The Free Motion Quilting Project: How to Machine Quilt Vertigo, Design #490

Friday, October 20, 2017

How to Machine Quilt Vertigo, Design #490

Hello my quilting friends! It's Free Motion Friday and I'm quilting a fun new design called Vertigo. This is basically a circle and a spiral mash up with a pinch of thread painting on top. Learn how to machine quilt this design in this new quilting tutorial:

Click Here to learn more about the Machine Quilting Block Party. Each month you'll learn how to piece a new quilt block AND machine quilt it with me! This year we've been working on the Flower Festival Quilt and creating beautiful pieced flower blocks and appliqued Dresden Plates. I've also shared tutorials on walking foot quilting, free motion quilting, and ruler foot quilting as well!

Click Here to check out the project and join the quilting party!

I love circle based designs like Vertigo because the shapes easily stack together and fill your quilts with rich texture.

The downside is designs like this can be very time consuming as I mentioned in the video. If you decide to use Vertigo in a big quilt, make sure to quilt the circles very large so each shape fills 3-4 inches of space. That'll be the only way to ensure it doesn't take a million years to finish your quilt!

Let's learn more about machine quilting Vertigo:

Difficulty level: Beginner. This design incorporates some thread painting, but don't be intimidated! Thread painting is surprisingly easy for beginners to master because it's just messy, overlapping stitching. Just keep stitching a messy circle over itself to create the bright center circle in your Vertigo shapes.

Help! My thread broke!

If you break thread while stitching that spot, it may be a sign your thread is too weak for free motion quilting. Try switching to a stronger, thinner thread like Isacord for better results.

Design Family: Stacking. This family of designs is all based on Pebbling, a simple stacked circle design. The shapes locked together to form a solid texture over your quilt. These designs tend to have more travel stitching involved because the edges of the shapes touch. 

You can change the look of this design by filling in the background around the circles with more thread painting. This will add even more time to the design that results in a very interesting quilting affect as you can see from this thread painted Pebbling in Block 2 of the Flower Festival Quilt:

Where do I quilt it? 

I think Vertigo will work great as an accent design in the center of a quilt block or in small spaces in your sashing or borders. Use Vertigo to add extra detail to your favorite areas of the quilt and it will draw more attention to those spots.

Vertigo will not be a good choice as an All Over Design because each shape takes a long time to create. Even on a large scale this design will be very time consuming to quilt and may become frustrating if you try to use it on a really big project.

What do you think of Vertigo? Where do you plan to quilt it? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Would you like to find even more beautiful quilting inspiration? Find hundreds of designs to inspire you as you machine quilt in my book 365 Free Motion Quilting Designs.

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

1 comment:

  1. Ooh I love this one! I may have to make something just so I can use it - thanks for another awesome tutorial :-)


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