The Free Motion Quilting Project: Day 362 - Brittle Starfish

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Day 362 - Brittle Starfish

Since the beginning of the project, one constant source of inspiration has been Josh's reef tanks. This particular design is inspired by a brittle starfish. He once had a colony of tiny brittle stars that came with a piece of live rock and literally took over a tank! Now that we can quilt them we can make them take over the whole quilt!

free motion quilting | Leah DaySometimes I wonder if I would have been able to create half the designs on this project if I didn’t have so many beautiful fish tanks to look into and gain inspiration from.

Since Josh and I got together, we've had no less than 5 fish tanks, even when we lived in a 500 square foot apartment. There was a fish tank even in the bathroom!

Difficulty Level - Advanced. The hardest part of this design is stitching the wiggly tentacles, then filling them with circles. For practice, try stitching Chain of Pearls first, then put it together with echo quilting and Brittle Starfish should be no trouble at all.

Design Family - Center Fill. Starting in the center of your quilting space is an interesting way to fill a block or appliqué. Try using this in some unexpected areas as well, like the corner of your border. Expand the design as far as you like, then use another design to fill in the rest of the border.

Directional Texture - Center Focused. You can’t miss this bulls-eye like texture! A fun variation that might change the effect would be to use one color thread for the starfish and a variegated thread for the echo quilting.

Suggestions for Use - There are many uses for center filled flower designs. You could use them in the place of flower shaped appliqués, or stitch them into the center of circles or blocks. The possibilities really are endless so don’t hesitate to experiment with one of these designs in your next quilt.

Back of Brittle Starfish
free motion quilting | Leah DayFeel free to use this free motion filler designs in your quilts,
and make sure to tell your friends where you learned it.

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Let's go Quilt!

Leah Day


  1. Gosh, I really like this design. I love how it just flows.

  2. I love seeing the picture of your inspiration!

  3. Thank you! A beautiful design that is inspiration to finish the green areas in my trillium quilt (4 years waiting to decide what to do!!)....I am also thinking of ferns...Thanks again!!

  4. Well, I'll be.... by accident I clicked the picture and it blew up to half the size of the screen.... and design took on a different look, floating on the fabric..... now of course will want to go back and blow up many of these designs to enjoy and to disect/see how you sew - up close and all....


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