Thursday, April 10, 2014

#431 - Free Motion Quilt Blazing Spiral

I'm needing a new design fix today! This design is based on Basic Spiral, but with little pointy ends like flames to make it Blazing Spiral:

I read somewhere last year that Spirals are the new Stippling, which made me laugh at the whole fashionista sound of that. After all, gray is now the new white!

But it's understandable why they are so popular. Spirals add a beautiful flowing texture to your quilt. Even as an all over design, this isn't going to be boring!

The really nice thing about this design is you can use it to hide mistakes! I was stitching on all the lines in a Peaceful Goddess Panel and stitched off a bit.

Last year, I probably would have broken thread and started ripping out this little mistake. These days I'm refusing to rip, which means I have to find ways to hide mistakes like this within the quilting design.

So I decided to turn that little stitch off into a Blazing Spiral shape:
I stitched the Blazing Spiral, reconnected with the marked line and hid the mistake in one fell swoop. Then continued to stitch up the line (staying on it a bit better this time) and stitch more spirals into the space:

As the space became narrower, I had to work off the outer lines a lot more. Basically I'd stitch into the space with half or a piece of the flame shape, echo quilt to fill it, then travel along the outer lines to space the next line.

After I reached the tip of the hair section, I turned the quilt around and stitched Blazing Spiral all the way back to the end:

All told, this section may have taken 10 minutes to quilt, mostly because I kept stopping to shoot photos. Yes, this smaller scale stitching does take more time, but look how many repetitions of the design I was able to fit into this small space:
In the video and in the goddess panel I quilted this design on a small scale. If you're wanting to learn this design on a bigger scale, you'll want to check out the Craftsy class Free Motion Fillers Volume 1.

In this class I teach 50 designs on a larger scale as we work through all the blocks in a cuddly throw sized quilt.

While the movement of the design remains the same, working on a bigger scale definitely adds new challenges as you have to move more of the quilt, shifting the bulk and weight continually, as you form each Blazing Spiral shape. Get tips on working with bigger quilts on your home machine by signing up Free Motion Fillers Volume 1 today and get 50% off your class pass.

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day


  1. Thanks a bunch!! Love creativity and great show and tells! Encouraging!

  2. Leah, I already have the Free Motion Fillers Volume 1, and I don't think I got it as a discount...but I see the offer is for 50% off. Can I get that offer on the Volume 2 class of yours?

    Enjoying all the projects I am doing along with you, (and Josh and the rest of the community)!

  3. Hi Cyndy - Absolutely! Check the link along the top bar for "Take a Class" and you will find 50% off links for all of my classes.

    I also include discount links to other Craftsy classes that I think you might enjoy. There's tons of terrific teachers on Craftsy and it's so convenient to learn online. Enjoy!

    Leah Day

  4. I really loved your comment about drawing. I find that helps me a great deal. I bought a small whiteboard (6x8 inches I think) and dry erase pens and I use this to draw out design ideas and just practice. Once I get a feel the design will work for my project, I put together some practice sandwiches to warm and practice for a few minutes before jumping into my project. Like a warm up! It really seems to help the quality of my fmq.


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