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I am sharing with you today how I quilted block 12 – Right Angle

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!

If you are new here, this post is a part of my quilt-as-you-go my Sewcial Bee Sampler which I plan to share along the process along with some tips and tutorial. Click here to  related Archive posts.

There are affiliate links in this post for your convenience. Please refer to my full disclosure here.


Before we go into the design for this block, here are some of my favorite must-have tools for Free Motion Quilting:

  1. 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.

2. Superior Threads Top Stitch Needles. I use this for all my sewing and FMQ. Really. In fact, I kind of find it a bit off when I have to use a needle that is not coloured gold as these needles are.

3. My trusty sticky Glove. Any brand works for me, but I personally love the one that is breathable cotton like this one.

4. Spray Baste. I am not a fan of taking off safety pins. This makes it so much quicker and allows me to cruise without fear of getting onto a pin. I personally love 505 Spray baste.

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.

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.

Spray Basting quilt as you go Block by Block

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: Blooming Flowers

For the allover quilting, I chose to do blooming flowers motif.

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

flowering echoes free motion quilting motif free tutorial

How to free motion quilt blooming flowers

You will need:

  • Pen and Paper
  • Free motion quilting foot Read here for more detail info which foot is best.
  • A good thread. I use Superior Threads. for all of my quilting
  • The right needle. I suggest using top stitch needle as it has a larger eye to avoid wearing off your thread.

  1. Start with a hook shape curve. Try and make the stem as short as possible.
  2. Make a way back around the hook in petal shape all the way back out to the beginning of the stem.
  3. Make another layer of petals back to the the other side, meeting on the previous petal layers.
  4. Repeat as many times as you want until you are ready to make another flower, in this tutorial I made another flower half way of the third layer of petals.
  5. Repeat and create randomness by putting thoughts into the direction of the hook. Travel from one place to another simply by adding layers of petals. (see image where I travel from the third flower across the 2nd flower to create the 4th hook)

Extra Tips:

Don’t worry if sometimes you have to cross over some lines. They are flowers, they squish each other when they are bunched up together right? Take it easy and just keep on quilting.

Stop every so often to release tense and also to check up on which way to go and give it a little planning. This way you can avoid getting stuck in the middle and avoid getting lines cross-over.

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.

free motion quilting flowering echoes tutorial on how to

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!

How to free motion quilt flowering echoes


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

This time I did not skip the marking. Using my trusty frixion marker, I drew the spine of the feathers in the grey frame.

I also wanted a secondary pattern to pop up from the quilting, therefore I have marked the diamond shape of the secondary pattern that I am to create with the quilting.

marking for custom quilting, quilting as go you blocks

Custom Free Motion Quilting

Here is a close up of the centre block to catch that secondary pattern.

Quilting designs are so hard to be photographs, they just don;t show as good as they are in real life.

Believe me, I love this lines so much in real life. They turned out just as I had imagined it.

The V-shaped block pattern was left unquilted to make it popped out even more.

secondary pattern from quilting

Feather quilting

Continuing with the feather theme throughout all of the blocks, I decided to make a simple feather border in the grey frame with this block.

This time I chose to do feathers with the least amount of traveling back on the stitches. By creating feathers that are separated apart I can easily make another feather without having to retrace my previous feathers.

feather free motion quilting

Sometimes I go off track of the marking lines especially on the spine of the feathers – they are just there to guide so I don’t rigidly stick to them. I only try to follow the important lines like the one for secondary pattern.

I love the final look of this feathers and am sure will be using it another time in future blocks.

Again, after learning from earlier blocks, I decided to have the feathers flow into the blocks rather than limiting it within the frame.

This creates more flow to the feathers and is so much easier to quilt as well.

If you are interested in more details how I free motion quilt feathers, take the free course on basic fmq feathers I have on the blog here.

A series on custom quilting blocks using domestic machine quilting as you go

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!


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