The Free Motion Quilting Project: Josh's Spirals & Pebbling in a Pinwheel Block

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Josh's Spirals & Pebbling in a Pinwheel Block

Josh here for my turn at free motion quilting spirals and pebbling in a pinwheel block.

I've always loved pebbling from a visual point of view, but I found stitching the design out pretty difficult. Clearly I need a lot of practice if I want to take pebbling to the next level, which I sincerely do. I'd recommend stitching on some scrap blocks to get a handle on pebbling, or spirals, or any filler design that's not coming easily to you.

Speaking of spirals, you'll see at the 2:35 mark I hit a speed bump with a skipped stitch. This was due to going in a direction the machine didn't like and yielded some bird nesting. Under Leah's tutelage, I worked through the skipped stitch area and ultimately decided not to rip out the bad stitching.

Now onto the pebbling. I really enjoy making these in figure 8 paths, but Leah was ultimately right as this gets confusing and you can easily miss a pebble.

Here's the finished block:

free motion quilting | Leah Day

You can see this is not my best work. I was pretty disappointed with how this turned out. But this is just one block in 42 and it's important to keep going without getting bogged down.

So keep that in mind if you finish a block you think looks awful. Is it worth it to restitch the entire block, or even worse, fiddle with seam ripping and fixing and then ripping again as you fall into a feedback loop of perfectionism?

Until next week, let's go quilt,



  1. I like this block and I would love to do it. Your tutorial is so forgiving and "no pressure." I've been trying to teach myself how to "free motion" quilt. I don't have those gloves. I need to find them! I guess they give you more grip? I'm off to try and find the link to the beginning of this class. Good luck Josh,,,,you are doing great!!!

  2. When the lines are washed or brushed out you will like the block a lot better! When no markings are visible who knows where those lines were?! :) Love the pebbling!

  3. What I really like about pebbles is the amount of travel stitching in them makes it really easy to travel back if you ever miss a pebble. Just hop on one, and follow the paths like a maze!

  4. Josh, I like your positive attitude. I stitched this block today and I am disappointed with how mine turned out. Your comment that this is only 1 block in the quilt helped me let go of my disappointment. Thank you.

  5. Why does Josh Use the needle up/down so much during the stitching and not at the beginning/end on his blocks?


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