New blocks + new machine quilting technique

I feel like I’ve been working like a crazy-lady behind the scenes around here, but don’t have a lot to share right away. I have been staying caught up on my Bee Blocks though, so I’ll share those. This is the latest block from the 2014 Aurifil Block of the Month, this time designed by Emily Herrick. Here is the tutorial for this specific block.

I am still totally digging this color scheme and I’m having fun watching this quilt start to grow.

 Another Bee block for my friend Nedra from the Bees Knees.

This block was made using Triangles on a Roll papers to piece the flying geese. They were really cool! Nedra has the tutorial for this block here and explains more about Triangles on a Roll.
Basically, it’s another method of machine paper-piecing, but this time you are working and sewing on the same side as the markings, which eliminated that flip and match-step. This kept the same accurate piecing, but there was less fabric waste because you can see where you were sewing. It took me a few minutes to get used to a new method, but then I really loved it. And the results were awesome.

A few more projects in the works behind the scenes that aren’t ready to share yet. This quilt is for an upcoming quilt-along on the We All Sew (BERNINA) blog later this spring. For this quilt, I tried a new quilting technique and I was so happy with how it turned out. I am still not very confident in my free-motion-quilting skills. I know I just need to practice – it’s finding the time to do it that’s my problem, but definitely something I’d like to become more comfortable with in the future.

In the mean time, the only kind of quilting I’ve been comfortable with is straight-line quilting. So, if you’re like me, this was a good step outside my comfort zone, but not TOO scary since I was just using my walking foot, going in straight lines and letting my needle do all the work. I love that it gives the quilting more of a stipple-organic look, without having to free-motion it. I’m not perfect yet, but the overall quilt looks really great. (Full reveal soon.) I have to admit the giant throat space on the BERNINA 710 has also given me more courage to quilt a big quilt myself.
I used stitch #4 on my Bernina 710. I think it’s a pretty standard stitch for all newer Bernina’s. (I think it’s stitch 3 on my old Bernina Sport 801 – it looks like a wavy line.) The width is set to 5.5 and I used a stitch length of 3. I think I’d like to try it with a longer stitch next time and see how that changes things. Chime in if you know what stitch this is on other machines. 

And one last bit of eye-candy because it’s just SO pretty and makes me want spring. A new quilt design in the works with this new Kona solids New Bright Palette roll-up. I’m itching to get started!

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  • Reply
    March 7, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    I love making the Blocks. That part goes easy for me. It's the Sashings and borders that hold me up on finishing. Congrats on getting your wave on with your Bernina!

  • Reply
    Kelly Scott
    March 7, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    Can I tell you how glad I was to hear that you are a little afraid of free motion quilting? I've made my first quilt and have started to cut out my 2nd but I'm afraid to quilt the first one. It is sitting out all pinned and ready to go. Just hearing you say this has given me the courage (and freedom) to take the plunge and plough ahead!

  • Reply
    Dianne Mitzel
    March 7, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    I enjoy and visit your blog daily. Are you saying that we can use the walking foot to do the wavy stitch? I guess I thought it was for straight line quilting only. I am determined to get better at this fm stuff and this will certainly help to add this great looking stitch..I have a a1230 and I have used it before, I'll go in now and try this stitch..thanks so much for your expertise and

    • Reply
      amy smart
      March 7, 2014 at 4:47 pm

      Hi Dianne! Thanks so much for your sweet comment. And yes! I used my walking foot for this stitch! It worked so great, kept it from getting any puckers, etc. And really easy since the needle did all the work! :)<br />

  • Reply
    Sandy W
    March 7, 2014 at 1:59 pm

    Good stuff!! And I love the shot of the Kona jelly roll!!!

  • Reply
    March 7, 2014 at 2:26 pm

    Hello Amy, love your Blog+check in with you every day! <br />This is such a neat trick that achieves a really nice ripple stipple? on a quilt. I do many Charity baby quilts, some lavish, but some I finish quickly exactly like you&#39;ve done here! My Bernie is a 210 and I use #3,length 3,width 5 and love the results. The FMQing will come along if you keep at it. After about a year I&#39;m now

    • Reply
      amy smart
      March 7, 2014 at 5:08 pm

      Awesome! Thanks for the great resource. I love my walking foot – it&#39;s kind of my security blanket. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Katy Cameron
    March 7, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    Well at least you&#39;re having loads of fun while you go crazy ;o)

  • Reply
    March 7, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    Great blocks all around….

  • Reply
    March 7, 2014 at 3:48 pm

    I love this kind of quilting. I do it on my Janome 6600, stitch #9 w5 l4

  • Reply
    March 7, 2014 at 5:54 pm

    Thanks for the Shout out, Amy! So glad you liked the Sew and Fold Papers from Triangles On A Roll to make the Flying Geese. Your block looks terrific!

  • Reply
    March 7, 2014 at 8:46 pm

    Love your quilt!! I just finished some of that stitching on a quilt I&#39;m working on. I have a Babylock Grace and it&#39;s stitch #26 ~ I used 4 length and 7 width. I&#39;m pretty happy with it!

  • Reply
    Rebecca Grace
    March 7, 2014 at 8:47 pm

    I love that serpentine stitch for quilting! Did you make any markings on your quilt top to keep the lines straight, or just eyeball it and use seamlines as reference points?

  • Reply
    Live a Colorful Life
    March 7, 2014 at 11:06 pm

    The machine stitching looks great. I have always wanted to try something like that because so far I&#39;m only comfortable with straight line. And that jelly roll *sigh*–all those lovely solids…

  • Reply
    March 8, 2014 at 12:47 am

    I love all the colors you&#39;re sharing here today

  • Reply
    martha cook
    March 8, 2014 at 6:03 am

    Love the green quilt. Thank you for sharing quilting technics. I am still intimidated by it.

  • Reply
    slow panic
    March 8, 2014 at 6:22 am

    it&#39;s all beautiful! love the kona jelly roll! and the quilting. i&#39;ve been playing around with machine free motion — like you i just need to take the time and do it.

  • Reply
    March 8, 2014 at 6:40 am

    Hi Amy! I LOVE those Bee Blocks! What fabrics are you using? I think I need to get some ๐Ÿ™‚ I love your work, and following your blog! Thanks for sharing.

    • Reply
      amy smart
      March 10, 2014 at 8:58 am

      For the Bee Blocks I&#39;m just pulled gold, gray and red fabrics from my stash. Some are recent additions (Allison Glass Bike Path, Pearl Bracelets, Vanessa Christenson Simply Style, Art Gallery Minimalista) and some are things I&#39;ve had for a while.

  • Reply
    March 8, 2014 at 8:05 am

    Hello Amy! Thank you so much for sharing about your wavy stitch. Who knew, I have them, too! They are stitches 74 and 75 on the Pfaff Quilt Expression 4.0. Stitch 75 is nicest though. I&#39;m just learning free motion, so this will be a wonderful stitch to get some things completed before I get proficient at F.M. Your blog always makes me happy!

  • Reply
    March 8, 2014 at 9:17 am

    I really enjoy reading your emails. Thank you so much for taking the time to take beautiful photos that go along with your work. What fabric are you using for the upcoming quilt-along on the We All Sew (BERNINA) blog later this spring? It&#39;s really beautiful. Thank you.

    • Reply
      amy smart
      March 10, 2014 at 9:00 am

      I&#39;m using a collection of RJR solids Sea Glass, Blue Skies, Cove, Notting Hill, Beach House, and Nile Green. Kona solids Aqua and Leaf paired with an assortment of &quot;low-volume&quot; prints from collections such as Rapture and Minimalista by Pat Bravo for Art Gallery Fabrics, Sun Texts from Allison Glass

  • Reply
    March 8, 2014 at 9:30 am

    I love those blocks! And I just have to say how cool it is that you are doing more machine quilting. You are such an influencer and I&#39;m glad you are showing people that machine quilting is not scary! Isn&#39;t it amazing what you can do with a walking foot? Keep it up – I can&#39;t wait to see more ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    March 8, 2014 at 9:56 am

    I LOVE that Serpentine stitch! I was the most exciting feature for me when I got my new Bernina. Small beans I know, but I&#39;m not too hard to please. Amy-I ADORE the red, gray, yellow blocks you are making! love the colors and your work is great! I check my FMF stash for that yellow floral and to my dismay! I don&#39;t have any of it!:( I may have seen some at American Quilting when I was

  • Reply
    March 8, 2014 at 11:16 am

    LOVE IT !!! My Janome doesn&#39;t have the wavy line stitch ๐Ÿ™ . I do my own random wavy lines with a straight stitch and my walking foot !!! I started out wanting to echo them, however , failed at the , so now just do what I named random wavy lines , since I have not mastered fmq yet .

  • Reply
    Lindsay Swoboda
    March 8, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    Oh my goodness those flying geese! I am waiting for my mama to come to the island of Hawaii (where I live) to help me start my first quilt. We&#39;re &quot;breaking fabric&quot; in May;)!!

  • Reply
    March 8, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    Hi, Amy…Erin&#39;s mom here. I, too, am intimidated by the quilting (I have no problem doing the piecing and making the quilt top). You have given me the inspiration – and kick-in-the-butt – to try and quilt my triangles quilt from your SS class last September. I&#39;ll post a picture when I get it finished. Oh, and I LOVE the Kona Bright Colors Palette roll-up. Maybe my next quilt? Hugs,

  • Reply
    March 8, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    Could you show a picture of your ironing board? I can see that it looks like a square right next to your machine. It looks like a good solution to having to get up every time you need to iron a seam.<br />thank you!<br />Sue

  • Reply
    March 8, 2014 at 10:26 pm

    What a great idea to use your walking foot and a stitch other than a straight stitch on your machine. Most of us have decorative stitches and don&#39;t utilize them much, at all, or at least to any degree of their full potential. Thanks for a nudge to using them. I have a house block made for a pillow for an attendance giveaway for my Sunday school class. I need to quilt it. I was

  • Reply
    Denise in PA
    March 9, 2014 at 8:04 am

    I dearly wish someone knew how to do that serpentine stitch on a Bernina 160 Virtuosa. I&#39;ve been wanting to use it for ages. The machines does 100s of stitches (of which I use about 3). I just can&#39;t figure this one out! I fear it&#39;s not possible on this machine. o:(

  • Reply
    March 9, 2014 at 9:22 am

    Love all your blocks! The serpentine stitch is stitch #60 on my Pfaff Expression 2.0 in case anyone else is as interested in doing this as I am<br />

  • Reply
    Anne Simonot
    March 9, 2014 at 9:37 am

    I just figured out how to do this stitch on my Pfaff.. It looks great, is super easy, and gives a nice texture. And I saw it on someone&#39;s blog! Such inspiration to be found out there!<br />

  • Reply
    Natalie Jones
    March 9, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    I love the fabric you&#39;ve used for the flying geese!

  • Reply
    March 9, 2014 at 4:29 pm

    What a timely post. I love the look of FMQ but am not confident enough in my skills to use it on quilts for other people. I have a quilt I&#39;d been thinking to try a wavy straight-line stitch on but wasn&#39;t sure it would look good enough. But yours looks amazing! I feel so much better now.

  • Reply
    Linda B
    March 9, 2014 at 6:13 pm

    Thank you for your &quot;Easy table runner&quot; tutorial. I have been holding off on making one that a friend wanted, and then stumbled upon your tutorial and knew it was right for this project. Mine doesn&#39;t look exactly like yours, but since mine had to be 58&quot; long I figured I should use wider strips. All in all I love how it came out, and will be making myself one soon. Thanks

  • Reply
    March 10, 2014 at 3:48 pm

    I love all of your blocksโ€ฆvery nice job! I also love your quilting!

  • Reply
    March 11, 2014 at 5:59 am

    Hi Amy–Such a lovely and inspiring post! Can&#39;t wait to try the wavy stitch as well (it will be my first venture outside of straight-line quilting). My only advice to other machine quilting newbies is go back to the kitchen or dining room table for plenty of room to hold up the weight of bigger quilts while quilting! My little sewing table is fine for piecing, just not quilting…learned that

  • Reply
    March 11, 2014 at 8:11 pm

    I love the colors in the first blocks!

  • Reply
    I'm hosting a Free Fast Churn Dash Quilt Along! - Diary of a Quilter - a quilt blog
    June 12, 2015 at 3:08 pm

    […] fast” technique for making a traditional Churn Dash Quilt. You may remember some sneak peaks of the work on this quilt over the past months. It’s so fun to finally be able to share the full pattern and tutorial. […]

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