The Free Motion Quilting Project: Learn How to Quilt Cyclops - #472

Friday, May 5, 2017

Learn How to Quilt Cyclops - #472

Time for a new quilting design! How about something kinda creepy - like a big bowl of eyeballs? I've played around with this before with the quilting design called Eyeballs, but now I want to try it again by quilting a football / eye shape within a circle. Here's how it turned out:

I'm calling this Cyclops for the one-eyed monster in the Odyssey, though with all these eyeballs together, shouldn't it be Multi-Clops? Or do I have my latin root words all wrong? Ha! I honestly have as much fun naming these designs as I do quilting them. 

Let's learn how to machine quilt it together:

Click Here to find the book 365 Free Motion Quilting Designs where you can find hundreds of machine quilting designs to try.

So how does Cyclops work in comparison to other machine quilting designs? Let's learn more more about it:

Difficulty Level - Beginner. This design can be a bit tricky to form because you're stacking circular shapes together, but ultimately the shapes are easy to quilt with a little practice. You do want to form nice round circles in order to make the football / eye shape fit nicely inside.

Watch the quilting tutorial above carefully to find tips on quilting the circles and how I visualize the shapes without having to mark them on the quilt top.

Other than quilting the circles, this is a simple design formed by stitching the circle, then the football shape, then another circle in the middle.

Design Family - Stacking. If you're just getting started with machine quilting, you might want to try Pebbling first. It's far simpler and will give you good practice with stacking circles together.

Once you're able to quilt Pebbling, try expanding the design by quilting small shapes within it. Cracked Eggs and Striped Beads are two good designs to play with next. 

It's important to remember that not all designs are going to feel natural or easy for you to quilt. Some designs still feel like pulling teeth for me and that's normal. The more you practice, the more designs you try, the easier this will become.

Suggestions for Quilting - Machine quilting circular shapes together does tend to be time consuming. As in, "Let's spend the next hour quilting 10 inches of space!" time consuming. In short - not much fun.

If you don't want to be here all day, or all week, or all year, make sure to quilt your starting circles nice and big. The largest circle I can manage is around 3 inches around. When quilted on that scale with 3 inch wide starting circles, Cyclops could work as a bed quilting design.

No matter which way you stitch it, this design is definitely going to stand out out of the crowd! 

What do you think of the new Cyclops quilting design? Where do you plan to use it on your quilts? Do you wish I would stop using eyeballs as inspiration? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

1 comment:

  1. This is a fun design! I will be eyeballing my circles...haha! Good tip on how you make your circles nice and round.


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