Welcome to our fourth week of the Modern Japanese Block of the Month. This week we are going to quilt the block we made last week, Block #9. A printable pdf tutorial can be found here and on the main Block of the Month page. Each FMQ tutorial will cover all the basic steps, so if you have been quilting along with us, you can skip down a bit!
Be sure your block and backing fabric have been carefully pressed and starched.
First what you will do is to make a quilt sandwich. If you are new to quilting, this will consist of taking your finished block, a piece of batting at least 1/2″ larger all around than your block, and your backing piece, at least 1/2″ larger than your backing. You will put your backing piece face down, then your batting, and finally your finished top face up. You can use pins to baste your pieces together or you can use spray adhesive. I really love spray adhesive, especially for doing blocks and small projects. But pins are just fine, too!
For free motion quilting, you will need a free motion quilting foot, also known as a darning foot.
I also use gloves. I used to think they were a little goofy -until I tried them. I would not quilt without them now!
You will want to set your stitch length to zero. Some people put their feed dogs down. I don’t.
You will want to pull your bobbin thread up to the top so it doesn’t get caught underneath.
Practice the design you made on your color page on a scrap quilt sandwich. You are working to coordinate two things – the speed of your machine and the speed at which to move the fabric. It takes some practice. Find a speed that moves as quickly as you can while still maintaining control of your design. Once you have that, work on the speed at which you move your fabric. This will determine your stitch length.
Keep in mind that this is one block out of 20. You will notice mistakes and imperfections while others WILL NOT! Don’t be hard on yourself! Just practice and enjoy the process! Be sure to check the back of your practice to make sure that your tension is set correctly. When you are comfortable, it is time to get started on your block!
For more information, you can visit Leah Day’s Free Motion Quilting Project and Angela Walter’s Blog. These women are amazing quilters! Alyssa Lichner from Pile O Fabric has a wonderful tutorial about free motion quilting on her Skill Builder Block of the Month.
This is the design I came up with for my block.
First I did concave squares in my white blocks. Then I did wonky spiral squares in the grey blocks.
I did a wavy line through the white border.
Finally, I finished it up with stippling in the black border.
Well, I hope this makes it easy for you to dive in a try free motion quilting. My goal is to try out as many different designs as I can to get a lot of practice and improve my technique. Please contact me with any questions or if you need more information!