The Free Motion Quilting Project: Quilt Along #17 - Get Wired with Circuit Board!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Quilt Along #17 - Get Wired with Circuit Board!

After our LONG break through May, it's finally time to get back to the Free Motion Quilt Along!

I know many quilters have continued to link up during the vacation and share progress on many projects.  Have you continued quilting during this crazy month, or has your goal to learn free motion quilting gotten a little sidetracked this month?

So matter where you're at with your quilting ability, we're going to have an awesome time quilting several new projects through the rest of the year and learn not only many new designs, but also how to apply them over our quilts in many ways.

This week we're focusing on another Sister of Stippling.  Remember this group of designs all work very, very similarly to Stippling so they all can be easily stitched on a large or small scale and in all areas of your quilts.

So far we've learned Sharp Stippling, a variation that introduced sharp points into the wiggly lines of Stippling and Zippling, a design created entirely with zigzag shapes.

This week we're going to learn more about Circuit Board.  This design was originally published in the very beginning of the Free Motion Quilting Project, and my original inspiration for it was the maze-like channels on a computer's mother board.  Click here for the original tutorial.

free motion quilting | Leah Day
Yes, this design is quite similar to Zippling in that it's stitched with all straight lines and sharp angles, but there's one major difference: Circuit Board's angles are all 90 degree angles (think about an L shape) so this makes for a much more boxy, graphic design.

Let's learn how to quilt Circuit Board working from very simple shapes into the complex design you see above:

To recap from the video, here's a great place to start with Circuit Board:

free motion quilting | Leah Day
This is basically those same U shapes we learned with Stippling, only this time with straight lines and nice 90 degree angles.

Once you get the hang of that design, let's kick it up a notch and play with L and U shapes:

free motion quilting | Leah Day
Try both the backwards and forwards versions of these designs to see which feels most natural for you.

free motion quilting | Leah Day
Boxy letters are a great base for Circuit Board!  What if we work with the letter F?

free motion quilting | Leah Day
The letter H also works nicely, so long as you're careful to leave enough space so you don't get stuck in the design:
free motion quilting | Leah Day
With a bit of practice stitching or drawing these simple rows of shapes, you'll definitely learn a lot about quilting Circuit Board and how to estimate the space you need to quilt into and out of many areas of your quilts.

Once you feel comfortable with the idea behind this design, try putting it together in a random arrangement to create a complex Circuit Board design:

free motion quilting | Leah Day
Again, we're working in simple rows, just as we've worked with Stippling, Sharp Stippling, and Zippling.  Rows form a great base for learning any design because you can easily move through any quilt space in a linear way.

free motion quilting | Leah Day
 Here's a block of Batik Beauty filled with rows of Circuit Board:

free motion quilting | Leah Day
Circuit Board is going to work best in areas that have a boxy shape because this design is so dependent on sharp, right angles.  Sashing is an obvious choice for this design because it fits so well into the narrow channels and around the corners of square blocks.  Here is Circuit Board quilted in the sashing of the Australian Shadows Quilt:

free motion quilting | Leah Day
Definitely give this boxy design a try this week and see how you like it!

Just to give you a heads up, in 2 weeks we're going to start a new quilt project!  We're going to first piece, then quilt a modern quilt:

free motion quilting | Leah Day
Josh has named this the PoMo Angles Quilt (PoMo stands for post-modern).  It's a fun, simple quilt that is constructed breaking all the rules.  I figure it's about time we had a lesson in Anti-Perfectionism and this is the perfect quilt to do it with.

So start looking around your quilting room for solid colored scraps for the background (a medium pile of scraps and about 1-2 yards of fabric will do) and some funky prints, batiks, or hand dyed fabrics for the squares (around 15 - 30 squares, any size you want to cut them).

Yes, this material list is vague.  If that irritates you, yes, you will probably hate the piecing instructions!

This quilt is designed to push you out of the world of exact measurements or precise piecing.  Quilting really doesn't have to be so difficult, precise, or perfect, and maybe by piecing this funky, modern quilt we can all learn to let go of our need to control every element of our quilts.

I really hope you'll join us in constructing this awesome quilt in 2 weeks!

Don't forget to ask any questions you have about Circuit Board or anything quilting-related in the comments or on your linked-up blog.  Tomorrow we're getting back to Question Thursday post again and I'll need some questions to answer!

Instructions for Linking Up Your Blog:

1. Write your blog post. Publish it on your blog.

2. Copy the link of the specific blog post. This is not just the link to your blog itself (, but the link to the specific post:

3. Click the blue link up button above and paste your link into the box.

Keep in mind that you're posting your progress from LAST week on THIS week's post. This way you have time to watch the lesson, play with the ideas, then post your progress to the next quilt along. I hope that makes sense!

Time to Shut Up and Go Quilt,

Leah Day


  1. Leah - FYI-your "Circuit Board" video is "private" and not accessible from this blog.

  2. Hi Leah

    When I try to view the latest video a message appears which says the video is private. Is this something your end, I don't normally have trouble viewing them?

  3. Opps! Sorry guys, I'm out of practice! I fixed the video so now it's public and everyone can view it.



  4. Hi Leah, What do you do with all the larger sandwiches that you use for quilt practice?

  5. Te han destado de maravilla las vacaciones, el jardín y el tinte de telas. Se te ve muy alegre y contenta en el vídeo. Me alegro que hayas vuelto con fuerzas renovadas.

  6. Welcome Back Leah ~
    Missed the quilt alongs ! Blue marker question for you if you have time....
    I used a Clover blue marker I bought at our new Joanns that opened last week in my area! I was disappointed it ran out of ink before I finished marking my quilt! How much mileage do you get out of one marker? Leah, can you shed some light on this subject? How to store them, use, and mileage we can expect to get from one? I had to move to the yellow chalk liner to complete marking so I could get back to quilting. Now the yellow was much harder on the eyes to see! but got the job done. Thanks Leah

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