How To Use Swirl Template For Free Motion Quilting

If you are on the hunt for a new quilting motif that you can use for filler stitches or an allover quilting design, the Dabline Swirl Template might be the perfect choice for you.

Available in Dabline Quilting Template Set., the Swirl template can add a bit of whimsy to any quilt top. Our quilting template set is full of easy-to-use templates, a template guide, our quilting gloves, and other helpful accessories. This post will teach you how to use the Swirl Template from our quilting template set.

Make sure you Set Up Your Machine for Quilting with Templates before you start practicing on how to use the Swirl template.

Now that you have your machine set up and ready for quilting with templates, you can begin practicing with the Swirl template

How to Use Dabline’s Swirl Template

Before you dive into stitching onto your freshly completed quilt top that you spend 30+ hours constructing, we recommend doing some practice movements and stitches on a scrap piece of fabric and batting. 

You will want to get your hands and brain used to the movements you will make while doing free motion quilting with rulers.

We recommend using a practice quilt sandwich to do the first few swirls before you sew on your project. For practice’s sake, we recommend drawing guidelines for the swirls. You can use a hera marker or water-soluble ink pen to draw a straight line across the practice quilt.

Next, line up the guideline with the horizontal line printed on the template. Place the template grip around the template and place the FMQ ruler foot in the starting position of the template (the center of the template.)

Before turning on your sewing machine, practice the movement of the template and the grip moving under the needle. Don’t forget to use your Dabline quilting gloves for extra stability. 

After you have completed the first spiral, you will turn the template around 180° just like the instruction card that came with this template depicts. Follow the spiral around and around, keeping the template pressed against the FMQ ruler foot until you have completed your first Swirl.

Once you are comfortable with the movements of the template, grip, and fabric under the needle, you are ready to stitch your first swirls. Follow the instructions we just went over, but this time turn your sewing machine on and take it slow. Practice swirls until you are confident you can sew gorgeous swirls on your quilt project.

There you have it! Beautiful, playful swirls that you can now add to your quilt projects. These would be great for wide borders, solid blocks that need filler quilting, or as an allover quilt design. How will you use the Swirl Template in your quilting adventures?

Happy Sewing! 

To learn more visit our YouTube channel

Share your art with us – tag #dablinestore on Instagram.


  • Deborah Heukels

    I watched the Swirl template video, my question is what prevents the stitches from coming out at the swirl ends if they are not back stitched?

  • Shurie

    I enjoy the videos. They are helpful. However, my templates move around. The stickies don’t seem to grip my fabric. What sm
    O going wrong?

  • Diana

    I am enjoying the rulers as a beginner but I have found that it is a lot harder to use them on a quilt than it is on the practice pieces because the quilt is heavy. Is there a way to resolve this issue? Thank you.

  • Jan

    I am having trouble with the foot stopping, then as I look it is on the template a tiny bit. So, I must be doing wrong. I am going slow, then it stops.

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