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Free motion quilting tutorial – pebbles and swirls

pebbles and swirls

Quilting pebbles and swirls

You’ve got a quilt that you’re just dying to add some texture to, right? Pebbles seem like the quilting motif of choice, but you’re a little leery of the repetitive, time consuming motif. You can add some swirls in with the pebbles to make the quilting go a little faster.

I know when I’m quilting pebbles, sometimes I get road weary. You know–that feeling you get when you’ve been driving on a highway for hours with no landmarks in sight? You can’t really remember how many hours you’ve been driving for, and everything in the road looks the same. Your eyes get tired and you start to doze off.

Okay, okay! Maybe it doesn’t happen exactly like that with quilting, but you know what I mean, right? I start to get that same feeling when I’m quilting pebbles. I’ve found that adding some easy swirls in with the pebbles really mixes it up and keeps me on my toes. Pebbles are pretty time consuming too, so the larger swirls take up a little of that space and help to solve that problem.

As a background fill

Pebbles and swirls as a background fill create unbelievable texture and can really make your quilt designs pop. The round nature of these designs are easy for beginner quilters and very forgiving. Round shapes are easier to quilt–and these pebbles can be oblong, irregular, or precise. The more there is to look at, the less likely the eye will be drawn to small mistakes.

If you’d like to see a swirls tutorial broken down into steps, you can check out the video below or see the blog post. I’ve got more video tutorials on my YouTube channel if you’d like to see them.

I hope you’ll take a chance and give this motif a try. Even if you’re just starting out on your free motion quilting journey, this is an easy one to start with. You can scale the pebbles and swirls up or down to fit your needs, and your quilts will soon be singing with joy from your artistic quilting! The video above will guide you through the steps to get going. Thanks for watching, and happy quilting!

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