I am sharing with you today how I quilted block 13 – Flying Geese. Through this post, you can learn two specific ways to quilt flying geese blocks.
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: River Flows
For the allover quilting, I chose to do organic lines, wavy lines across the block from one end to the other. Each lines are spaced organically too, meaning that some are closely packed together, while some are apart on purpose.
This is a great practice for beginners who are still getting the hang of moving the quilt.
For one, you can learn how free motion quilt smooth light wavy lines and learn to minimize jerky movements.
Secondly, it is also a great practice to try and avoid overlapping stitches.
Simple, wavy lines can be a great motif for a lot of areas.
However, I do think that this motif is much prettier when the lines are not too far apart.
How to free motion quilt wavy lines
- Start with one smooth wavy lines all the way across from one edge to the other.
- For this block, I started the first wavy line in the middle moving outwards.
- As you reach to the other edge, turn the quilt 180 degrees around, and repeat with another wavy line, taking into consideration the spacing between the lines.
- They don’t have to be equally spaced, but it is nice to have a range of spaces that you consider acceptable, in order to avoid having one line that’ll look too awkward and don’t fit.
- Repeat till all the quilt area is covered.
Pretty easy and simple yea?
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.
Custom Free Motion Quilting Flying Geese Blocks
While there are many ways to free motion quilt a flying geese block, I decided to try two of them for this block.
I decided to loop for two of rows of geese and feathers in the middle row.
I work my way around the block stitching in the ditch to move from one place to another to ensure minimal need to take my needle up and snip off the threads.
My loops are way far from perfect, but I embrace that.
The beauty of free motion quilting.
However, I do try to improve as I go, and I realized that I have to go slow to ensure a symmetrical curve is made for each loop.
For each practice of free motion quilting session, there is a learning point.
Here is a close-up of my best one 🙂
How to quilt flying geese blocks
Here I mapped out the direction of the quilting for this two motifs.
You can use this as a guide for you to free motion quilt any flying geese blocks you found next time.
I start off with the loops or the feathers (black lines) then I come back to the original starting point by stitching in the ditch and making all quilting lines symmetrically quilted (pink lines).
As you notice, for the loops, I did not quilt the triangles while for the feathers I did. Really depends, you can travel along either way, through the peak or the base of the triangles. Or both.
Usually, I choose the one that makes sense and finish off nicely without having the needle to be lifted-off.
If you have been following the updates on this version of my Sewcial Bee Sampler, you’ll notice the feather motif quilting theme that I try to implement in each block.
Since this block does not have the frame for me to do the feather borders, I try to slip in the feather theme within the flying geese itself.
I love the versatility of feathers!
If you want to try free motion quilt feather motifs yourself, I have a free course that you can sign up right here to get started.
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!
Click here to related Archive posts.
until next time, have fun sewing and quilting!