[ Free Motion Quilting Designs ]

Free Motion Quilting: Spiral Variations

Spirals are one of the basic shapes that become the foundation of many free motion quilting designs.  Traveling in to a center and back out again becomes hypnotic.  But there are some quilts that beg for a more angular design.  I decided to play a bit in a quilt that features large snowball blocks.

Pattern: Blue River from Monochromatic Quilts: Amazing Variety

free motion quilting spirals

I divided the snowball quilt block into nine sections and used my new design, Polygon Spiral, in the four corner triangles and the outer squares.  In the center of the block, I stitched a design I refer to as the Corner-to-Middle Star.

Free Motion Quilting: Polygon Spiral

As I surfed the internet last week, I saw a sketch of an angular spiral.  I played a bit in my sketchbook, forming increasingly smaller squares within squares.

potential free motion quilting spiral

Although my sketches have slightly curved lines, I found it helpful to use a ruler when I stitched the spiral on fabric. I aimed for a point about one quarter inch from the corner so that each side of the square (or triangle) became smaller as I continued stitching toward the center.  The sides of the polygons gave me a clear path to travel-stitch to another section of the quilt.

Related: More spirals in free motion quilting designs

Polygon Spirals Step by Step

You can start your polygon spiral with any shape.  Your next round of stitches will not be exactly parallel.  Remember to aim for about 1/4″ toward the center on each side to be consistent.

free motion quilting spiral tutorial

Starting with a large space gives you plenty of room to practice.  Having more sections within your shape gives the illusion of curves and a eye-catching texture to your quilt.

These polygon spirals would look pretty cool in a border.  Variegated thread would add even more dimension to the design.  Is there a place for polygon spirals in your next quilt?  Please send a photo for the gallery.  We love show-and-tell!

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Longarm Quilter, Pattern Designer, Teacher


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