There are a variety of different ways to quilt a quilt. First, you can use a design board or groovy board which is a board with grooves carved into it that guides the long arm with a stylus. Then there are paper pantographs, which are long pieces of paper with a design you follow with a laser. Next are rulers to guide the longarm in straight lines or curves. We have a lot of different rulers available. Finally, you can trace the design in the fabric or piecing pattern itself. We can even mount a laser on the top of the machine so you can trace a coloring book sitting next to you on the quilt top. Click here to see a video about using the laser light on the front of your longarm quilting machine! Whenever you stitch something without the aid of a laser or stylus, we consider it free motion. Free motion quilting is fun to do, and many of our renters would agree.
Free motion quilting is fun with Pat
Pat created this art quilt with paint and a classroom full of art students. The students created stamps and painted this earth onto plain fabric with fabric paint. She quilted it by creating lines that fit the element they were representing.
First there are lines radiating out of the sun turning into spirals throughout the space and around the stars. In the water she also did swirls and fluid shapes. On the land, Pat has more hard angles and zig-zags. Pat had a lot of fun with free motion here on the planet earth. Ha ha ha, pun intended 😉 .
Free motion quilting is fun with Judy
Judy had fun with free motion longarm quilting on this quilt with a sleeping dachshund. She has long haired dachshunds and designed this adorable quilt top with them in mind. To quilt the two outer borders on the top and bottom she mirrored the rick rack trim she had sewn on the quilt top. Then in the blocks she added a variation of Terry Twists with a curl coming out of each corner towards the middle. The result was a sort of pinwheel that centers around the intersections of the squares. It is a beautiful secondary design outside of the piecing.
But the pièce de résistance is that appliqued snoozer in the middle. She quilted a design I call 3’s and E’s. This gave the background a puffy and cloudy sort of feel around the dog. Besides outlining him, she echoed those swirls from the blocks and the background to create a curly fill for her dachshund. By the way, you can learn to quilt the 3’s and E’s design and oodles more free motion quilting designs in my Longarm Fundamentals online class with The Quilting Company. Click here to learn more about my online class!
Judy’s quilt turned out super cute! She used a super soft minkee backing fabric. I love using minkee for the quilt backing because it’s so snuggly and it really shows off the quilting!
Free motion quilting is fun with Erin
Erin Harris from House on Hill Road comes to quilt with us frequently. This is one quilt she made to donate to an elementary school’s summer carnival. You can read all about it on her blog. The quilt top is super cute and simple and would be an amazing way to high light some of your favorite fabrics. Erin had fun with free motion quilting by covering this top with big even loops from one side to the other. If you click over to her blog (“Three Quilts in One Post”) you can see this top all bound, washed, and dried. It looks so snuggly.
This last quilt is also from Erin and also in her same post. The quilt is called the Libby Quilt. Erin thought it looks a lot like Christmas ribbons criss-crossing across the quilt. So she used the Christmas themed Sugar Plum fabric line. In this quilt, she specialized her quilting a little bit more. Erin quilted each ribbon with a different type of filler. One has hearts, another has ribbon candy, and another has zigzags. Keeping each fabric the same added continuity to the ribbon idea.
Likewise, the background was also all quilted the same. Nice big circular swirls fill all the blue fabric. And just like the previous quilt, her blog has a picture of the completely finished quilt, bound, washed and dried. She definitely had fun free motion quilting with that quilt.
Free motion quilting is fun for renters and quilters of all types. It can go a lot faster and be more artistically fulfilling to do your own thing, rather than just copying someone else’s design. Next time you stand at your long arm consider having a little fun with free motion quilting!