Choosing quilting designs – Continuous quilting

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This is part 2 of how I choose quilting designs for quilts. Part 1 dealt with using motifs in the fabric itself to do mostly overall designs. In this part, I will talk about continuous line quilting.

In this form of quilting, you will use the blocks to customize the quilting you do in each block. This kind of quilting is great for sampler quilts, where each block is different, and you want a more custom look.

Continuous quilting starts with the basic premise of quilting an entire block with only one start and stop. At its most basic it looks like the following two designs. I’m showing them on 4-patch blocks. The first is the simplest form of just following the seams around. The second creates a small flower, if you will, in the block. On both, you start in one corner and create the pattern returning to the start point.

Continuous quilting designs

Quilting on a 4-patch.

After that, you just start combining elements, and adding other designs to the blocks, as you can see in this 9-patch.

Continuous line quilting patterns

Added designs on a 9-patch.

And, again, with this 25-patch, it just gets larger, but the same basics work.

Continuous quilting designs

Quilting on a 25-patch.

Most quilt blocks fit into one of these categories: 4-patch, 9-patch, or 25-patch. (Not all, though.) So, then you just use the basic 9-patch technique, adding for the quarter squares in this Ohio Star block.

Continuous quilting designs

Quilting on an Ohio Star block.

You can use some of the same designs in quilting by marking the quilt. I use a pounce pad, with blue/white chalk mixed, and a template. Then you can use some of these same techniques on an open block.

Continuous quilting designs

Marked lines (blue) with quilting on an open square.

I just finished quilting a Grandmother’s Flower Garden, and I use this technique on the hexagons. (With a star in the center block.) It looks great, and the back is very cool!

Continuous quilting designs

Grandmother’s Flower Garden quilt with Continuous line quilting, front and back.

I hope this makes sense! It does take practice to develop the rhythm of bouncing from seam to seam in the right order to not miss any parts, but the effect is nice, looking more custom without adding a ton of starts and stops.

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