Fast, Easy Machine Quilting Fills
See how fast and easy these simple fill patterns are to machine quilt with Lori Kennedy of The Inbox Jaunt!
Do you ever get tired of meandering or its little sister, stippling? OR are you one of those quilters (like me) that find these “allover” or “fill” patterns difficult to stitch? Add more fun and interest to your next quilt with three new fill motifs that are fast, easy and more interesting than stippling!
First, let’s discuss why meandering is so difficult for some of us. The meander motif is a continuous, smooth, squiggly line that changes directions frequently and never crosses over a previous line of stitching. When you tell yourself to doodle or stitch that—what happens? A Noodle? A Worm? Whenever I try to stipple stitch the results just aren’t pretty! The directions are not concrete enough for us to process quickly. In addition, the lines are supposed to be smooth lines—that means there is no obvious place to camouflage the stitches whenever you stop to adjust the fabric or your hands.
Flower Power, Suns and Moons and Seashells are three patterns with easy to follow directions and convenient stopping points that will add more personality to your quilts! All three motifs can be used as a fill or allover pattern, whether you are quilting on a long arm or a domestic sewing machine like the BERNINA 770 QE I use. (For more information on how to set up your sewing machine for free motion quilting, see my previous WeAllSew article, Twelve Steps to Free Motion Quilting.)
Flower Power is one of the easiest motifs for a beginner to learn and it quickly fills a block or quilt.
Begin by stitching a curvy stem ending with a clockwise curl. Stop here with the needle down.
Change directions. Working counter-clockwise, add a row of scallops around the curl until reaching the stem.
Do not cross over the stem. Instead, reverse directions and add another row of scallops, again stopping at the stem with the needle down. Continue adding as many rows of scallops as desired. The flowers may be many rows or a few rows and a combination of sizes looks great as well.
NOTE-Stop at any of the inner points of the scallops to adjust your hands or fabric. (Points conceal small stitch imperfections that occur when you stop and start quilting—whereas continuous lines—like the rounded area of the scallop—will reveal the imperfections.)
Spiral off from any part of the flower to begin another flower.
Suns and Moons
Suns and Moons are another easy allover or fill pattern that add a whimsical touch to a quilt.
Begin by stitching a backward letter “c”, then echo stitch back to create a “crescent moon”.
Switch directions and add three triangles around the “moon” to create sun rays.
Add a letter “c” around one of the “rays”.
Add three triangles to this moon and continue adding on to this motif.
As you are stitching, you may find it necessary to vary the number of lines needed to create the moon or the number of rays to complete the suns in order to best fill a space. The variety will add interest to the motif and will look great!
The Seashell Motif
Seashells easily fill tight spaces as well as large open areas and are very easy to learn.
Begin by stitching an open oval shaped petal. Stop and reverse directions to echo stitch.
Add another row of echo stitching and begin a new motif by stitching another oval shaped petal from this point.
Add the echo stitching to complete the second motif.
Continue this way adding more seashells to fill the area. Rotate the petals to fill the shape and echo stitch around several motifs as necessary to travel around the quilt without knotting.
The next time you need a fill or allover pattern and are tempted to use the old wormlike, stipple stitch—try Flower Power, The Suns and Moons, Seashells!