The Free Motion Quilting Project: Section Quilting Part 1

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Section Quilting Part 1

Since the middle of August, we've been gradually working our way through a new video series designed to teach you how to use free motion quilting filler designs in your actual quilts.

So far we've learned how to Stitch in the Ditch with this Morning Glory Quilt:

free motion quilting | Leah Day

And we learned how to use one filler design to cover a quilt with All Over Quilting with this Cheerful Shapes Quilt:

free motion quilting | Leah Day

Now it's time to learn how to use many different filler designs within one quilt. This is called Section Quilting because each section: the blocks, sashing, and borders, can all be quilted with different filler designs.

To learn Section Quilting, we're going to take this quilt called Circles of Daisies and select many different filler designs to work in each block, the inner sashing, outer sashing, and borders.

free motion quilting | Leah Day

So let's get started first learning about the filler designs that will work great stitched on a small scale within the blocks:

When quilting blocks like the ones in the Circles of Daisies Quilt, we need designs that can fit into small, complex areas of the applique shapes pretty easily.

Independent Designs like Stippling, Wandering Clover, and Lollipop Chain, Pivoting Designs like Paisley, Pointy Paisley, and Echoing Designs like Echo Shell and Trippy Triangles will all work great in these blocks.

When Section Quilting a quilt, I always Stitch in the Ditch first. Stitching in the ditch around the block and around the applique shapes gives me a boundary line within the block that I can travel along and build designs off of.

If I didn't stitch in the ditch, I wouldn't be able to travel along the edges to fill the tight areas of the quilt, or if I did it just wouldn't look very good.

So this is a core reason of why I quilt exactly in the ditch: because these lines are necessary when filling a quilt with a variety of filler designs!

If you remember back to All Over Quilting Part 1, we covered the whole surface of that quilt with Lollipop Chain.

Now let's see what happens when we shrink that design down and stitch it on a very small scale within this quilt:

So here is the finished quilt block after being filled with Lollipop Chain!

free motion quilting | Leah Day
Other filler design types that will easily fill a quilt block are Stacking Designs like Pebbling, Coffee Beans, and Bed of Roses.

Don't miss Part 2 of Section Quilting when we see how to fill a block with Wandering Clover, Trippy Triangles, and Pointy Paisley.

By the way - this is the first videos shot on the Janome Horizon 7700! Let me know what you think of this new style of filming and if it's clear enough for you to see what I'm doing while free motion quilting.

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Are you enjoying this new video series? Click Here to support the project to keep these videos online and always free!


  1. Hi Leah,
    I'm curious how you're getting along with your new Janome. I was using mine for piecing today and found the knee lift really awkward - it is too far to the right for me to be in a good alignment with the needle and still be able to reach it. I ended up duct taping a 2" bumper pad onto it. Have you an opinion on this?

  2. How fast are you "running" your machine when you are doing the lollipop filler stitch?


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