Free Motion Quilting on Block Butterfly Crossing| Sewcial Bee Sampler

I am sharing with you today how I quilted block 10 – Butterfly Crossing

If you are new here, this post is a part of my quilt-as-you-go my Sewcial Bee Sampler, a sew-along hosted by Sharon Holland and Maureen Cracknell. I plan to share along the process with some tips and tutorial.

As usual, I have two blocks made for two quilts, one with custom quilting and one with allover quilting. Both would be a great practice if you are looking towards improving your free-motion skill. I am still practicing myself, especially with the custom quilting. I am learning as I go, so let’s do this together!

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Quilt as you go

Quilt as you go block-by-block is one method you could opt for when you want to make quilting large quilts on your domestic machine feasible. It is one of my go-to methods especially if I want to skip the heavy work pushing through large quilts within my machine throat space.

Besides, I love the fact that I can easily finish blocks by blocks and even have a fancy backing like this one I made earlier. If you are interested to learn how I piece the block together, here is one way how to do it – using small sashing strips.

For more ideas how to quilt a large quilt on a domestic sewing machine, check out this class.

Spray Basting Quilt Sandwiches

In order to quilt-as-you-go block-by-block, I first made each block into a quilt sandwich, basting with spray baste adhesive. I love spray basting as it removes the need to undo pins as you quilt especially for small blocks like these.

You can choose to use the same fabrics for the backing, however, I decided to do mine scrappy solid for the allover quilting quilt and scrappy printed for the custom quilt. The scrappy solid backing will look something like this one I made earlier.

I recommend having about 2-3″ wider batting and backing to make it easier to quilt the area around the edges of the block. I made mine kind of tight, and I find that it is hard to move the quilt with so little to hold on to when the quilting gets so close to the edge. Well, lesson learnt.

Allover Quilting Motif: Loopy 8

For the allover quilting, I chose to do the loopy 8 motif.

Although I usually use this motif for borders or small areas, there is a way to make this motif as a quick and easy allover design for the whole quilt.

In this case, I am making rows of loopy 8 to cover the whole area of the quilt block.

If you would like to try this motif, I have a simple tutorial here for you.

How to free motion quilt loopy 8

You will need:

How to free motion quilt loopy 8s. Free motion quilting tutorials

First decide how large are the loops size and the rows going to be. You can mark with a swipe of hera marker if you feel like you need more guidance.

I just freehand and eyeball the size. Besides, I love the organic and imperfect look. Add in all the character that makes the quilt.

  1. Start with a single loop.
  2. continue down and make an s shape into another loop across.
  3. continue these up loop – s -loop – inverted s – loop cycle to the edge of the quilt top
  4. travel down along the edge or off the quilt top and start another row of loopy 8s matching the position of loops as the rows above.
  5. repeat until all quilts are covered.

You may find that going one way is easier than the other. I find that moving to right was easier for me than moving to the left. If so, just turn you quilt sandwiches so that you can always travel to the right.

I do suggest you try this pattern with pen and paper first. This will give you the idea on how the final look will be, how you are to navigate from one place to another, and how the motion is.

After having the confidence practicing on paper, you can move onto free motion quilting on scrap fabric basted with leftover batting. This is to ensure you have good tension and have a good sense of moving your quilt in the direction you want it to go. Then you can move onto quilting your block.

make sure you pin this to try them later!

Custom free motion quilting on quilt as you go blocks

For the other quilt, each block is going to be custom quilted, which means each will be designed accordingly with the block pattern.

The benefit of using quilt-as-you-go block is that it is so much easy to maneuver with small blocks and custom quilting is made easier under the throat of a domestic machine. Plus, your shoulder should thank you too!

I planned the custom quilting using Sharon Holland’s colouring page which  Sharon Holland and Maureen Cracknell have available for download in the Intro section. I simply view them in magnified mode on my screen and crop each block into JPG on its own (You can use (shift+command+4 on Mac) or use snips in Microsoft.

Then, I printed the block individually and plan out the quilting with pencils. While doing it with the pencil I also plan how will I be moving the needle from one place to another.


Marking for Custom Quilting

All of my markings are done using frixion marker which can easily be removed afterwards with a swipe under the heat of an iron.


Similar to the previous block, I use some dot-to-dot quilting. However, I did mark it to make sure I will be hitting the right points.

For the centre, orange peel again curving around the centre “x”

To continue with the feather theme I have with all of these custom quilted blocks, I added feathers emerging out from the centre in a heart shape following the curvy spine that I quilt using the dot-to-dot quilting of each seam point.

Since I will be piecing these blocks together, I decided to make the feathers about 1/4″ away the seams but since I was lazy to mark this – I think I will be having some of these feathers buried in the seams later… not so happy or proud of that, but I am not to take my seam ripper again this time. It won’t be too obvious and hopefully, there’ll be no quilt police in my home 😛

I do need to practice more of bump-bump feathers. I find that I need to go really slow tracing back along the previous stitches otherwise it’ll be too obvious, especially in contrast thread like here. Maybe this bump-bump feathers are better for matching thread colours. O well, there is always lesson to learn.


Well, if you decide to join along or have any questions, drop me a comment. I will be happy to help where I can! In the meantime, you can also check these free motion quilting tips!

How to Quilt As You Go A Sampler Quilt

Click here to related Archive posts.
until next time, have fun sewing and quilting!


For more dot-to-dot quilting ideas, I highly recommend this Craftsy Class!





      Hi Sandra, The patterns are available on Sharons or Maureen’s blog. Link is in the blogpost right at the top. Have Fun!

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