The Free Motion Quilting Project: Learn how to Machine Quilt UFO, Design #476

Friday, June 2, 2017

Learn how to Machine Quilt UFO, Design #476

It's a bird! It's a plane! No! It's a UFO!


Here's a fun new design for us to quilt together this week. It's basically Concentric Circles, but with an escape hatch so you don't have to break thread with each circle you quilt. See what I mean in this new quilting tutorial:



Now let's learn a bit more about this UFO quilting design:

Difficulty Level - Beginner. I usually base the difficulty level on the amount of travel stitching a design involves and as you can see UFO doesn't have a lot. But what it does have in abundance is echo quilting, which can be just as challenging.

So I consider this a skill-building beginner design. It's an easy enough set of steps and shapes to quilt, but it's going to seriously build your skills for echo quilting.

Filler Design Type - Edge to Center. You can actually machine quilt UFO two ways - you could quilt the straight line into the center, then quilt from the center of your block to the outer edges like you saw in the quilting video.

Or you can start in the center and work straight out like a Center Filled design. Either way, you're going to end up with rings of circles with a straight line to escape from the center. 

Where do we quilt it? I came up with this design while quilting the Basket Weave Quilt. I wanted rings of Concentric Circles in the squares, but I didn't like how much time it was taking to quilt the circles and break thread with each one.

So I stitched the straight line in the ditch and used that as an escape hatch that was almost invisible on the quilt. See what I mean in this video:


I hope it helps to see UFO quilted in a larger space in this video! As you can see if you stitch the escape hatch in the ditch of the block, it ends up hiding completely on the quilt surface leaving just the circles behind.

And one more thing about this video - it's never a mistake to mark the design on your quilt! The circles in the Basket Weave Quilt felt much easier to quilt because they were marked on the fabric. If you can't quilt the circles freehand just mark them on your quilt and it will feel much easier and look better too.

So what do you think of UFO? Do you like the little escape hatch through the middle of the circles? Do you plan to mark the circles on your quilt? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

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