Whether you’re working on a traditional, contemporary, or art quilt, you’ll need to join the layers of your sandwich with quilting. Challenge yourself to go beyond your favorite handful of free-motion quilting patterns by learning 52 fillers and motifs from Susan Brubaker Knapp.
To improve your skills, make a small quilt sandwich approximately 12″ x 15” . Susan uses two layers of thin cotton batting to create more volume in her designs.
For your sampler cut out:
- an 11 x 14” piece of fabric for the top,
- an 11.5 x 14.5” piece of batting,
- a 12 x 15” of backing.
You’ll notice that each layer gradually gets larger. This is especially helpful when learning new free-motion quilting patterns because it helps prevent your backing (or batting) from getting turned under and stitched as you quilt.
Once you’ve got your sandwich ready, use your favorite marking method, for this I would use chalk, to lay out a grid of 3” squares 4 rows across and 3 rows high. Baste your layers together, and then stitch the lines in one direction or outline the entire grid. Susan suggests making several sample sandwiches at once so you can sit down and start quilting whenever you have time.
Next, you practice, practice, and practice some more. Fill in each section of the grid with a different free motion pattern or work on the same motif several times until you get the hang of it.
Learn the ins and outs of machine quilting on your home sewing machine by exploring free-motion quilting and by quilting with a walking foot with instruction from award-winning quilters Susan Brubaker Knapp and Catherine Redford when you order Quilting with Your Home Sewing Machine Collection. If you want to start learning right away, a digital version of Quilting with Your Home Sewing Machine is also available, download yours today.
P.S. How do you practice your free-motion quilting motifs? Leave a comment below to share your free-motion quilting tips.