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Free Motion Quilting Fun with Flowers


For the love of flowers

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE free motion quilting fun with flowers!! As a result, I have quite a few different flower designs that I use and I try to learn new ones whenever I can. But before I show you my favorite flowers designs, I’m going to show you some of the “building blocks” that you need to master before you move onto free motion quilting flower designs.

Spirals, spirals, spirals

Spiral designs are so much fun to quilt but you have to make sure that you are paying attention or you might get stuck in the middle with no way to exit! To start a spiral, you start as though you a quilting a big circle, but instead of closing it off, you keep heading in towards the middle using concentric circles. When you are stitching in to the middle, make sure that you leave enough room to follow the same pattern back out.

First step in the machine quilting spiral
First step in the machine quilting spiral

Once you are in the middle of the spiral you STOP moving. This will give you a nice crisp point. Then you start going backwards until you reach the outside again.

The finished spiral
The finished spiral

You can use this as an overall design as shown in the following photo, or you can use them in a line for a border as I will show you tomorrow.

Spiral overall machine quilting design
Spiral overall machine quilting design

Changing a spiral into a flower

Once you get the hang of spirals, you can add petals to the outside to make flowers. Rounded petals make one type of flower and pointy petals make another. Put loops or swirls in between the flowers to make the design more interesting. Here is a closeup of one of the spiral flowers.

Rounded flower with spiral center machine quilting design
Rounded flower with spiral center machine quilting design


Pointed flower with small spiral center machine quilting design
Pointed flower with small spiral center machine quilting design




My favorite free motion flower

I really love the following flower design as you can use it alone, with swirls and loops or echo around it to make a more complex design. Here is a video showing how I execute this design.

Free motion machine quilting a flower design – YouTube

Christine Baker of Fairfield Road Designs ( shows how to machine quilt her favorite flower using Spagetti thread from WonderFil.



A field of machine quilted flowers
A field of machine quilted flowers



Time to practice

Now that I showed you all of these flowers, it’s time for you to go practice on your own free motion quilting fun with flowers. Tomorrow we’ll finish up our free motion quilting with some border designs and then we’ll figure out how to put it all together into our sample book!

This is part 4 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 3: Landscape Elements & Modern Quilts
Go to part 5: Finishing Up Our Free Motion Quilting Sample Book


I have been designing and publishing quilt patterns for the last 16 years under the business name Fairfield Road Designs. My patterns range from fusible applique and piecing to felted wool applique and punchneedle. You can see all of patterns on my website


  1. Christi

    I love the flowers. Thank-you.

  2. Judy A

    Love your step by step directions!

  3. Dawn.N

    i love your spiral flowers.I had trouble fitting petals in other flowers. with a bit of practice these work well.I use them a lot.

  4. Lori Michel

    Thank you for the video on your flowers….I am going to have to try this and of course, first practice, practice, practice….

  5. Donna Simpson

    I have just started attempting free motion quilting. I really love these designs and will have to try them. Thank you!

  6. Diane H

    Definitely will give these flowers a try. They look so lovely. Thank you.

  7. very nice demo. sometimes tracing the design on to a water soluble stabilizer (I use Solvy) is a help for just starting out with free-motion. Let me know if you’d like to try the Blendables 30 wt. Egyptian cotton. It has a unpredictable color change every 2 1/2″ to 5″ as it stitches out. Also, I like for top stitching and buttonholes; especially when I am sewing on batiks and wild prints. Blendables just seem to “blend” with everything.

    Sunshine & Smiles,

    ellen o.

    • Thanks Ellen! That’s a great tip about using the water soluble stabilizer – I’ll have to suggest that to my students next time I teach. I’ve never used the Blendables but I love quilting with batiks so maybe I should give them a try!

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