Free Motion Flowers And Swirls

Hey Everyone, welcome back to Free Motion Friday.

I was cleaning up my studio this morning and came across this piece of toilet paper in amongst my papers. Who knows where I took it from but the reason I have it is because I liked the pattern on it and thought it would make a great free motion quilting motif.

Flowers and swirls on a piece of toilet paper

Toilet paper with flower and swirl pattern

Why not give it a try and see what it looks like. As you can see from the photo above it is a motif that will have a lot of starting and stopping – that means a lot of tying off and burying threads for me. I know I should use the tie off function on my sewing machine but I’m afraid that I just don’t like the knot it leaves so I will stay old school on this.

To start I did some doodling with pencil and paper to get warmed up and the idea of how the design would flow.

Pencil drawing of the motif


Then I tried it out on fabric with this very colourful variegated thread. It really stands out on the white fabric. Instead of having the flower standing alone I did attach it to the bottom end of the swirl. In order to attach it to the top end of the swirl I would have to double over the stitching on half the flower which I didn’t want to do.

Stitching on fabric of flowers and swirls

Flowers and swirls

The quilting has ended up on an angle. If I wanted it really straight then guidelines would have to be chalked on as to where the motif was to be so I could keep the motif straight between the lines.

Then I thought why not connect the swirls and have the flower at each end. This would be nice on a border and not as much starting and stopping.

Connected swirls with flowers on each end

Flowers on each end

To make it a continuous line motif you could start the swirl back where the other swirl ended to create the flower and continue on with a new swirl and flower.

I like the look of the individual swirls and flowers without everything being connected.

Here are the step by step instructions for making the motif.

Step 1

Stitch the swirl making sure to have a nice curve and hook in it.

Stitching lines and arrows for the swirl

Make the swirl.

Step 2

Stitch the centre of the flower starting where the swirl ended.

Stitching a circle at the end of the swirl

Adding the flower centre

Step 3

Stitch the first petal starting where the circle and swirl are joined.

The addition of petal number 1 to the motif

Petal #1

Step 4

The second petal.

Addition of petal #2

Petal number 2

Step 5

The third petal.

Adding petal #3 to the motif

Petal #3

Step 6

And finally the last petal which ends where the circle started and the swirl stopped.

Addition of petal #4 to complete the motif

Flower and motif complete

I’m thinking that I am going to use it on this Stitch Along Sunday piece that I never did get around to finishing. It was too be a placemat but now I am thinking I might add the other placemats to the piece and make a wall hanging. The pieces are already cut and some even sewn together – just a matter of sitting down and putting it together.

Colourful fabrics in stripes and swirls with an appliquéd flower

Stitch Along piece that needs some quilting

The flower on the end of the swirl may look familiar to some of you if you have been following me as I did a similar flower a while back called free motion flowers.

Happy Quilting!

Jen Transparent Signature