September 30, 2010

Free Motion Quilting Designs: Pebbles and variations

Let's talk about pebbles. They are a big effect from a simple technique - stitching circles right next to one another. I like the look when I vary the size of the pebbles. Pebbles are time consuming to quilt, so practice on something small before you decide to do a queen size.


Want to mess with the design? How about stretching it out?


Or squaring it off?


The inside of a pebble is just waiting for you to put something inside it. I once saw a quilt with this wagon wheel quilting. It was so dynamic!


I thought these would look like rings but it's possible they look more like toilet seats.


Jingle bells? Soap bubbles? Either way, I like it.


Here I just inserted a line in the middle. I think they look like aspirin. I also doodled a beach ball pebble but forgot to take a picture of it.

Leah Day has some great pebble based designs, here, here, here and here.
If you've never stitched pebbles before, start by drawing them. Do this without lifting your pen - use a continuous line. Draw a circle. Now, starting from the edge of that circle, draw another circle right next to it. Now continue around that circle a bit until you can start a third circle nestled against the first two circles. And just go on that way, letting one circle lead to another, until your space is filled. You can do this. Try filling a page or two this way. It will get you used to figuring out where your next pebble will go.

In large or small doses, pebbles are a beautiful way to quilt. Take a look at these examples!



1. Baby quilt - for baby William, 2. Green Space, 3. Quilt for Louis Jude Graham born 10th August 2010, 4. zigging, zagging, pebbling, 5. pebble quilting {back}, 6. after pebbling is complete

So you know what to do now - sketch some pebbles! I know my instructions aren't super detailed. First, I'm lazy. Second, it will serve you well to figure out how to draw the designs you think of with a continuous line. It's just pen and paper. Experiment! My quilting always improves when I draw the designs beforehand.

See more Free Motion Quilting designs and tips on the Free Motion Quilting page.

8 comments:

Linda said...

I think your instructions are detailed enough. I'm practicing drawing circles. Who knew these could be so hard? LOL!!

Kay Lynne said...

I like all your variations and the instructions are great. Thank you for all the time you are spending on this quilt along!

Dolly said...

Thanks,Christina, a new challenge !
I love it !
Thanks for all your guidance in giving me the courage to 'play' with my most recent quilt.

Suzanne said...

Your idea to journal the designs is great. Jacquie just posted a beautiful quilt she made and had quilted with gorgeous pebble quilting. If you haven't seen it already, go look! http://tallgrassprairiestudio.blogspot.com/2010/09/proposal-moon.html

Jennwith4 said...

Drawing first has helped me a lot!

Lorajean said...

very pretty!

Di2Quilt said...

Pebbling is one of the designs I've been wanting to learn. It's going to take drawing on more than 2 sheets of paper before I'll feel confident enough to FMQ. Thanks for sharing all the good tips with us!

Connie said...

Great variations on pebbling, will have to try some of them. Thanks for sharing.

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