Paper Pieced Quilt Along #12 Machine Quilting Linear Echoes

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Today we are back to using the walking foot or integrated dual feed (IDF)  to quilt straight lines of texture around the blocks. In my book Machine Quilting With Style, I call this quilting technique “Linear Echoes” because you are basically stitching echoing lines around the patchwork to help outline the piecing design and make it pop.

linear_echoes_1Start the first linear echo with the foot right next to the seam line. Vary the spacing if desired.

I did not mark the lines, but instead used the edge of my foot as a guideline when quilting each line. I was able to start and end each line of quilting off the edges of the quilt, in the batting, so I didn’t have to worry about burying my threads at either end.

linear_echoes_2Use the width of your foot as a guideline for spacing. Wider spacing means fewer lines to quilt.

You can quilt one or more lines around the blocks, depending on the type of look you want to achieve. So far I have quilted three lines around each row of blocks, each approximately 1/4″ apart. Rather than using a walking foot, I used my quarter inch foot for spacing, combined with the integrated dual feed on my BERNINA.

linear_echoes_3I’ll fill in the rest of the negative space with more lines, or a different FMQ design.

Here’s a tip – quilt a couple of stitches on a practice sandwich and measure them so you know how many stitches you are doing per inch. I only need to quilt about 2-3 stitches per quarter inch. That comes in handy when you need to echo quilt beyond the first line.

linear_echoes_backingThis is what the backing looks like so far. I love all that texture!!

So far I’m quilting my lines in black thread to match the background fabric on the top. I only want to see a little bit of the texture rather than the stitches so I’m ok if my quilting blends in at this point. I used an invisible thread from Aurifil for the bobbin so that the black thread wouldn’t be so stark on the lighter backing fabric.

For the next tutorial, I plan to add in a little more decorative free-motion quilting, probably with a contrasting thread. I’ll start on that now so I’m ready for the next QAL post!

Share your progress

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

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