The Free Motion Quilting Project: How to Quilt a Cabin Fever Block

Monday, July 11, 2016

How to Quilt a Cabin Fever Block

It's time to machine quilt our Cabin Fever block, the 7th block in the Machine Quilting Block Party!

Learn how to quilt this Cabin Fever Block in a free video tutorial with Leah Day

I think this block has the perfect combination of textures: flowing Desert Sand over the star, beautiful echoes and circles in the background, and soft Echo Shell in each corner.

Make sure to check out our extra tutorial on marking with paper that I shared last week. This is a new way of marking your quilt from the surface that I also used in this block and it worked well, though a bit of my stitching was out of the ditch. See what I mean in this new video:

Click Here to find the quilt pattern for Block #7

Learn how to mark a quilt block with paper in a tutorial with Leah Day
What did you think about marking the block from the surface? It was tricky to see the ditches and align the marked square nicely with the quilt block, especially with block already on the machine.

One thing that might make it easier would be to not mark the outline of the space so the ditches wouldn't be covered by the pencil drawing.

It might also be easier to mark with freezer paper or wax paper. I haven't tried anything other than Golden Threads paper and tissue paper, but freezer paper is more rigid and could be cut to fit exactly into the quilting space, then stitched over.

The issue with paper of course is removing it after quilting. There's a whole host of water soluble papers and stabilizers that could also work for this method, then be ripped first, then any extra bits left in the stitching could be washed away after quilting.

Ultimately the lesson here is to keep trying new things and experimenting to find what works best for you!

Now I did make a bit of a ditching mistake with this block, but as you can tell from the back it's really not noticeable. I quilted around the star shape first with white thread, then realized I wanted it quilted with orange thread and stitched around again.

Learn how to quilt this beautiful sampler quilt block in a free video tutorial with Leah Day

I didn't ditch any of the lines within the log cabin block in the center because that space was filled completely with Desert Sand.

What did you think of this Cabin Fever block? Which block has been your favorite so far? Is a certain step in piecing or quilting giving you trouble?

Please share your experience in the comments below!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day


  1. I wonder if dress makers carbon paper would work for marking from the top. I'm not sure what tool you'd need to use though, my blunt tracing wheel is fine for garment patterns, but is probably not precise enough for quilting designs.
    jen dot barnard at btinternet dot com

    1. It's definitely worth trying it! The biggest issues I've had with carbon paper is removing the marks at the end. The rule of thumb here is always test, test, test!

  2. Have you tried printing the quilting pattern on the paper? I haven't even seen the paper so don't know if it would work. PS Your son is a cutie!

  3. I couldn.t get the golden thread to print. my printer kept telling me the paper was too short. It got jammed up. Perhaps a heavier paper like `tracing paper` would work. I`ve used it before actually. Problem with it is that you have to sew from the very inside to the outside...the paper sometimes wants to fall off. It just occurred to me that I should have used a basting spray. (but I don`t like that stuff)

    1. I've been experimenting with freezer paper which comes in printable sized sheets! Hold tight - I'll have a new video with more tips on this in August.


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