[ Free Motion Quilting Designs ]

Free Motion Monday – My “graffiti” style

There is a style of free motion quilting where you move from design to design as the spirit leads you.  Karlee Porter published a book called “Graffiti Quilting” that explains this style.


Sariditty calls it “sketchbook” quilting and QuiltingJetGirl refers to “flow” quilting. Whatever you call it, it is a great way to fill the space. I used a variety of designs in the lower border of my True Blue Quilts banner.

In my sample, I started with the row of pebbles in dark blue thread, then balanced it by quilting the upper part in white.

Here is a whiteboard sketch of the designs I free motion quilted:


Take a closer look at some of these free motion quilting designs.

Hills and Valleys

I have used this design by itself in border and it gives great texture to the quilt.


Start by defining a small section of your quilt with a gentle curve (1) . Echo this curve until you run out of room (2).  Travel along the edge of the space and the first line of stitching, then make a new space with a gentle curve in a different direction (3). Fill in the new section with echo lines of stitching (4).


This free motion quilting design is named for quilter Karen McTavish. The pivot point is what sets this design apart. image

Start with a gentle curve (1).  When you echo this line of stitching, end with a single pivot point (2). Travel partway along the last curve before starting a new curve and return to this new pivot point.

Echo Loops

Many filler designs are built by echoing around a central design, in this case a simple loop.


Echo as many times as you want, then start a new loop.  The free motion quilting will organically grow to fill the space.

Spiral Feather

Combining free motion quilting shapes of spirals and feather bumps, or daisy petals, will create a simple Spiral Feather.image The base of the design is a small spiral (1).  Build on the curve by adding petals (2). Grow your design with echoes around the petals (3) before branching off into a new spiral.


Get in the “flow” and create your own “graffiti” style of free motion quilting!

Enjoy, experiment and excel with your stitching.


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Longarm Quilter, Pattern Designer, Teacher


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