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Free Motion Monday – Quilting Swoon Blocks

Recently I made a quilt for Quilts of Valor and then it was time to choose a design for quilting Swoon blocks. I considered the final destination and use of the quilt.  Is it for show or daily use?  Should I use an all-over pantograph design or heavy heirloom stitching?

swoon for Quilts of Valor

This longarm quilting project is a top made from Swoon blocks in patriotic colors. From the start, my goal was to donate this quilt to the Quilts of Valor Foundation. For this purpose, I chose a simple design that will stand up to daily use and multiple washings. A pantograph or all-over pattern would be fine but I decided to do a custom design because of the high contrast in colors and the various elements of the block.

Sketch before you quilt

paper sketch quilting swoon blocks

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Rather than jump right into the quilting process, I used EQ7 to print out a diagram of the block. This gives me a practice sheet or coloring page to sketch my ideas. I started with the star and diamonds shapes and quickly found a continuous line design that I feel compliments the piece elements.  I wanted a simple background fill so I used wavy lines in the house sections of the block.

Related post: my favorite features in EQ7!

Final plan for quilting Swoon blocks

When I took this design to the quilt and started thinking about thread color, I realized that I did not want the houses and background to be the same color.  I substituted a loopy meander in the house sections where I can match thread color, and I kept the wavy lines in the background. I filled in the sashing with lines and loops.

alternate plan quilting swoon blocks
Longarm process… when I started quilting on a longarm, I would quilt all of one color throughout the quilt before changing thread colors.  This meant rolling the quilt back and forth several times. Recently, I began changing thread color more often so that I quilted all the colors in one row before advancing the quilt.  For this Swoon quilt, I am doing a combination.  I started with white thread, then changed to red and gold before advancing.  When I get to the bottom row, I will change to blue thread and work my way back to the top.

Using matching thread means that some of the quilting design is less noticeable, but it will still have great texture and I’m sure it will be a great quilt to cuddle under!

final quilting swoon blocks

What is your standard quilting design? Have you tried this popular Swoon block yet?

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Longarm Quilter, Pattern Designer, Teacher



  1. I love any smooth flowing design that does not need to be constantly stopped to break thread.
    Clam shells and teardrops find their way into my quilting when I get ‘ stuck ‘.

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