first, then all the vertical? Does it make a difference in the thread buildup or backtracking?

  7. Leah, you are obvously a very talented quilter..... and ripper! I cannot see where you ripped the stitches out. How do you do that?
    When I rip quilting I always have a little distracting track of holes marking the area of previously unsatisfactory stiching.

    Anyway, it is a beautiful design. Is it a summer blouse or are you working with wadding?

    Might I ask a quick and unrelated question? Have I missed the last instalment of "How do I quilt this"? I have searched the blog and have not found the forth one. Probably you have been far too busy. But I am anxious that you might have abandoned this project and I was so looking forward to it!

  8. I might just use this on my Threave Challenge piece for the border sashing - I just spent last night picking out the quilting I'd started there previously
    LOVE your feather - oh how I wish I'd get the gumption up to try one - soon

  9. I love that idea Roberta! You could first quilt large, center fill flowers, then add loose weave to the background like a lattice. Gorgeous!

    Julie - You could use Loose Weave in individual blocks so long as it wasn't a very tiny area. If it is, just mark it and save yourself the headache of trying to line everything up on the fly.

    Teresa - Absolutely doesn't matter! You can quilt either line first or second, but to move from line to line, you do need to quilt in one direction, then the opposite at least once in order to move from line to line invisibly.

    Xiacpapolia - The more you rip, the better you get at it! I'll do a video on it because I do have some speedy tricks to make it easier.

    Yes, I'm working on a lightweight jacket that will be fully reversible - one side blue and one red. No, I haven't finished the Over the Top Quilt yet and no, I have abandoned that project yet! I just haven't had time to finish it. I swear I'll get back to it soon.

    Ethne - Jump in and try it! What's the worse that will happen?

    Cheers to all of you!


  10. I learned a trick that speeds up picking out. That is to get yourself a personal groomer electric razor (for nose hairs etc). Start the line to get about 3 stitches out, then open up the stitchline and run the razor down the line. You can either hold the seam open by hand or anchor the item on your ironing board. I have not had any problems with stretching and it is so fast!

    Also, I finally sat down and read Leah's wonderful article in Machine Quilting Unlimited explaining trapunto techniques. As usual, it was very clear both in text and visually. It made me think maybe I should renew my subscription but then I realized that what I need is to keep on top of this site and really get into From Daisys to Paisleys.
    Thanks for all you do for our community.

  11. "Eat, Quilt, Sleep Repeat". That's all i want to do! Thanks, Leah, you're a great teacher!


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