Flying Geese are an exercise in quilting movement while bow ties are directional but more static. With both designs, distinguishing between background and foreground is an important part of what makes the block, so choosing high contrast quilting motifs is ideal.
PS This post is part of Quilt Your Own Adventure, where I am quilting my Camp Oda May Moda Bakeshop QAL quilt to inspire you with a variety of quilting ideas for common traditional blocks. Be sure to check out the original post to see the full lineup of content here.
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Last week when we talked about Granny Squares, we talked about how fun it can be to ignore seemliness and create new designs with our quilting. This week, however, is much more an exercise in creating hard contrasts at the seamlines so that the design of the block stands clear. Both of these blocks tend to be made smaller, too, so its a good opportunity to try leaving areas unquilted or very minimally quilted if that’s not something you usually do.
Practice your quilting on paper before you ever put a needle to your beautiful quilt top. By drawing your plan in advance, you can stitch with confidence! I've arranged the plans by "level," so you can choose ideas that best fit your skill and comfort. When I draw a quilting plan, I'm deciding what parts of the quilt I want to emphasize and how I want to show off the piecing of the quilt. These plans are meant to inspire you-- feel free to use them, mix them up, or design your own plans using some of the ideas you see here!
To read more about How to Make a Quilting Plan, check out this post.
By the way, I looooove lots of quilting! I use 100% cotton Aurifil thread and either cotton or wool batting by Hobbs. All natural fibers stay soft and drapey, even with heavy quilting. If you prefer less dense quilting, you can enlarge, omit, or adapt motifs as you prefer. And don't forget to make use of the weekly live videos during this series to ask any questions you may have about adapting designs.
If you are quilting along on your Moda Bakeshop Quilt, you may have made the “Arrowhead Lake” blocks instead of flying geese. I made just a couple suggestions (above) for quilting these blocks to demonstrate that I would likely choose a background fill and leave the rest of the arrow unquilted for emphasis. You can stitch in the ditch around the arrows if you’d like to give them an extra sharp “pop.”
The Intro level quilting plans uses the four most basic FMQ motifs: meanders, loopy meanders, swirls, and switchbacks. If you are totally new to free motion quilting or if you aren't sure how to grow and develop your skills, I'd love to share my Top Three Tips for Successful Free Motion Quilting! Click here, and I’ll pop it straight over to your inbox!
As I mentioned above, for smaller flying geese, you can simply leave the center triangle unquilted for emphasis, but for larger geese, or if you don’t want quite as much contrast, you can choose a simple design that visually adds to the directionality of the block without taking too much time or effort.
With bow-ties, too, you can quilt both parts, but keep in mind that equal quilting in both areas will soften the shapes of the block.
The Moderate level uses the 10 motifs from my Beginner FMQ workshop plus walking foot lines. If you have been dabbling in FMQ for a little while and need an exciting push to take your skills to the next level, this is it!
Ribbon candy, wood grain, swirls… texture, texture, texture!!
Take that same principle of texture and apply it to bow ties. If you used bow ties as your cornerstones on the MBS quilt, then you can use the same background fill in these blocks as with your flying geese to create a nice consistent round on your quilt.
In the Rockstar level, all bets are off-- I'm pulling all kinds of tricks out of my hat, so this level is designed for a confident, more experienced free motion quilter
Notice the motif on the bottom left where I had the feathers come from the point of the “goose.” In this line-up, quilting this way slows down the motion of the block and feels a bit visually confusing. However, if you put two geese “nose to nose” and quilted them this way, you could create some darn cute butterflies!
And, just to add one more bit of food for thought— if you have a whole quilt of bow-ties (this is a popular design to use up bits of shirting), consider ignoring those seam lines after all to create some yummy texture with feather flowers and continuous curves.
Remember, draw your quilting plan several times of paper before you get started, then quilt one section, one motif at a time. Even the largest quilts get quilted a piece at a time.
Share your quilting progress in the Quilting Rockstars Facebook Group!
PS Don't forget to pin this post so you can find it later!