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Free Motion Monday -Flame Variations

Let’s take a look at the quilting designs I used on my quilt “Blue River.”


This is the first quilt in the book I co-authored, titled “Monochromatic Quilts: Amazing Variety.”  As the name implies, I was inspired by water, so the rail fence blocks have parallel wavy lines to represent the movement of a river.


The alternate blocks gave me lots of room for free motion quilting.  I used a flame shape to create a central design that was stitched from the center of the block and echoed.


I have learned a lot about free motion quilt designs by following Leah Day’s blog.  Check out her extensive gallery here.

I repeated the flame motif on a smaller scale by stitching three flame clusters connected by a single line, then I echoed around all of them to fill the block.


Here is the design step by step.  A flame is an important basic shape to have in your free motion toolkit because it can stand alone or combine with other elements to become flowers and leaves too.


Once you have mastered the slight curve of the flame, echo it a few times, then stitch in a new direction.  An echoed flame can be a quick all-over design on a masculine quilt.

Work in a circle to stitch a flower with flame-shaped petals.


You can add stems to a row of flowers, or echo a cluster of blossoms as I have done in my Blue River quilt.

What are your go-to free motion quilting designs?

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Longarm Quilter, Pattern Designer, Teacher



  1. Thanks for that explanation. I’ve done these kinds of things on my longarm, but now I don’t have one, so I’m struggling to learn to do something besides walking foot quilting.

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