The problem with doodling

The problem with doodling

Are you one of those people who doodle in meetings? Did you use to do it while sitting in class? Well, my problem with doodling is that I never did it. Free drawing is, for me, an alien concept and filling up space with a continuous line never even occurred to me. You see, when I was in school we had “squared” paper, with a background grid, and the most I would venture to do would be little straight lines to form a pattern. Swirls, curves … NEVEEEERRRR.

I’m not just making excuses for myself but when I read tutorials about how to free motion quilt it all seems to come down to practicing doodling first. Well, here’s my first practice sheet, many, many years too late. It’s called “echo shell” and Leah Day (master of FMQ) describes it on her website.


I decided to use my Flower Power to practice free motion quilting. The quilt is huge and for now I am trying different designs. My first block uses stippling, now tried and true.

quilting FP1

For the second block I tried a combination of spirals and swirls, with some shadowing around the leaves and berries (click on photo to enlarge):

quilting FP2-2

You can really see the green leaves pop out as they are not quilted inside at all. I love the effect.quilting FP2

Next I experimented with long lines, kind of like rays emanating from the flowers. I’m not sure of what the technical term would be. Not bad for an experiment, I think.

quilting FP3

quilting FP3-2

Finally for the fourth block: the “echo shell”.

quilting FP4

I may have to start doodling along a bit more from now on, but for the moment I am just amazed that I am actually free motion quilting an actual quilt. How exciting is that?