Paper Pieced Quilt Along #10 – Machine Quilting the Blocks

This week I am quilting wavy lines in all of the Deco Dresden blocks as part of my continuing Paper Pieced Quilt Along. This is a very easy, forgiving design to do and can be quilted either with a walking foot or free-motion. However, due to the number of lines going up and down, I recommend using free-motion quilting to avoid turning the quilt.

Audition Thread Choices

audition_thread50 weight cotton Aurifil is my thread of choice for most of my quilts.

I plan to quilt the blocks continuously and there are a lot of different shades of colors of red, orange and yellow. Therefore I chose to go with a thread that would look good on all of the fabrics. After rummaging through my threads, and auditioning several shades from yellow to orange, I chose a 50 weight Aurifil in orange (not pictured above).

Make a Quilting Plan

The next thing to do is print out a block or sketch in black and white and try out different quilting motifs. I immediately wanted to quilt wavy lines because they are simple to quilt yet add a lot of texture, and they are forgiving. I prefer more of an organic wavy line than a perfectly symmetrical one. Sketching out the quilting on paper first allows me to see how to form the lines and figure out how to draw them from block to block


To practice tracing the wavy lines, print off one of the paper pieced patterns (from this previous blog post) and tape it together into one block.

Notice how the lines go in the diagram. I started at the outermost blade and wiggled my way up and down each section. I drew more pointy lines on one end of the lines where it was narrower, and wider spaced lines up at the top, backtracking a little in the seam lines.

Quilt Wavy Lines – One Block at a Time

wavylines_1To quilt wavy lines, move the quilt slightly to create organic looking waves. Quilt lines forwards and backwards in a continuous motion to complete each strip section. When you finish quilting one block, end at the top of a strip where it touches the next block.

wavylines_2Quilt a wavy line down the center strip of each block – you can barely see it in the wide orange strip on the left hand side of this picture. When you reach the end of the strip, backtrack in the ditch until you get to the smallest outer strip (shown above on the right). Quilt the wavy lines again in this block going from right to left across the block.

Continue quilting all of the blocks in one row all in one pass. It took about 15 minutes to quilt each block so I am going to allow 2 full weeks to get all of the wavy lines quilted – I don’t want to rush it!

wavylines_3Another view of the quilting in action – vary the number of wavy lines per section.

Share Your Work in Progress

Be sure to share pictures of your progress in my facebook group: Quilt With Christa.

Click here for all of the Paper Pieced Quilt Along Tutorials.


4 thoughts on “Paper Pieced Quilt Along #10 – Machine Quilting the Blocks

  1. Karen says:

    I love the wavy line quilting. I have a rainbow quilt I’ve pieced but need to put the borders on. I’ve been so undecided on how to quilt, machine or hand, and what design? I do like the free-form organic look you have achieved.

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