Where do you find inspiration for your free motion quilting? If the quilt contains classic blocks or soft colors, traditional feathers add a touch of elegance. If there are busy, bold prints then the quilting details may not be noticeable so a simple meander might be the best choice. And sometimes, you can follow the designs in the fabric itself to create gorgeous texture and whimsical patterns.
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A customer brought me a quilt with a variety of prints and said a pantograph (edge to edge design) would be fine. I looked over the pattern – Lanterns – and decided it would be more fun, and perhaps less time consuming, to do a bunch of different free motion quilting filler designs.
Free Motion Quilting Design – Traveling Flames
One of the prints is a Tula Pink fabric from the Chipper line, featuring this super cute fox. I outlined the fox, and filled around it with Traveling Flames. Once you are comfortable with the basic S-curve that makes the center of the flame, you can widen the design a bit and travel in any direction.
Free Motion Quilting – Echoed Spirals
Several fabrics called out for spirals. In the tree rings pictured above, I traveled between each circle and the spirals were contained with the print. In this green section, the spirals are almost touching.
I stitched a basic spiral, then echoed around the outside 2-3 times before stitching the next spiral.
Tip: Use the hopping foot as a visual reference to keep the echoes evenly spaced!
With practice, your eye will learn the “right” distance for echoes. I aim for a quarter inch in most cases.
Do you have a quilt whose fabric is calling you and inspiring some free motion quilting? Please share in the comments.