[ Free Motion Quilting Designs ]

Free Motion Monday – Designs for Log Cabin Blocks

A customer brought me a quilt with the Cactus Wreath pattern so I needed to think of quilting designs for log cabin blocks.  I decided to use Flame Flowers in the sections with points, and clusters of pebbles in the flowers.  For the background fill I chose a curvy meander.  For the main portion of the wreath, I knew I wanted another curved design to provide balance for all the straight lines and angles in the piecing.  I selected Scallop Hills as something a little different to fill this space.

First, Choose Thread Colors

One of the challenges with free motion quilting is thread choice.  Should I match the fabric or draw attention to a contrasting color?  Is there a single shade that could blend enough with all the fabrics or will I need to change colors? My customer’s quilt has three distinct colors: teal, magenta and white.  I auditioned various shades of teal and pinks and purples, but with the batik fabrics, a single shade just didn’t work.  So, I am using a light teal, dusty rose and eggshell white.Cactus Wreath pattern from Cozy Quilts

Flame Flowers and Pebbles in the Blossom Block

I matched the thread colors to the fabrics in the Blossoms.

cactus blossom quilting plan quilting designs for log cabin blocks

Learn my method for stitching a flame flower quilting design.

Pebbles fit into a variety of shapes.  See more quilted pebbles.

Background Fill Quilting Designs

I chose the curvy meander for the background to continue the theme of using curves to offset the angles in the piecing.  Meandering quilting designs also help move around the odd background spaces without having to stop and start again.  See my filler designs from the Arizona Flag quilt for more detail on meandering.

scallop hills sketch scallop hills on a quilt

Scallop Hills: quilting designs for log cabin blocks

Scallop Hills are easy to stitch and they fit into the angles of a log cabin block surprisingly well.  Start with a row of hills across your quilt block.  When you reach the end, backtrack to the middle of the last hill and begin your next row by bouncing off the middle of each hill.  If your rows of hills end at the edge of a block, you can hide your travel stitches in the seam line and start with either a full or half-hill depending on where you left off in the previous row.

scallop hills free motion quilting design

Since my customer mixed the magenta and teal fabrics in this log cabin wreath design, I could not match each individual fabric.  I decided to stitch the Scallop Hills in both dusty rose and teal thread, alternating by quadrant.  Of course, the design is more visible on the fabrics with contrasting thread, but the overall texture complements the quilt pattern quite nicely.

Any of these designs could be used on log cabin blocks.  What will you stitch today?

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Longarm Quilter, Pattern Designer, Teacher



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