[ Free Motion Quilting Designs ]

Free Motion Monday – Start Sketching on Paper

Next up on my longarm – this charity quilt for a school raffle.

imageThe 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 the center of the cross and then echoed all the way to the borders.  Ultimately I decided that custom quilting was needed so I will fill the cross with a woodgrain stitch and outline the angels.  I practice the woodgrain free motion design in my sketchbook (center motif):


That takes care of the center of the quilt, but what about the borders?  I decided to test my ideas on paper to see if they would work in the 3 borders that are 1 inch, 2 inches and 5 inches wide.  I set up these measurements in my sketchbook to test some ideas:


From the left, I will use a straight line in the outer 5″ border, similar to piano keys. The second border, which is a grey fabric and 2″ wide, will need to be marked and stitched with a ruler first to create the diamonds, then I will add the orange peels which can be stitched in a continuous line with minimal traveling along the center of the motif. Finally, the narrow 1″ border will feature a one-sided feather.

Borders are a great place to showcase free motion quilting.  Take a few minutes to sketch your designs with the exact spacing marked on paper. This builds muscle memory and gets your brain warmed up for stitching on fabric.

Do you have a standard border design that is a favorite to quilt?

It’s a great day to Enjoy, Experiment and Excel with our quilting!


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