Thread Talk from my Sewing Machine #19

In my humble opinion, two key thoughts in doing overall quilting motifs on your quilts are:

1.  The general even-ness in distance among motifs — that’s what gives the overall look.  Evenly spaced motifs give the eye a sense of uniform continuity, and do not draw attention to one particular spot on the quilt.  Now, it’s not going to be “exact” in the even-ness.  As long as there’s not a gaping hole that screams “quilt” me in your quilted area, you should be okay.

2.  The continuous movement from one motif to the next repeated motif is a flowing one.  In other words, the connecting line you quilt after you quilt one motif should be such that it wouldn’t look dis-jointed from the previously quilted motif, and awkward when connected to the following motif.


You will do just fine if you remember those two points when you tackle the swirly tails!  See if you can make heads and tails of these following schematic diagrams…

Transferring the concept to my quilt sandwich:


And you keep building these swirly tails from that last schematic diagram!  These swirly tails are a bit more complex than my plain ol’ swirls.  So, if you aren’t familiar with the swirls, see if this helps.  Play with the plain swirls first before you add the tails!

Happy Quilting!

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24 thoughts on “Thread Talk from my Sewing Machine #19

  1. These posts are just so helpful! I’m very grateful for the info. Of course, I want more. What is the size of these motif? Do you draw off a grid or anything to make sure you are placing them evenly across the quilt, or do you just go with it? Also wondering what is the approximate distance between the “echoing” of the curved lines. Thanks!

  2. So pretty Wendy – what do you do when you get to the end, to make sure you have enough room? I would end up squeezing that last one in and it would look funny, lol.

  3. Beautiful and thank you for the details. Swirls and spirals are my favorite motif to quilt. I wish I had had this info before quilting my last quilt. But there is always another one to do.

  4. I really like this all over design. It’s definitely one to try on my next quilt. I’m in over my head on my current 80″ X 80″ FMQ piece, with a state fair entry deadline!

    Have a great weekend. Hope that berry-picking works out for your little family. Blessings.

  5. Thank you for sharing the steps on how you do the overall design. Once I see the design broken down it makes it so much easier to practice.

  6. Every time you do one of these thread talk posts, I am so tempted to try some free motion quilting. One of these days I actually will! I could follow your diagram but can’t imagine being able to manipulate the quilt sandwich quickly enough to do that with the sewing machine!

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