Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Swirl Bubbles Tutorial

I love coming up with new filler patterns.  It makes quilting the background of quilts more entertaining for me.  I created my "Swirl Bubbles" filler for the background of my Island Batik Ambassador's Christmas in July Challenge.

Here are a couple of close-ups.

The steps:
1.  Make a big circle about 1 to 2 inches in diameter.  No, it doesn't have to be perfectly round.  Ovals work nicely too!

2.  Quilt a large S inside the circle.  If you want your S so that it doesn't cross lines when echoing it leave a little space below the bottom of the S for you to come back around.

3.  Echo the bottom of the S hitting the edge of the circle.

4.  Echo the middle of the S hitting the top of the circle.

5. Add the top of the S and echo back.

6.Continue in this fashion traveling along the edge of the circle until lyou get to the area where you want to add the next circle.

This design is easy to adapt.  As you can tell, sometimes I cross the lines of my S and sometimes I don't.  I don't think it matters.  It's a personal preference.  Also, sometimes the S is flipped and doesn't look quite right.  Not a problem.  They all blend together to give a nice texture which is the point of background quilting!

Okay....but what do I do when I get to the edge and there isn't room to make a full circle?  Good question.  The first thing I did was to simply add small tiny circles to fill the space.  I also did some small swirls.

However, I decided that I didn't feel like it quite fit, so I made partial circles instead that looked like they went under the next border of the quilt.  If you look careful around the edges of the picture below you can see where my partial circles are.  Decide which look you like best!

AND since I'm having so much fun creating different background fills, I've decided to challenge myself by trying to create one a week.  However, what do I do with all these samples?  It made sense to me to make a quilt!  Island Batiks kindly gave me some of their luscious solids to complete the top of my sampler.  Come back Friday (Free Motion Fridays are coming your way!) for directions to piece this top along with me and then we'll start with fillers the following Friday!  I hope you come on this journey with me.

I hope you get to quilt today!


  1. Excellent idea! I'll be back for sure. Your pattern today is wonderful. I'm not terribly good at quilting, but I created a sampler of patterns that are doable for me and am quilting them onto the sampler to use as inspiration when I quilt a quilt at home.

    1. Perfect! I too have quilts that I go look at for fillers :)

  2. Suzy, Love the filler pattern. I like doing swirly things on my quilts too. Great tutorial.

  3. what a great filler design! great quilt

  4. Lovely quilt, and the quilting is amazing! Thanks for the tutorial!

  5. Thanks for the tutorial on the it.