Free Motion Monday: Gimme a "C"!

Where does the time go?! It's the first of September, happy Labor Day to those in the USA, a Monday and time for a new design.

Columns of Cs free motion quilting design

Remember our first Free Motion Monday Series of McTavishing? That design used a series of small "C" shapes to get out of tight spots. I never felt really happy with my "C's", so that the design focus for this month.


To give a cohesive design to work on, I'm introducing "Columns of "C's". This design has popped up in several quilters work, including Renae Haddadin's Fill'er Up: Quilting Designs, where she calls it "Column of arcs". There are a couple of variations of this design, some also are featured in Renae's book.

I'm quilting a customer quilt, so I used my back up machine, a Janome 3160. I use a modified standard free motion foot on it. I figure some folks might enjoy seeing a smaller machine used.

Column of "C's" is done by subdividing the quilting area with columns, and filling the columns with "C's". I prefer to echo my column lines so there's a channel between the "C's". I definitely need to practice this design and improve my "C's". Feel free to "Gimme a C!" in whatever form you want.

I also want to thank all of those who answered my "Roll Call for the Ruler Toe". A winner has been drawn for a giveaway of an Accents in Design ruler. "StitchinByTheLake" is my winner, assuming you live in the USA. I am compiling your responses into a reference chart for this handy ruler foot.

BTW, I drew 2 other folks first, but they were no-reply bloggers, so I chose again.

 Here are the link up guidelines:
  • Keep your post relevant to this quilt along please. (This month is unspecified, so anything dealing with free motion quilting is fine!) Spammy posts will be deleted.
  • Make sure you link up to the individual post, not your home page as nobody wants to have to search around for the post if they're a little late to the party.
  • Reciprocate! Link back to this post somewhere in your post or use the clickable blog button in your sidebar. You've got to dance with the one who took you to the party, so make sure you link back.
  • Don't be a wall-flower. (Talking to myself here too. In person I am so stinking shy!) Visit the other links, be sociable, and leave comments.
  • Please make sure you leave me a way to contact you if you are a no-reply blogger, especially if you ask a question.


  1. Just found your blog via pinterest - so much awesome stuff here!! I just did a fmqing post, so I'm excited to link up :)

  2. Hi Amy
    Where is the info on modifying the darning foot so it doesn't hop?
    Thanks so much !

    1. Leah Day has a great post about modifying the foot along with a video:

  3. Hi Amy,
    Another question not really pertaining to this blog entry but about free motion in general. I love your blog and videos. I have been doodling and practicing away. But still seem to have a problem with the spacing of say of a flower mixed with loops or meandering. Sometimes I sort of loose my way and some of the flowers look wonky. Do you think the use of stencils or pantograph patterns a good way to acquire that feel or skill or do I just have to press on with the fact that I am going to have some ugly looking quilts for awhile :). My goal is to not need a stencil for all over quilting ( and I am sick of stippling ) .
    Thanks for you input and advise

    1. Stencils can be great for certain designs, especially motifs, but I'm not a fan of using them for most free motion designs. That's because you then become a slave to following the lines. This can make things even harder as you get more tense and try to stay on the marked line, which can make things look jerky.

      If you use it as a loose guideline, you may find it to be a help.

      One thing that might help is to flatten out your quilt frequently while it's on your machine to get a good look at where you've already quilted and where you need to go. The visibility under a domestic machine is less than ideal sometimes.

      Another thing is using an eraseable fabric marker to mark general areas, say where you want a flower amid a sea of loops.

      More than anything, it's probably an issue of practice and experience. It takes time.

  4. Angela Walters calls this "Signature Design" in her book, Shape by Shape. I like her version and yours and will definitely use this one in my quilting.