"Peppermint Candy Twist & Stipple" Doodle Quilting Design

We're at Day 7 of the #freemotiondoodleschool doodle challenge and the prompt for today is: twist.

The doodle quilting design that I'm showing you today is one that I created for a Christmas quilt that I quilted for a customer. Since the peppermint candy twist fits with today's theme, I thought I'd share it with you.

Before I do that, however, here's a picture of the design quilted out on my customer's quilt:

Alright, let's get started doodling out this design.


Some of you may have mastered free-motion stippling but for those who haven't, let's start with some stippling pointers.

  1. When I do free-motion stippling, I like to think about drawing rounded shapes that I call "nodules." These are shapes that are somewhat like the rounded tops of puzzle pieces.

  2. Your nodules can, and should vary in shape. Sometimes, you might put two nodules together, (like the ones I'm drawing in the first photo, above), or even three, or four. Sometimes, the nodules will bend and curve around, sort of like floppy cartoon dog ears, (like the nodule to the left in the pair I am drawing in the second photo, above).

  3. Once you've practiced drawing some nodule shapes, start meandering around your page with them. Try to keep the distance between your curves and nodules as even and equal as possible. Try not to let your lines cross. (See my meandering stipple in the third photo, above.) I feel that it's ok to let your stipple merge with your border or seam occasionally. I'll show you what I mean when I show you the Peppermint Candy Twist & Stipple design.

That's all there is to it. It's taken some practice for me to achieve a consistent stipple. My advice is to doodle it many times and don't give up on it too quickly.

Next, let's talk about the peppermint candy part of the design.

Peppermint Candy Twist

  1. Start by drawing a circle.

  2. From the point where you close the circle, draw a line that curves upward and ends at the center of the circle.

  3. Reverse directions and echo the bottom of the curved line you just drew, ending your echo at the outside edge of the circle.

  4. Use the outside line of the circle to travel counter-clockwise around the circle. Travel a distance that is farther than the distance between your first curved line and its echo--about three times farther.

  5. Draw another upward-curved line that ends at the same center point as your first curved line and its echo.

  6. Echo this curve back to the outside of the circle in the same manner as you did the first curve.

  7. Travel around the outside of the circle until you reach a distance equal to the distance you traveled in step 4.

  8. Repeat steps 1-4 until you have filled the inside of the circle. You should end on the outside line of the circle

Peppermint Candy Twist & Stipple

Alright, once you've got the basics down, it's time to combine the stipple and the peppermint candy twist.

Start out by drawing a large box on your paper, to represent an area on a quilt.

  1. Start on any edge of the box and travel into the inside of the box using a meandering stipple.

  2. When you've traveled a little distance inside the box, draw a circle that connects to your stipple.

  3. Fill in the inside of the circle according to the instructions for the "Peppermint Candy Twist" (above).

  4. From the outside edge of your circle, draw more meandering stipples until you come to an area where you want another peppermint candy.

  5. Repeat Steps 2-4, above, until you have filled in the entire box.

When you're done, your doodle design will look something like this:

Can you see the places where my stipple merges with the outer edges of the box I drew? (I've circled them to make them easier to spot.) I really like the effect this creates. It makes it look like the stipple fills up the entire box and sometimes even spills over the edges.

I hope you'll find lots of uses for this design in your holiday quilts. I'm pretty sure it's going to pop up in my quilts regularly.

If you liked this tutorial, check out the books "Doodle School: A Daily Design Challenge to Up Your Free-Motion Quilting Game," and "Doodle Notebook for Free-motion Quilting: 150+ Inspirational Motifs." Dara Tomasson and I co-authored them and they're packed with more great doodle quilting tutorials.

Here are the links to the books on Amazon:

Until next time, keep up the doodles!


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