Tuesday Tutorial-FMQ Spools

Free Motion Quilted Spools, A Tutorial

Good morning, Quilters!  I’d like to welcome the many new quilters who have joined our ranks from Facebook!  We are so glad you found our quilting community.  We also would like to welcome the many quilters who have joined us from Spain–Bienvenido!

Every Tuesday we get together for a little Free Motion (and Long Arm) Quilting fun!  I stitch exclusively on a domestic sewing machine (a Bernina 820), but many long arm quilters fill our ranks.

Let’s get started!  Today, we are working on a motif that would look great on a quilt, but also on a quilted sewing bag.  I think it would be perfect to hang in our studios-either by binding it or by framing it.  I’d love to hear your ideas!

This is a “one-pass” pattern–in other words, you never need to stop…one continuous line connects all of these spools and the thread.

Start by drawing (with your fabric marker) two lines or “rails”.   In the sample below, the “rails” are 2 inches apart.

Free Motion Quilted Spools, A Tutorial

Begin on the bottom “rail”  and stitch at an angle a few stitches to create the bottom-left of the spool, then stitch a line straight up.  Just before you reach the top drawn line, angle out–This creates the left side of the spool.  (Photo below.)

Free Motion Quilted Spools, A Tutorial

Now stitch straight along your top “rail” and finish the spool by creating the mirror image on the right side.  See the photo below:

Free Motion Quilted Spools, A Tutorial

You now have a closed spool.  Stitch  on top of your first few angled stitches.  You should be above the bottom of the rail.  From this point, you can stitch the “thread”…

Free Motion Quilted Spools, A Tutorial

For the basic spool, simply stitch a curved line back and forth up the spool…

When you reach the top of the spool, stitch a few “loop-de-loops” to bring you down to the bottom of the next spool.  You are now ready to begin the second spool.

Free Motion Quilted Spools, A Tutorial

For variety, use The Twist (see tutorial HERE) for your “thread”.

Free Motion Quilted Spools, A Tutorial

Or stitch messy overlapping ovals…

Free Motion Quilted Spools, A Tutorial

Scallops look rather sweet:

Free Motion Quilted Spools, A Tutorial

Another “thread” pattern I like is the diamond…

Free Motion Quilted Spools, A Tutorial

Start by stitch a “zig-zag” up the spool…

Free Motion Quilted Spools, A Tutorial

Then zig-zag back down the spool by bisecting your  first row of zigzags…

Free Motion Quilted Spools, A Tutorial

Free Motion Quilted Spools, A Tutorial

Be creative.  I’m sure you can come up with many different spools.

Free Motion Quilted Spools, A Tutorial

Add a little handwriting…

Free Motion Quilted Spools, A Tutorial

In no time you will have a mini quilt to share!  Bind this little quilt and use it! (And send me a photo!)

Here’s a little tip from my sister, Teri—prepare a pile of “quilt sandwiches” …Next time you have 15 minutes…you’ll be ready stitch a spool or two!

Check out all the tutorials in the “Quilt/Tutorials” tab above…There are more than 30 Free Motion and Long Arm motifs for you to try!

12 thoughts on “Tuesday Tutorial-FMQ Spools

  1. I can’t believe you picked spools! How did you know? lol! I just hosted a block swap…SPOOL blocks! I have ideas for borders and probably want to do some more blocks. I had NO ideas for quilting other than a zig zag like you did for the ‘thread’. I will be anxious to start working on this now!

  2. I am really loving your writing on the piece! Do you just free motion text it or do you write it out and then quilt it?

  3. I just came across your blog from a pinterest post. omg…your style is the best. Every little tutorial you make of the free motion, I want to try….it is so me and I so love each one. Thank you so much and I will be here daily.

  4. Thank you so much for sharing your great fmq motifs. I just finished a spool quilt top and am planning to quilt the design you have shown on each spool block. Fingers crossed!

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