free motion quilting strip blocks
[ Free Motion Quilting Designs ]

Free Motion Monday – Simple Designs for Strip Blocks

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 contrast of the stripes and circles in the quilt blocks.

free motion designs for strip blocks

Thread Choice

I typically use coordinating thread to match the top of the quilt. For this version of Bali Fever, I needed both a light blue and a red for most of the quilt.  In the blue border, I actually found a shade of teal that looked better than any of my blue shades.  And the quilt has one solid lavender fabric that I couldn’t quite match, so I got as close a possible.  thread choice for free motion quilting

My customer chose an almost-solid red fabric for the back, so most of the quilting stands out.  Some quilters match the bottom thread to the backing fabric, but I enjoy seeing the contrasting stitches.

Free Motion Quilting in Strip Blocks

Because of the bold prints on most of the fabrics, detailed quilting motifs will not show up.  Use simple designs to provide texture and movement.  The light sections of the border have a simple wavy line, and the darker sections over the whole quilt have a meandering loop.

free motion quilting wavy lines and loops

Related post: Quilting a meandering loop.

Simple Designs for Strip Blocks

free motion arches and flames

Each circle was stitched with a flame flower.  In the background of the light sections, I used an echo arch design which was also featured in my Rainbow Twister quilt.

free motion quilting strip blocks

Free Motion Quilting – Ribbon

The final accent was the ribbon quilting in the blue border.  I started with a gentle wavy line (or sine wave for those who remember their math terms!).  I repeated this wavy line with about a quarter inch offset.  As the lines cross, they give the impression of a ribbon twisting and turning.

free motion quilting ribbon

Wavy lines, meandering loops and flame flowers combine to give the strip blocks in the Bali Fever pattern some great texture.  Share your next quilt with me!  Visit my facebook page or tag @truebluequilts on Instagram.

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Longarm Quilter, Pattern Designer, Teacher


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