Some of the most common shapes in quilting are squares and triangles. If you want to free motion quilt on a longarm quilting machine or a regular sewing machine, you need to be prepared to take on those shapes. One way to handle them is with a gentle curve that is reminiscent of what hand quilters might call cathedral windows or orange peel designs. Take a look at how the following longarmers used a gentle continuous curve to travel between the points of a triangle. The resulting shapes that reveal themselves at the junctions of multiple blocks can be surprising and beautiful. Try continuous curves the next time you are free motion machine quilting squares and triangles.
Line Dancing on Valerie’s Quilt
This is a quilt by Valerie, one of our frequent and fabulous renters. The blocks in this quilt are very large with lots of negative space. These can be fun to machine quilt on a quilting machine but also a little intimidating. This quilt is made entirely of triangles, with the exception of the white background around the floating squares. Each triangle was quilted the same way. This created great movement and life through the quilting design where each of the continuous curves come together in each quilt block. This particular type of continuous curve is sometimes referred to as Line Dancing. I can see why… it looks like a party! It is a simple but effective technique.
Pat Doubles Up the Continuous Curves
Pat incorporated two curves in her larger triangles when doing this fabulous free-motion quilting on her four patch on point quilt. She quilted the border with a wishbone filler. Again, simple but effective. There are two different sizes of blocks. A four patch of smaller squares is the same size as the solid larger block. The smaller blocks are quilted with a single continuous curve that connects adjacent corners. The larger blocks are quilted the same way, but with a double curve, instead of a single. The result is this echoed diamond shape in between the circles that surround the smaller squares. Truly lovey.
Erin’s Continuous Curves are Super-Sized
Erin also quilted this in much the same way as Pat, with double continuous curves. This big block beauty has some beautiful negative space that really lets the quilting shine through. You can see the finished and washed quilt on her blog at House on Hill Road. She made it with Cotton Lawn fabric and Quilter’s Dream Deluxe loft cotton batting. It is incredibly soft, and once it was washed, it had that lovely texture seen in vintage quilts. It is truly a beautiful creation!
Many people think that free motion machine quilting must be complicated and elaborate and therefore, too difficult. But as you can see from these examples, it doesn’t have to be. You can use the continuous curve design to swoop into free-motion longarm quilting with simple bowed lines between corners to create really interesting designs. Check out what other renters did with their free-motion quilting.