“Tutorial Thursday”……………..

In answer to inquiries as to how the 2 FMQ block designs were achieved in the “Forest and Loon” quilt I just completed (see here).003 Please, follow along as I give you the photo step-by-step process I followed.

First design, found in the HST: 024

The first step is to mark the needed registration lines (this is for any size block). Note, I used a Frixion marking pen, but any fabric marker of your choice may be used …………….031 030

The oval was cut from template material for these 6” blocks and was a size that gave me some room at the top and bottom of the diagonal (a size that accommodates the the design to be drawn). The oval location may be moved up or down a bit on the diagonal as you wish, again, it’s to your liking/design sensibilities. The oval marks the “spine” of the design.

The next steps…………..


Draw/stitch the leaf “plumes”,starting at the bottom of the marked oval. When this side is completed, the spines are inserted as you travel back down to the bottom to begin the 2nd side. These will become easier and a bit more uniform as you practice but even the irregular ones will be fine once the whole design is complete, so relax and enjoy the process.



The green colored lines indicate the spines inserted on the way back down to the bottom of the oval. The red lines are the first pass creating the leaf/plume. When the left side is complete, travel stitch down the diagonal to the bottom left of the line to begin the outer plumes.



Once again, the red lines are the first pass, creating the leaf and the green lines are the return travel stitching (inserting the spines). A bit of practice will give you a ‘feel’ for how many plumes will fit in the square you are working with. Each one may be a bit different and that’s ok!!!


Repeating step #3 on the left side with one difference……when you get to the top, add the extra plume to fill that area, add some spines and then begin the return to the bottom.




The next design (full block), requires a few more registration lines. Both diagonals and marking the square into quadrants is necessary.037 

022  Following the steps in the photo above, create the leaf plumes on the first pass, then travel stitch back to the beginning/bottom, inserting the leaf spines on the way. Repeat steps 1-4 in each quadrant to complete the block design.

The above 2 ideas have many possibilities for modification to accommodate other pieced blocks. In the first (quilt) photo, the 2-color square near the bottom needed to have a modified leaf design.

This leaf plume idea has really “grown” on me through the process and will be used frequently, I’m sure, as a high number of the quilts I work on seem to have a “nature” theme. If you have any questions about the above diagrams, please, leave a comment or contact me and I will be happy to clarify!!!!

About treadlemusic

A quilter who rides motorcycle, living on a small hobby farm in southeastern Minnesota. Grandmother and Great Grandmother.
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12 Responses to “Tutorial Thursday”……………..

  1. Laura Deaver says:

    Thank you! When you break down each step, it is not nearly as intimidating! I may have to try this – will let you know when and if I do!

    • treadlemusic says:

      Oh please do try it and let me know!!!!! I really get excited when others find a design to their liking!!! When cruising through the ‘net/Pinterest/etc, there are 2 words that are ringing in my head: “inspiration” (what I’m looking for) and “modification” (it’s what I do to make it mine, once I find something I like). Please, take this idea and make it your own…..it will be more relaxing and enjoyable for you to stitch!!! BUT, if “duplicating” it is comfortable for you……GO FOR IT!!!! LOL!!!!!!! Hugs………….Doreen

  2. I really, really like your quilting – the idea of adding an oval to the centre is inspired and very, very clever. Thanks for sharing

  3. Rosemaryflower says:

    Wowie, really pretty Doreen!

  4. Raewyn says:

    Thank you for the inspiring post! A handy wee motif to know!

  5. KerryCan says:

    I’ll probably never do any machine quilting but it was still interesting to see how you go about the process!

  6. witchylin says:

    Ah! a mystery no more. Thank you so much for the tutorial. I feel confident enough to tackle it now on a practice piece.

    • treadlemusic says:

      Oh please do!!!! It really is so “forgiving”, and impressive (I might add), when completed!!!! I would love to see a photo of your efforts……..really!!!!!!!!

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