The Free Motion Quilting Project: Day 337 - Shell Fan

Monday, October 31, 2011

Day 337 - Shell Fan

Did you think I'd stop posting while on vacation??? Yeah, I'll admit, I considered it, but I really want to get all 365 designs posted by Christmas, and that means posting at least 3 per week from here on out! Today let's see how feathers come together nicely to create Shell Fan:

free motion quilting | Leah DayThis is one of those designs that would really be better illustrated being stitched into a long, narrow section, like sashing. It's kind of hard to visualize how this really works in a 4 inch square, so here's an image from the new book From Feathers to Flames to illustrate how it works:

free motion quilting | Leah DaySimilar to Water Plants and Cobwebs in the Corners, Shell Fan will fit into the narrow spaces of your quilts really well and create a nice texture in all those spaces normally left empty.

Difficulty Level - Intermediate. Feathers have the reputation of being super tough to quilt, but that's really only because they require practice to perfect! Try stitching this in the sashing of your next quilt and by the end, feathers will be no problem at all.

Design Family - Edge to Center. In the video I stretched my middle feather nearly from edge to edge, but really it's entirely up to you. Just try to space out the center feathers along one side of your quilting space, leaving room for the shells on the opposite side.

Directional Texture - 2 Directions. When stitched in a line, any design is going to have a horizontal or vertical texture on your quilt.

Suggestions for Use - Feathers have a soft, curvy effect on any quilt so I'd advise using this on a quilt with lots of sharp angles and straight lines. Soft curves in the sashing should break up all those graphic shapes and make everything feel a bit smoother.

Feel free to use this free motion filler designs in your quilts,
and make sure to tell your friends where you learned it.

Click here to support the project by visiting our online quilt shop.

Let's go Quilt!

Leah Day


  1. I love my 'From Feather to Flames' book. Thanks Leah!

  2. I love this design! I can see so many uses for it.

  3. lovely! I have just made my first quilt, it is a scrappy mess and I have no idea how to quilt it, hopefully going to be getting some handy dandy tips from your awesome blog :)

  4. This is one of my favorites! You are so talented. Thanks for posting even while you are on vacation. Now that is dedication.


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