The Free Motion Quilting Project: Day 241 - Globes of Matrix

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Day 241 - Globes of Matrix

So here's the score: 2 awesome days of festivities, 1 busted water heater, 6 inches of snow, 1 super fun family snowball fight, and 4 uninterrupted hours to quilt - add it all together and you've got one terrific weekend, despite the ups and downs of having no hot water!

But after it's all over, I'm really ready for life to return to normal, or as normal as it can while I'm working on a quilt like Sinkhole. So let's get back into the groove of the project with some new funky filler designs!

This is another variation of Matrix, one of my favorite designs from very early in the project. This time it's fitted into large circles to look like Globes of Matrix:

free motion quilting | Leah Day
With this design it's best if you can keep the circles very large because the texture doesn't appear as nice when the circles are small. Of course, you may occasionally have to quilt a small circle to fill in, but generally aim to keep all circles about the size of a quarter or bigger.

Difficulty Level - Advanced. This design isn't super difficult, but it does require a lot of precise stitching, especially traveling and echoing, to keep the lines consistent and the circles defined.

With a design like this, take your time stitching the starting circle, then you should be able to speed up a bit stitching the wavy lines inside, but slow down while travel stitching along the outside edges because you don't want to stitch outside the lines!

Design Family - Stacking. To move and expand this design, all you have to do is add another circle! Try to keep the circles large for the best effect, but also understand that you may have to occasionally fill the weird spaces with smaller circles to fill in all the gaps consistently.

Directional Texture - No Direction. Matrix is a very flat, directionless design, perfect for backgrounds and areas of your quilt you wish to recede. When stitched in these large globes, the effect is pretty much the same, but the globes really attract some attention, so make sure to place them somewhere they can really show off.

Suggestions for Use - This funky filler reminds me a lot of some weird Sci-fi movies I've seen lately like Tron, The Fountain, and the season finale of Dr. Who Season 4. If you're working on a super cool Sci-fi quilt, I don't think you'll find a better fit!

Back of Globes of Matrix
free motion quilting | Leah DayFeel free to use this free motion quilting design in your quilts

Let's go Quilt!

Leah Day


  1. Clever chook. Im a very bad machine quilter but you make it look easy.

  2. My current lap throw quilt is made of busy animal blocks, with 3 inch sashing and 4 inch borders. I am using a different filler stitch for each horizontal and verticle sashing. No stitching in the blocks. My stitching is not perfect. I can be a perfectionist, but not with the quilting. If I ripped out the imperfect stitches, it would NEVER get finished. When I am nearing the end of the sashing strip, the flow is good and the stitches get even. So far I have stitched mussel paisley, pointy paisley, and tear drop tree. I plan on useing three of your latest designs: Whilrpools, Wormholes, and Globes of Matrix. It is fascinating how you come up with variations. For those who are too intimidated to try free motion quilting, just start. You will never learn if you do not practice. And it takes LOTS OF PRACTICE. My stitches still are not as even and consistent as I want, but I am getting better. Besides, others do not see the irregular stitches that you see. They will just be wowwed by your work. And resist the temtation to point out the "not so good areas". LOL. I want to finish all the quilt tops that are UFOs. I have a log home with wooden beams in the ceiling. In my sewing room, I have baskets hanging from the beams. Each basket holds a UFO. I have run out of room for more baskets! With the free motion quilting project, I now have ideas for many of these UFOs. Thank you Leah.

  3. Thank YOU Roberta! You're right - the very best way to get free motion quilting down is to quilt, quilt, quilt.

    Pick a full or queen sized quilt you're not emotionally attached to (translation: something you didn't take 1,000 hours to precision piece!) and quilt it with 1 - 3 filler designs.

    You don't need to use all 200 to make a pretty quilt, in fact 1 or 2 is still plenty for a quilt. Quilt those fillers through the whole quilt and by the time you get done, you will have them down pat.

    Good luck!



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