Bubbles, Pebbles & Pearls

Posted by on September 18, 2014

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between bubbles, pebbles and pearls? Here’s a quick overview of these free motion techniques…

The original foot on the TinLizzie18 products works the best for free motion. It is also the favorite choice around appliqué work due to the rounded gentle curve of the bottom of the foot.


Bubbles are formed by making small loops. Some bubbles are double and are made by forming a circle or loop, and then a smaller circle or loop inside the first. These double bubbles are often called ‘olives’ as they resemble olives with pimento.  Bubbles can be used as a fill. In large fill areas it is sometimes referred to as paneling, as motif panels can be stitched and then filled. Bubbles often are used to cover raw edge appliqué and can soften the look of the edge of ones work.





Pebbles are formed by going around and around the same circle two to four times to make the circle shrink from the stitching and therefore making the fabric in the middle stand up and form 3 dimensional bumps like pebbles.




Pearls are formed in a chain or necklace by making a figure 8 motion alternating the top of one pearl and then the bottom of another pearl. Pearls are very elegant in combination with feathers and used as dividing chains to break up the curves.

This picture has both pearls and pebbles so you can compare the difference.

This picture has both pearls and pebbles so you can compare the difference.

Filed under: Blog,TinLizzie18 Quilting Tips

Leave a Comment


  1. Nice explaination! Love the last pic showing the feathers.

  2. Marcy says:

    Thank you. I didn’t know there were three different types of “bumps” in quilting.

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