The Free Motion Quilting Project: Quilting a Sampler Quilt Part 4

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Quilting a Sampler Quilt Part 4

I think we're going to finish up this quilt today with the remaining blocks and sashing and get back to some free motion filler designs!

To read the other posts about this sampler quilt,
click on Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

4th Row, Right Block - This is the good ole dresden plate block that I've been playing designs off of through this whole quilt.

If you had told me a year ago that I'd like dresden plate block in the future, I would have told you you were crazy.

I was never much of a fan until I quilted my guild's donation quilt last spring. In this quilt I quilted the dresdens with this internal petal design that was heavily stippled, then the outside of the dresden fan was made puffy with trapunto.

Because we were on a pretty tight time schedule, I also had the quilt top be made with 4 open spaces where the dresden plates could be quilted in, rather than pieced. You can see this illustrated in this photo:

This just proves that you can take ANY block: dresden plate, 9 patch, wedding ring, and quilt it on your quilt rather than piece it.

I'm actually planning to create a double wedding ring in this fashion to celebrate my 5th wedding anniversary this spring. Instead of piecing all those curved seams, I'm instead going to quilt the shapes onto off white or red fabric.

I think it will definitely make for an easier double wedding ring!

Last row, Left block - This block reminds me of an icecream cone for some reason! I again softened the curves with more petal shapes that build on the dresden design.

This is one block where you have a lot of room around the central quilting motif that you could do some showy quilting in. You could surround the central motif with freeform feathers or a thin line of chain of pearls. You've got more than enought room to play, so use it!

Last row, Middle Block - I didn't design this block as well as I would have liked. The pink leaf was kind of a trial run and it came out looking more like a jack o' lantern than I was hoping.

Check out the blue leaf for the design that would work better. It looks a bit less like a jagged mouth!

Last row, right block - This block is very beautifully appliqued. I don't think you need to do more than emphasize the applique so that it stands out a bit more.

I did add a little swirl through the center of the flowers that you might want to stitch with invisible thread just to add a little more stitching within the flower shapes.

Quarter Circle Blocks - These mariner's compass style blocks fit into the on-point design of this quilt beautifully.

Personally, I felt that trying to quilt over these blocks or distract from them would be a crime, so I simply stitched in the ditch around the points, then filled in the white background with fillers.

The circle shape could be filled in with a variety of fillers, straight, or curving lines depending on what you like to quilt.

Sashing - I asked Randi and she said the sashing was 1 1/4" wide. With sashing this skinny, there's really not much you can do quilting wise.

I drew some lines over the quarter circle shapes and I think this could also look good over the sashing of the whole quilt. Space your lines around 1/4" apart and make sure to mark this before you quilt it.

You could ruin the whole quilt by having wiggly lines in the sashing, distracting from the blocks and setting.

You could also mark zig zaggy lines through the sashing as well, but honestly, I think this quilt is busy enough as it is.

In the future whenever you piece a quilt, consider cutting your sashing wider than you usually do. Instead of 2" or 2.5" sashing, cut it 3.5" or 4" wide so you have a nice open area to play with with some edge to edge filler designs.

Tomorrow we'll get back to more filler designs and hopefully next week I'll have the new videos finished showing you how to apply trapunto to your quilt tops and how to mark designs.

Let's go quilt!

Leah Day


  1. Blogged about your site today. I made a fabric postcard and used the pebbling for the background. Thanks for all the great tutorials. I look forward to them every week.

  2. Thanks for explaining how to quilt a sampler quilt. Really, you explained a lot about how to quilt a variety of one block quilts. I learned a lot from this series.


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