I am sharing with you today how I quilted block 21 – Hourglass. There are various quilting motif I tried for the blocks of this Sewcial Bee Sampler, so make sure you check out the archives.
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.
By quilting block by block, you can also practice various quilting motif like how I’m doing mine here.
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: Jagged Hooks
For the allover quilting, I decided to try out a combination of spiral (a curved motif) with spikes echoes (sharp points motif). These were quite hard to master as with all the other spikes, or sharp points motif. However, I do love the final look of it. One of the issue I had with this was trying to keep the density among the stitches even.
Echoing around with a sharp motif sometimes can leave some weird spaces in between where it will be harder to cover while maintaining the spacing between the quilting lines.
I recommend practicing a lot of doodling first. The finish is pretty with some drawn attention to the curvy hook centres.
Here are the drill steps if you want to try this motif:
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, which means each 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
I love fabrics that can guide me through the custom quilting. As for this block, for the centre piece, I simply trace along the pattern on the fabric and added petals with each petal corners . This is simply done freehand, eyeing on from points to points. This is similar to the technique of dot-to-dot quilting.
If you are already on Craftsy Unlimited, take the class dot-to-dot quilting and you’ll be surprised that there are many complicated motif made easy with this technique.
The corner of the centre block i quilted with varied size loops followed by simple orange peel on the cornerstones.
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.
For this block,I have incorporated another feather border. I start quilting from the centre of the block out towards each corner so I can have a rather symmetrical look. I also added a thicker spine with some little pebbles in the spine.
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!
Wow! I love what you can do with your domestic sewing machine. What wonderful free motion quilting.