The Free Motion Quilting Project: Quilting a Patchwork Tulip Quilt Block

Monday, March 13, 2017

Quilting a Patchwork Tulip Quilt Block

It's time to quilt the third block for the Machine Quilting Block Party and this month's block includes many beautiful designs. We're going to learn how to quilt Swirling Water, one my my all time favorite quilting designs, Pebbling, more feathers, and try a bit more ruler foot quilting.

Please remember that the ruler foot quilting is 100% optional. You could also quilt the straight lines with normal free motion quilting or with your walking foot. I've really enjoyed learning this new technique and I'd love for you to try it, but if you don't have rulers or a ruler foot right now you always have alternative methods for quilting these sections.

I used Template #5 from the Dresden Plate Template set to quilt the straight lines in this block. Yep, you can use the template to cut out Dresden Plates and quilt them too! Let's jump right into machine quilting so you can see how ruler quilting works in this video tutorial:

Click Here to find the pattern for Block #3.

I marked most of the quilting designs in my block because I wanted to create an exact copy of the quilting design included in the pattern. This was a design choice - not cheating, breaking the rules, or anything bad.

You can always mark the lines and quilt along them and it will actually be faster and easier to quilt your quilt because marking takes the guess work out of the quilting process.

If you're feeling confident with your quilting and want to branch out beyond lines, that's just fine too. Free hand quilting refers to quilting without marks to guide you and it's a beautiful way to add your own "signature" to your quilt. No one else will quilt any design exactly the same way you do. That also means that you may run into issues and gaps in designs and have to figure out creative ways to fill in those spaces.

Just be patient with yourself and always keep a marking pencil nearby. I can't tell you the number of times I've gotten a bit stuck in a design and found my way out by marking a few lines to help me see how to move forward.

So what have you thought of our Patchwork Tulip quilt block? Was the piecing design challenging for you? How did it feel to machine quilt? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day


  1. I have so enjoyed this journey. You are a wonderful teacher and are very encouraging. I have done more FMQ in the last 4 months since finding you on youtube then I have done in all of my adult life. I have even begun last years block party and I am loving it as well. The Two things you have taught me that I find invaluable are the scrap charger OMG do I love this and the freedom to let the quilting look like I did it, NOT have to look like I purchased it from the store. Thank you and I look forward to the rest of the blocks. Keep up the fantastic videos.

    1. You're super welcome! Wow, your comment really made my day. Thank you!


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