[ Free Motion Quilting Designs ][ Longarm Quilting ]

Free Motion Monday – From sketchbook to finished quilt

Last week I shared the plan for several border designs.  I finished the quilt and I’d like to explain the designs in more detail.

The quilt is for a school raffle and each child made a hand and footprint angel.  Simple echoes around each angel let their artwork shine.

Woodgrain stitching

I filled in the cross with a free motion woodgrain design.

  1. Start with a square-ish spiral  2.  Echo back out of the spiral  3. Echo both sides of the spiral and continue to another area of the quilt.

Orange Peels

I filled one border with a diamond grid and orange peels.  First, I marked the vertices of my diamonds at 3-inch intervals with plain white chalk which washes off fabric easily.

I used a ruler to connect the dots and stitch the diamond grid.

image The top diamond will be completed after I add the center orange peel design.

image The orange peel is formed by stitching an S-curve followed by a half circle.  Travel from one corner to it’s opposite (shown in step 1 and 3), then add a half circle to stitch to the neighboring corner (steps 2 and 4).

image The orange peel within the diamond grid was stitched with white thread on the grey fabric.  The navy border was quilted with hand-guided parallel lines.  I did not use a ruler for that part, the longarm machine likes to stitch straight lines without too much wobbling.

Single Feathers

The royal blue border shown above was stitched with a single-sided feather.


Quilting single feathers gives you a more casual look and can be a quick fill for a smaller border.  I typically add three loops of decreasing size underneath the curve of the spine.  I stitch the spine only as far as the first feather, then add the loops. I will then travel along the spine and extend another curve.  Stitch the next feather on the other side of the spine.

Which design do you prefer?  The woodgrain allows more freedom to fill your quilt with texture.  The diamond grid and orange peels can add structure to a larger border.  Feathers are always a classic touch, and single feathers can be more whimsical than the formal heirloom style.  Add one or more of the free motion quilting designs to your next project – I would love to see pictures!  When posting to Instagram, use #truebluequilts #FreeMotionMonday


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