How to Quilt It – #4 – Ammonites + Swirls

Today’s post is part of a series called How to Quilt it.  All posts come with coordinating block patterns that you can find here.

All tutorials in this series are for domestic machines and meant to show you the ends and outs of different designs when free motion quilting.  This series assumes you are already know how to free motion quilt, but are just interested in learning about different designs.  If you are brand new to FMQ and need to learn the basics, consider tackling this quilting technique first.

To view all previous posts in this series, click here.



I am really excited about today’s FMQ design.  It is scrumptious!  Though it be a bit time consuming, it’s surprisingly easy to get decent at it fairly fast.  For once I’m really pleased with my swirls too!  Okay, okay, let’s dig in.



What we are quilting

I’ve cut just an 18″ square for today’s tutorial, with plans of turning it into a pillow for my front porch.  We will be doing an all over design today with ammonites and swirls.

Today, I’m going to show you how to quilt:

  • Ammonite – This is the big design in the pic above.  Looks a bit like a feather flower.  It starts out the same way as the elongated curl does, but then jumps into its petals on one side and curving back towards the stem.
  • Swirls– This is all the little circular curls.  They are the “shadow” that makes the ammonites pop.  We will be doing them in all different sizes and directions to make them look a bit more random.


The Little Miss Sawtooth Star Quilt Pattern



A Few Thoughts

  • The gloves I’m using are Machingers.  I promise they aren’t dirty, dye from my fabric tops have stained them.  🙂
  • I’m using Microquilter in lace white for my top and bobbin thread.
  • You don’t need a fancy machine to free motion quilt, you just need one that has a feed dog that lowers (check your manual).
  • I am quilting on a Bernina 550QE domestic machine.
  • I’ve spray basted my block if you are wondering why there are not any pins.  Here’s the spray I use.
  • I’m so in love with the design!





Things to think about

  •  In the video you see me work through this design without cutting my thread, but you may want to pick up and move and work it in your own flow.
  • I like to move starting in the right top corner, moving towards the bottom corner, then pivot and move across the bottom, pivot again and move from bottom left corner to top left corner, then move from top left to top right.
  • Your quilting may look a bit different even if you are using the same designs.  That’s what you you want, for it to look like YOU.
  • You might resize this design a bit to make it more suitable for you.  Smaller or bigger.  Just remember to make the swirls smaller than the ammonite.  It helps make them pop more.
  • Don’t get caught up in perfection.  Let this be play time.  It’s the best way to learn.




If you are wanting to turn this block into a pillow, you can see a tutorial for doing that right here.  Oh, and I so know that I’m behind on the different ways to make these pillows.  I’m so sorry!  They are coming, I promise!



Similar Posts


  1. I just got my Hals Rectangle Ruler! FAST delivery and I can’t wait to use it!!!! Thyanks!

Leave a Reply