Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Quilt Design for a Four Patch

Yesterday, I gave a sneak peek of the four patch quilting on my Chic Kisses quilt.

And today is the tutorial on quilting this creation, along with how to stitch the cherries, and bury thread tales.

Guided by Angela Walter's Shape by Shape (affiliate link) book, I wanted to showcase nice quilting in this four patch area. I started the design by dividing each edge in half and connecting those points with arcs, then echoing them and adding a ladder fill to complete the main part. Lime wedges and cherries complete the rest.

To quilt this design, I used 5" and 3" circles for the arcs,

after marking the edge center points, using washout and chalk markers. 

Marked before quilting each section, and removed with a spritz of water after quilting each section, I've had no residual problems. 

Using the 5" circle, the long arc is stitched,

then the 3" arcs to the corners.

Continuing through the black square, 

the echo line is made putting the edge of the circle ruler on the stitch line, and stopping when the foot gets 1/4" away from the first stitching.

When that's complete, the ladder stitching starts with a straight line from a center point to a center point.

Approximate 1/4" spacing goes between the lines here, travelling over the arcs, and stopping near the tip.

Lime wedges are stitched on the edges, first by marking the template and transferring those marks to the fabric.

Stitching here is doubled so that it can originate from the center, and not backtrack over the arcs.

Another great idea for this space would be pebbles, or tiny swirls. The options are endless for filling spaces! 

The last part, 'putting the cherry on top' so to say, is frankly, quilting the cherries in the center. These were really easy--I'll show you how!

Make a small arc for the stem, then stop. Make a circle, (see the top of the diagram)

and when back at the top, swoop down to make a small 's' curve. Backtrack on the 's' curve and the stem to the start of the next cherry. Easy huh?

I marked my cherries in the center, just so I wouldn't get confused in placement and direction. But they were so fun to stitch out!

Notice I have a lot of thread tails hanging. All starts and stops were tied off and buried, and in the process of burying, I learned a couple things. First, leave a bit of thread slack before pulling through.

Having no slack, like this,

was really tough because there wasn't enough thread on one side of the needle eye to easily pull through. And the thread didn't slip through the eye easily either. Having a bit of slack made getting that thread buried less of a struggle.

The other option I tried was threading the needle with a loop of thread, and putting the thread tales through the loop, 

then pulling through. That was easy too. I used both ways.

I do hope that this little tutorial has inspired you to create your own quilting designs. Divide up the space and start creating!

Happy Quilting!


  1. What a great post. Love the pictures and the words! I was on a longarm course last week and one of the topics was rulers - I found them so hard to get to grips with that I left without buying the ruler base or rulers. But .... when I see things like this I want to be able to make them. I think I will and then just practice, practice, practice. Thanks for the inspiration.

    1. I do hope you give rulers a second chance! There are so many possibilities with rulers. Make sure you have the ruler base, and be steady and firm with your grip on the ruler. You want to guide the machine along it, but not press so hard that the machine won't move underneath, but not so light that the machine pushes the ruler around. Like anything with longarming, practice! Once you get the hang of it, you'll never look back!

  2. Susan, what kind of needle do you use to bury your tails? I use the old-fashioned self-threading needles since I'm only taking one "stitch" - I find it is easier then trying to thread the needle with the tails!

  3. That's exactly what I use! So much easier to pop the thread in at the top than to try to thread it.

  4. Very cool! Thanks for sharing the tutorial, Susan!

  5. Beautiul, beautiful quilting Susan!! The cherries are precious!

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