The Free Motion Quilting Project: Day 286 - Cogs

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Day 286 - Cogs

I was planning to run my next video on the Janome HD 1000, but unfortunately I can't film it today because my nose is totally plugged up, my face is all puffy, and my voice sounds like it's full of phlegm. Probably because it is. Ugh! Summer colds are no fun!

So instead let's learn a new design. This is a funky variation of Echo Shell that looks like the gears of a clock:

free motion quilting | Leah DayI found Cogs to be a bit tricky, but I think this is all down to how your brain works. When I started free motion quilting, straight lines and sharp angles were really hard for me to quilt. Even now, I had to practice this design a few times before I managed to quilt it.

Really I think it's all down to how much you stitch a certain design or set of shapes. If you start with lots of wiggly lines or curving shapes, that's what you're mostly going to get good at stitching. Vice versa if you stitch a lot of straight lined designs, you'll get good at stitching straight lines and sharp angles.

So the best thing to do is mix it up! Try stitching some curvy and some straight lined designs so your skill increases evenly on both. The nice thing about Cogs is it allows you to practice both in one design. You have a nice curving shape to start, then straight lines and sharp angles to create the gears. Let's see how it works on a quilt square:

Difficulty Level - Intermediate. Like I said, this can be tricky, but the more you stitch it, the better you will get. Try drawing and doodling this design while you're sitting at your kitchen table or waiting in line. The more you form a design in your brain, the better you will be at quilting it!

Design Family - Echoing. While it may not look like it, Cogs works very similarly to Echo Shell. You start with a half circle (or quarter circle depending on your quilting space) then travel stitch a distance away and echo.

The only difference is that instead of just a simple echo perfectly following the first shape, this time you're forming the gear shape.

Directional Texture - All Directions. This design produces a really interesting texture because you're mixing straight lines and sharp angles with simple curves.

Suggestions for Use - I guess I'm on a kick of designs perfect for boys and men! While James is not yet in a stage where he detests all things frilly, girly, pink, or flowery, I know he'll be getting there soon. Cogs would work great on a boys quilt stitched on a large scale all over, or on a smaller scale just in the borders or blocks.

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

Let's go Quilt!

Leah Day

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