The Bali Fever pattern by Judy Neimeyer is a stunning quilt. The fabric and piecing should take center stage so I chose simple free motion quilting for strip blocks. The loops and wavy lines provide just enough texture to enhance the strong … Continue reading
Loops are an easy free motion quilting design that adds great texture to a quilt with lots of straight lines. I chose a figure 8 quilting design for a recent customer quilt. The quilt pattern is Stacked Coins and she used men’s shirts to create the blocks. This is a keepsake quilt for children to remember their father – what a touching gift!
Free Motion Quilting is like Writing in Cursive!
The figure 8 quilting design looks like a line of Ls. I have to remind myself to keep a steady pace with the stitching so my tension doesn’t get wonky on the back. You can adjust this design to fit any space. It would be equally effective in sashing strips or a border.
Audition Quilt Designs Before Stitching
When I loaded this quilt onto my longarm machine, I knew what the background would be since the customer had requested echoed pebbles. Of course, stitching white thread on a white background can be tricky, but it is a fun free motion filler design.
The primary blocks took more thought. Many of the shirts were plaid so there are alot of striaght lines in this quilt. I had several ideas so I drew a quick sample of the Stacked Coins pattern in my notebook and auditioned these designs.
Maybe a basic grid of wavy lines? What about a single feather? Check out more free motion quilting designs here.
No, I really liked the loopy Figure 8 quilting design. I chose a light blue, slightly variegated thread that blends nicely with all the colors in the shirts.
For the outside border, I kept it simple with straight line quilting in a matching navy thread.
Would you have chosen a different free motion quilting design? I’d love to see your work! Email photos to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will add them to my project gallery.
Need some practice with free motion designs? I have a free workbook for you!
A simple wavy line is a beautiful design element to use in your free motion quilting. Let’s take a look at quilting tips for modern curves. Straight line quilting has been popular for a while and I am noticing modern curves may be taking over. Curves add softness and texture to the negative space that you often find in modern quilt designs.
Quilting Tips for Modern Curves
The 2 basic variations of the wavy lines that make the modern curves quilting design come from how shallow or deep you make the curves.
You can add even more texture by combining and overlapping both styles of wavy lines. Another way to draw the audience in and get them to take a closer look at your quilt is to vary the spacing of your lines. Echo closely for a few lines and then add more space.
Modern Curves in a Quilt
Judy Neimeyer’s pattern for Glacier Star is a stunning quilt. The fabulous medallion framed by circles of flying geese needs very little quilting so the modern curves and wavy lines add just the right amount of texture to highlight the quilter’s fabric choices.
Focus on the wedge shape where I used the modern curves quilting and played with the spacing of my stitching lines. I was stitching with turquoise thread.
Continuous Curves Free Motion Quilting
I explain the idea behind quilting continuous curves in this post. The orange peel effect is an elegant touch in the diamond section of the Glacier Star pattern.
Note…stitching is in turquoise!
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There are several books available if you want to learn more about continuous curve quilting.
Quilting the Glacier Star pattern gave me the opportunity to try many different quilting designs, but I can’t overlook the basics. Stitch in the ditch is an important technique in machine quilting to stabilize the quilt and define your quilting space. The flying geese in this quilt were fairly small, so I did not add any additional quilting beyond stitch in the ditch for those borders.
Whatever pattern you choose, free motion quilting can help you Enjoy, Experiment and Excel while you create!
As quilters, we try to express love through fabric. Adding some free motion quilting hearts to your next project puts another layer of love into the quilt. When a customer brought me a red and white quilt with raw edge … Continue reading
Quilting involves a lot of decisions, from fabrics to pattern choices, and finally the quilting design. If you are sending your top to someone else for the quilting, you should have a discussion about the type of design you want. A simple quilting design may be more appropriate than heirloom quilting featuring dense, intricate designs.
I made this Snowball I-Spy quilt for my daughter when she was about three years old. It is quilted with a basic crosshatch and spirals in the borders.
To stitch the crosshatch with minimal starts and stops on a longarm, plan your lines in a V pattern. Plan on traveling in the seamlines on the edges of the pattern and you may be able to complete the whole row in one pass.
Spirals are an easy design to use in the border of your quilt. You can add interest by alternating the direction of the spiral…curve to the right on the first spiral, then curve to the left on the next one. In the Snowball quilt, I alternated direction along the top and bottom borders with wavy lines in between.
Here is a comparison of the two options when quilting spirals:
Many years later, my daughter still enjoys her Snowball I-Spy quilt. The simple designs of crosshatch and spirals were subtle interesting additions that let the conversation prints take center stage.
Some things to consider three things when choosing a quilting design:
1. Who is using the quilt?
A quilt destined for a child’s bed or the family sofa will likely be washed more frequently than the artistic piece for the guild show. A simple design will be just as effective and stand up to more activity.
2. What elements of the quilt do you want to highlight?
If the fabric is the main feature, consider a simple design. Use intricate free motion quilting in the negative spaces of a quilt where they can be properly admired.
3. How much time and money do you have to spend on the quilting?
Heirloom quilting takes more time and generally costs more if you are hiring a professional quilter. Choose the simple yet beautiful designs if you have a tight deadline and/or budget.
Simple free motion quilting can be the perfect finishing touch for your next project. Enjoy, Experiment, and Excel while you quilt!
Last week, I shared some of the filler designs on my Arizona Flag quilt.
Since I was inspired to make this quilt for Arizona’s statehood centennial, I wanted to include some of my state’s history. Schoolchildren in Arizona learn the 5 C’s that were key to local industry: cotton, copper, climate, citrus and cattle so I quilted those terms right into the quilt in the lower blue portion.
(Shown from the back to enhance visibility)
I used the letters E and M as a filler design. Three bumps up, then 3 bumps sideways and you can stitch quickly across your quilt.
I also stitched “Arizona 1912 – 2012” centered below the star. Unfortunately, this did not stand out very clearly. Perhaps I should try adding crystals to the surface to emphasize that detail!
As a final touch, I quilted the names of all Arizona’s governors in the border of the quilt. I marked a writing line in chalk, then just wrote carefully in cursive as if I were holding a pencil.
Have you written on any quilts?
Making a postage stamp quilt, with thousands of tiny pieces, was on my bucket list when buzz started about Arizona’s Centennial anniversary of statehood celebration. The resulting quilt had 2,012 pieces in honor of our state birthday in 2012. I will tell the whole story … Continue reading
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Rainbows and Quilts just go together! Many years ago, I was in an online fabric swap and each person was assigned a color. The swap host collected everything and then sent out this beautiful collection of rainbow shades. The fabric was cut in charm squares, which made it easy to turn into a Twister quilt.
I laid out the colors from light to dark, and I had enough squares to make two rows of each color, so I alternated the gradient with each row. Once I had the squares sewn together, I grabbed my Lil’ Twister ruler and cut it apart again. It was so fun watching the pinwheels appear!
The reward for chopping up a quilt top with the Twister ruler is the bonus squares. I put some of the leftover scraps to use in the corners, keeping everything in proper ROYGBIV order.
My Garden Twister Pattern also features the Lil Twister Ruler!
Then it was time to choose quilting designs. I spent alot of time on Leah Day’s website for inspiration!
Then I made little rainbows in the background by echoing small curves:
Here are my names for the quilting designs. Each column of color had its own unique free motion design:
It’s been quite a while since I quilted this wallhanging. I remember tying off and burying hundreds of thread tails, so I think I was insane and started each pinwheel from the center. I will have to revisit these designs and see if they can be modified for a continuous line design.
Please share some of your favorite quilting projects. Do you keep the quilts you make or give them away?
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. … Continue reading
Next up on my longarm – this charity quilt for a school raffle. The colorful blocks are angles made from student hand- and footprints. I thought about doing an all-over design, such as a spiral, or a feathered heart in … Continue reading