The Free Motion Quilting Project: Day 304 - Spiral Paisley

Monday, August 1, 2011

Day 304 - Spiral Paisley

Two of my favorite designs are spirals and Paisley. I’m always trying to find new ways of combining these designs together to create new textures and interesting fills.

Here’s a new combination filling Paisley with an echoed spiral to create Spiral Paisley:

free motion quilting | Leah Day
Is there a group of designs or a particular design that you just can’t stand?

I used to hate Paisley and spirals because I couldn’t stitch them well. When I’d sit down to work on another quilt, I would always fall back to the designs I could quilt quickly and easily because they didn't take as much time.

But as my skill increased at free motion, I returned to those designs I formerly despised and tried them again. Lo and behold, they weren’t difficult to stitch anymore and quickly became some of my favorite designs!

So if you have a list of designs you avoid right now that’s just fine, but just make sure to return to those designs eventually and try them again. You never know what can happen or how much can change in your skill level in just 3 or 6 months of free motion quilting!

This design is sponsored by the Australian Shadows Quilt Pattern. Learn how to make this beautiful quilt and quilt it with help from Leah Day!

Difficulty Level -
Intermediate. This is actually a really simply combination! First concentrate on quilting Paisley on a large scale. Next start traveling inside the first tear drop shape and swirl into a large open spiral. Echo this spiral all the way back to the beginning of the tear drop, then pivot and echo to expand the Spiral Paisley shape.

Design Family - Pivoting. We’re definitely pushing the limits of what Pivoting designs can do with this combination of textures and shapes! The bigger these designs get, the more I like them!

Directional Texture - All Directions. This will be a fun design to experiment with bending and twisting the initial tear drop paisley shape to see how this will effect the overall design.

Suggestions for Use - Here’s a great idea for a skill building quilt - stitch Paisley and Basic Spiral in the Blocks to practice the basic designs, then combine the two together and stitch Spiral Paisley in the sashing and borders. No matter which way you stitch it - that would be one awesome quilt!

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

Let's go Quilt!

Leah Day


  1. oooooooh I love this one! It's wonderful!

  2. Hi Leah,
    I like this design very much as I enjoy the rhythm of fmq paisleys and swirls.


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