I am sharing with you today how I free motion quilt block 4 – Crow’s Nest. So far, this is by far my favourite block! I made two version – with different fabric placement and they both look different and beautiful in their own way. Following the theme I have set up for these blocks, one of the block is quilted with custom free motion quilting and the other one with allover free motion quilting.
If you are new here, this post is a part of my quilt-as-you-go my Sewcial Bee Sampler, a sewalong hosted by Sharon Holland and Maureen Cracknell. I plan to share along the process with some tips and tutorial.
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 too, so let’s do this together!
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Before we go into the design for this block, here are some of my favorite must-have tools for Free Motion Quilting:
- Superior Threads. I literally changed my minds about threads, when I started using this thread. And they come in big cones. which means they last longer before I have to change thread. I use an embroidery thread stand for it. You can get cheap thread stand like this one here.
3. My trusty sticky Glove. Any brand works for me, but I personally love the one that is breathable cotton like this one.
5. My large throat Janome Horizon machine of course!
However, you won’t need all of these tools to start. Just a reminder, I started with the very basic sewing machine and just a regular free motion quilting foot. And still managed to quilt a queen-size quilt. Just upgrade as you feel more confident and want to ease a couple of things that bothers you.
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 domestic sewing machine, check out this class.
Allover Quilting Motif: Random Loopy Loop
For the allover quilting, I chose the random loops – for fun – I call it Loopy Loop. Essentially, this allover quilting design is very similar to stippling but loops added to the motion.
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. I personally think that loops are much easier than stippling just because you can kind of escape from being “trapped” by simply looping out of the tight area that you get into. I also find that this is one of the quickest way to finish a quilt – I have used this design with a lap-size quilt here and I love how it turned out.
Quilting random loops is one of the fastest way to quilt!
After having the confidence practicing on paper, you can now move onto free motion quilting square loops on scrap fabric basted with leftover battings. 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.Quilting loops on domestic machine Click To Tweet
Just before you begin, go through this list to ensure that you don’t get frustrated by the little things.
Here is a video of me looping away! With looping, don’t worry much about repeating direction – it can easily look random with the added loops.
Here is the finished block with loop the loop quilting.
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. I love playing with different quilting design for such quilt and make the quilt block pop out even more.
The benefit of using quilt as you block is that it is so much easy to maneuver with small blocks and custom quilting is made easier under the throat of 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 has 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.
I then printed the block individually and plan out the quilting with a pen. While doing it with the pen I also plan how will I be moving the needle from one place to another in continuous mode. I even label numbers on it so I remember which move should I make next.
Marking on the block for free motion quilting for quilt as you go blocks
On the quilt block, make sure custom quilting are done within the finished block size – which means, you have to mark the 1/4″ mark from the block seams. This is to ensure that when joining the blocks together, the quilting does not get buried inside the seams. I didn’t mark mine – just eyeballing here 😛
You can also do marking for the feather spine as this will be a great guidance to free motion quilting feathers. I have been pinning lots of feathers and all kinds of quilting lately over at pinterest. Join me along over at pinterest!
For this block, I figured out a way to do continuous line beginning from the center out before quilting the feather border.
Here is a video snippet of the free motion quilting done for the block. Combining this video with the photo of my quilting with pen sketches – you should be able to get the continuous mode too!
Well, if you decide to join along or have any question, drop me a comment. I will be happy to help where I can! Also, let me know where I can improve to help you better!
Till next time, have fun sewing and quilting!