Dynamic Quilting Designs the Simple Way


This was posted on Fairfield World’s site yesterday and I wanted to share. As some of you know I am a contributor for them and I love coming up with ways to share my craft. Please pop on over to their site and take a look at all of the projects that my friends post. I am always amazed and encouraged when I see what they make.

Hi It’s me, Charisma, your friendly longarm quilter.

I am here today to share some simple tips on getting your quilts quilted and out of the UFO bin. Not that I don’t have many of those myself…but we shouldn’t talk about that right now.

I think the fear of “ruining” a quilt with bad quilting is at the top of every newbie quilter’s list …well heck, even seasoned quilters have this issue sometimes. Especially, if it’s a quilt top you are really invested in and love.

But I am here to show that with 5 very simple designs you can combine them together and create  custom quilting on any quilt top. I went through the quilting terms a few months ago. 970

I chose the 5 easiest designs that I mastered when I first started quilting.  I quilted them onto this little table runner for you. I chose 2 very light fabrics to showcase the designs for you and I will go through them with you.


  1. stipple= Probably the first design that many people start with. Stipple is described as puzzle pieces or dog bones. You are never to cross a line.
  2. Loops- this is the second design in line that people learn after stippling.
  3. Swirls- this gets a little more difficult but adds so much texture to any type of quilt.
  4. L’s and E’s= elongated loops …you can create so much with changing the sizes or not with L’s & E’s.
  5. Leaves= I can’t imagine longarm quilting without learning the leaf design. I add leaves to so many quilts it’s really a must learn.


I always say that when you master these 5 designs you can master any design. But with these 5 designs you can start a longarm business because you are ready. If you ask any famous quilter how they got started, they will tell you they felt comfortable taking in quilts after they mastered just a handful of designs.

So I took these 5 designs and applied them to a quilt top I had on hand. It’s a scrappy quilt and I used 2 layers of batting to showcase the quilting a bit more. I used a layer of Fairfield soft & toasty and a layer of wool batting. The nice thing about Fairfield’s wool batting is that it is all washable and dryable. No fear of it shrinking on you after you have quilted. It’s all processed and ready for use.


As you can see in the outer border I used L’s and E’s to create a feather in the border. You don’t have to just use them in a straight line or in a small area. You can quilt those L’s and use them to create lots of different designs, a wreath, the inside of a flower or flower petals the possibilities are endless. You can see that I also used them in the green circles around each peach center.

976Here is a closer look:

975You can see that I used Stipple, Loops and Swirls in the center of each block as a filler. It provides variety and texture. not every block is the same which gives it appeal.

977 978 979

I used roaming leaves as the background design. I like the way they fill in the area.They are random and all over in this quilt. But you can control them and quilt them in a perfect straight line or all over. You can attach them to vines and swirls if you want to mix textures as well. I wanted to keep it simple in this example so that you could see them really well.

980I have another example to show I did add a few extra designs to this next one but it does use all 5 of these designs as well.  It’s an applique quilt and very fun. I also used 2 layers of batting in this quilt. Fairfield’s Soft & Toasty and a layer of Fairfield wool. If you look at the small red border you can see the leaves quilted in a straight line all around the quilt. You can also see them in the outer border attached to vines and flowers. You can also see the leaves in the background of the strawberry bucket. It’s a very versatile design.

998You can see a variation of swirls surrounding the tulips.


I used L’s to frame the heart & flower block.

There is random loops in the background of the topiary tree & above the ducks.994


The stipple design makes an appearance in the puppy block & the middle block of the bottom row with the birds and flowers.


So as you can see all 5 of those simple designs make up the majority of the quilting on this applique quilt and it’s custom quilted. I don’t feel like I have “ruined” my quilt top and I am happy with the end result.


So please don’t fear..simple designs create dynamic results if used in the right way. Get out a quilt top and mix and match some simple designs! I promise you will feel better about your quilting…..and you will get some of those quilt tops turned into quilts!

Please don’t hesitate to ask any questions I am always here to help you on your way.



3 thoughts on “Dynamic Quilting Designs the Simple Way

  1. Charisma, your designs are the most beautiful I’ve seen. I never get tired of looking at them and love the quilt you did for me. I have another one I keep forgetting to send out! Maybe I’ll find it soon 🙂
    I also love your humor. You crack me up! ( we can’t talk today about all your UFO’s and may I add mine too haha!)
    Thanks for the eye candy!

  2. This is really helpful info, and it’s encouraging to us that just don’t “see” it. THANKS for sharing…and I do love that bunny quilt – I wish I had done that one for you!! Remember, I owe you BIG time!! Much love..

  3. Charisma , thank you so much for sharing your tips with a beginner like me . I have practiced a lot and can do meander and e’s and L’s but have a lot more practice to go .

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