Monday, December 30, 2013

All About the Quilting {Quilt-as-You-Go Simple Sampler}

Hello everyone, I hope you had a Merry Christmas! We still have a few posts to go in the Simple Sampler series.  Now that all the block tutorials are up these last few posts will focus on quilting, assembling, and finishing your quilt.

Today's post is about quilting patterns.  One of the biggest advantages of a quilt-as-you-go method is that it gives you the freedom to tackle quilting patterns on a small project that you might be afraid to commit to a whole quilt with.  It gives you the chance to learn and practice a pattern without fighting the bulk of a whole quilt. Also, you can try a bunch of different patterns in the same quilt!

Sixteen patch quilted with a simple figure 8
When doing QAYG it's important to remember to stay at least a half inch or so away from the raw edges of the block so you'll be able to join to finished blocks together.  FMQ is less likely than straightline quilting to cause shifting or distortion of the block.

Star block with flowers
I began to work on FMQ in earnest last January; it was my New Years Resolution.  Honestly, I can't believe how far I have come in a year. FMQ was something that always scared me.  I can't draw, so what hope did I have to FMW? But with practice (a lot of it!) and perseverance I am learning, and as I get more confident, FMQ gets more fun!

Chain Squares, an Angela Walters design
One huge help with FMQ has been Angela Walters book.   I really can't say enough good things about this book.  Lots of FMQ patterns laid out with detailed instructions.

Cursive writing "Hey diddle diddle..."
Some of the best advice about learning to quilt is to remember: when you're quilting you're looking at the stitching from 2" away. No one else if going to be looking at it that close.

Dutchman's Puzzle block quilted with Flower Power, Angela Walter design
This Flower Power design, shown above, is one of my favorites. I used this design on an entire quilt before. It was worth it, but talk about time- and thread-consuming!

Pinwheel quilted with simple swirl

This simple swirl (above) is a design I made myself.

Broken dished quilted with uneven back and forth squiggles
The uneven back and forth squiggles on this block remind me of water ripples.

Churn dash block quilted with wood grain Angela Walters pattern
This wood grain pattern is my favorite from Angela's book, but given the amount of time a thread required I think I'll be saving it for special occasions.

Ocean Waves block quilted with a Swirled Hook, Angela Walters design

If you are just beginning your FMQ journey, take heart :)  It will take time and patience, but you CAN do it.  If this non-artist, can't-sketch, straight-lines and square-corners please, person can do it then anyone can!


  1. 2014 is the year I learn to FMQ and I will remember your 2" rule! I have Angela's book for later on and will be starting with Christina Cameli's book "First Steps to Free-Motion Quilting". I'm excited!

  2. Need to add that your quilt is really pretty too! I love the patchwork around the blocks... Sampler quits aren't usually my thing but the way you finished your blocks changes my mind. If I could quilt like you in a just a year I'd be thrilled!!