The Free Motion Quilting Project: Machine Quilting Twisted Square, Design #484

Friday, August 4, 2017

Machine Quilting Twisted Square, Design #484

I have a new machine quilting design for you today that's based on squares! If you start with the square then stitch a square inside then another square inside you'll end up with this cool effect I'm calling Twisted Square:

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This design was inspired by Jacquie Gering and her book Walk about walking foot machine quilting. Click Here to check out Jacquie's website and see her beautiful modern quilts.

When I saw Jacquie's design I instantly wanted to try free motion quilting it because it looked so neat - almost like an optical illusion! While quilting it I realized this design could work for walking foot quilting, free motion quilting, or ruler foot quilting. Talk about cross quilty!

Learn how to free motion quilt Twisted Square in this new quilting video:

What did you think of the Twisted Square Fabric? I love the idea of covering a quilt with this funky design, but marking every square didn't seem very fun. By quilting from the back with patterned backing fabric, I think this would be the easiest way to quilt the design.

Click Here to check out the Twisted Square Fabric on Spoonflower. Note: I purchased 2 yards of the Minky fabric so it would be wider so I could use it to baste a larger quilt.

Now lets learn more about this Twisted Square machine quilting design:

Difficulty level: Beginner - Twisted Square is a very easy machine quilting design because you only have to quilt squares. Beginning on the outline of the square, began stitching a new square at a slight angle to the first. Each line you stitch aim for the corner of the square before, then travels stitch back a small bit, then stitch a new line to the next corner.

So long as you keep the lines straight and angles sharp, the design will look great. Actually, even if it curves a bit, it will look great too!

Design family: Edge to Center - This design is quilted from the edges of your quilting space into the center. So if you were quilting a block, you would begin in the ditch around the edges of the block and quilt to the center to fill it with Twisted Square. If you're filling an extra large block make sure to baste the area securely so it doesn't shift as you quilt from the edges to the inside.

You can also quilt this design from the center to the outer edges. I need to play with this more, but I think it will work to quilt squares radiating out from the center. I do think it will be easier to quilt if all the squares are marked so you can visualize the angle of each square in the design.

Where do we quilt it? - Twisted square will work best in the open uncomplicated areas of your quilts. This is a great design to stitch over blocks to draw more attention and add eye-catching texture to the design.

Would you like to see a tutorial on quilting a quilt from the back with the Twisted Square fabric? Honestly I've never quilted a quilt from the back so this'll be an interesting experience to see how it works! I selected the Minky fabric which comes in 54 inch width which is perfect for many smaller quilts. Let me know if you'd like to see a video on I basted and quilted this project from the back.

Twisted Squares Rainbow Optical Illusion Quilt Fabric

What do you think of Twisted Square? Where do you think it will work best? Would you like to quilt this in free motion quilting or with walking foot style quilting? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day


  1. Go from the corner to a little bit up from the next corner, no traveling needed. This is a Zentangle design called Rick's Paradox.

    1. That's the way I quilted it the first time because it made more sense in my head, but when quilting it's harder to "see" a line consistently spaced from a corner and I kept missing the spot I wanted to hit or veering weirdly to hit it. Some things work better for drawing than for quilting and for this, I think aiming for the corners and travel stitching back is better personally.

  2. I see. I've only done it with rulers, which probably eliminates that problem.

  3. Love designs like this. The optical illusions are so intriguing.

  4. Great tutorial!! I have made to blocks using it!! Thanks!

  5. I also tried on a practice square using rulers but it was so much easier using FMQ and heading to the corner. Without your tutorial I would have been Adair to have tried it.


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