I am sharing with you today how I quilted block 24 – Crosses and Losses. Another alternative Loop Motif – a clamshell strand.
If you are new here, this post is a part of my quilt-as-you-go my Sewcial Bee Sampler, a sew-along hosted by Sharon Holland and Maureen Cracknell. I plan to share along the process with some tips and tutorial.
As usual, I have two blocks made for two quilts, one with custom quilting and one with allover quilting. Both would be a great practice if you are looking towards improving your free-motion skill. I am still practicing myself, especially with the custom quilting. I am learning as I go, so let’s do this together!
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Before we go into the design for this block, here are some of my favorite must-have tools for Free Motion Quilting:
1. Superior Threads. I literally changed my minds about threads, when I started using this thread. Just read what other people has to say about it too HERE. And they come in big cones. which means they last longer before I have to change thread. I use an embroidery thread stand for it. You can get cheap thread stand like this one here.
2. Superior Threads Top Stitch Needles. I use this for all my sewing and FMQ. Really. In fact, I kind of find it a bit off when I have to use a needle that is not colored gold as these needles are. Try out different sizes with this pack.
3. My trusty sticky Glove. Any brand works for me, but I personally love the one that is breathable cotton like this one. If I don’t feel like wearing gloves, I make sure I have my Supreme Slider on the machine. Works like a charm and reduce tiring my shoulder.
4. Spray Baste. I am not a fan of taking off safety pins. This makes it so much quicker and allows me to cruise without fear of getting onto a pin. I personally love 505 Spray baste.
5. My large throat Janome Horizon machine of course!
However, you won’t need all of these tools to start. Just a reminder, I started with the very basic sewing machine and just a regular free motion quilting foot. And still managed to quilt a queen-size quilt. Just upgrade as you feel more confident and want to ease a couple of things that really bother you.
Quilt as you go
Quilt as you go block-by-block is one method you could opt for when you want to make quilting large quilts on your domestic machine feasible. It is one of my go-to methods especially if I want to skip the heavy work pushing through large quilts within my machine throat space.
In this series, I have various free motion quilting design that you can practice with,
Make sure you head to the archives HERE > and go to each of the post for the design tutorial.
Besides, I love the fact that I can easily finish blocks by blocks and even have a fancy backing like this one I made earlier. If you are interested to learn how I piece the block together, here is one way how to do it – using small sashing strips.
Spray Basting Quilt Sandwiches
In order to quilt-as-you-go block-by-block, I first made each block into a quilt sandwich, basting with spray baste adhesive. I love spray basting as it removes the need to undo pins as you quilt especially for small blocks like these.
You can choose to use the same fabrics for the backing, however, I decided to do mine scrappy solid for the allover quilting quilt and scrappy printed for the custom quilt. The scrappy solid backing will look something like this one I made earlier.
I recommend having about 2-3″ wider batting and backing to make it easier to quilt the area around the edges of the block. I made mine kind of tight, and I find that it is hard to move the quilt with so little to hold on to when the quilting gets so close to the edge. Well, lesson learned.
Allover Quilting Motif: Clamshell Strands
For the allover quilting, I decided to go with another simple alternative to loops. Another simple mendearing motif, and instead of loops, I chose to make little clamshells.
This was pretty simple and quick. I am definitely going to be using it in a full quilt someday. The simplicity and the little details on the clamshell were a lot of fun and pretty when done.
I may need to practice a little more to get the density of the quilting more uniform across the quilt.
If you want to try this motif, here are the practice drills:
make sure you pin this to try them later!
Custom free motion quilting on quilt-as-you-go blocks
For the other quilt, each block is going to be custom quilted. This means that each block will be designed accordingly with the block pattern.
The benefit of using quilt-as-you-go block is that it is so much easy to maneuver with small blocks and custom quilting is made easier under the throat of a domestic machine. Plus, your shoulder should thank you too!
Custom Free Motion Quilting
The hourglass blocks were quilted with geometrical lines. I used my rulers for this and had a lot of fun quilting with it. Definitely will be trying out more ruler work in the future.
If you are interested in ruler work for a domestic machine, I’d like to recommend these rulers that I use for mine. I love the little handle to hold the ruler easily. However they do require practice as always with all new techniques.
Some curls and spirals for the negative space in the little hourglass blocks and as for the large hourglass. The negative space were filled with feathers coming from the border.
If you have been following the updates on this version of my Sewcial Bee Sampler, you’ll notice the feather motif quilting theme that I try to implement in each block.
This time I incorporate a frame that infused into the block with feathers. I love that it brings another look to the block and draws attention to the new shape formed by the quilting. The corners are emphasized and I think it worked quite well.
However, I do wish I had drawn the heart first so that I can trace over it because my hearts were just all different sizes.
For this block,I have incorporated another feather border. This time trying to avoid lots of backtracking on similar lines by creating a double echo look for each feather petals.
If you want to try free motion quilt feather motifs yourself, I have a free course that you can sign up right here to get started.
Well, if you decide to join along or have any questions, drop me a comment. I will be happy to help where I can! In the meantime, you can also check these free motion quilting tips!
Click here to related Archive posts.
until next time, have fun sewing and quilting!