The Free Motion Quilting Project: Day 302 - Barrier Reef

Monday, July 25, 2011

Day 302 - Barrier Reef

It’s no secret - Foundation designs are some of my most favorite, largely because I think they are some of the most creative, organic, and truly free form designs I’ve created.

This Barrier Reef design is no exception. This time instead of a foundational line, it’s a foundation of pebbles which set the stage for a gorgeous texture:

free motion quilting | Leah Day

The wonderful thing about this design is it really can go anywhere so long as you have enough space to wiggle in a line of circles to start. The rest of the design is simply built off this starting line until the entire quilting space is filled.

This video is sponsored by the Beginner Free Motion Quilting Fillers DVD. Learn how to stitch 30 beginner level designs into blocks, then put them all together to make a fun sampler quilt!

Difficulty Level - Intermediate. This design looks very complex, but it can actually be broken down into two very simple steps - first create a single line of circles throughout your quilting space, then echo this line, bouncing down into the space between the circles.

Design Family - Foundational. The circles really set the stage for the entire design. Don’t worry about all them being perfect, in fact the more organic and free form the circles are, the more interesting the design will be.

Directional Texture - All Directions. The foundation circles are going to stand out boldly against the rows of echo quilting. Make sure this won’t distract from other more delicate design elements in your quilt.

Suggestions for Use - Barrier Reef would look gorgeous stitched through the middle of the sashing or borders of your next quilt. Consider even using multiple colors of thread - one color for the circles and another for the echoes!

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

Let's go Quilt!

Leah Day


  1. There seem to be no limits to your imagination. Your designs keep being a surprise in originality. And your ability to teach them has always been superb.

  2. There seem to be no limits on your imagination - the designs are fresh and original and seem to be improving as you go, if that's possible. And then you have a wonderful ability to teach - what a dynamo you are!

  3. This is a great twist on pebbling! Thanks for posting these videos!!!


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