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Two Ways to Quilt a Four-Patch Quilt

See how to quilt a ribbon candy and an Orange Peel design on a Four-Patch quilt. Our step-by-steps make it easy to recreate this quilting with your home machine.


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Option #1: Free-Motion Quilting Design

Wavy lines alternating horizontally then vertically in adjoining squares are often referred to as a ribbon candy design.


Mark Quilt Top

Using a water-soluble marker or chalk, mark alternating horizontal and vertical lines in each square across quilt blocks. (Marked lines give you confidence as you begin to stitch.) Although a quartet of Four-Patch blocks is shown, you can use the same stitching paths for an entire quilt top assembled from Four-Patch blocks.


Assemble Quilt Layers

Prepare the quilt sandwich (marked quilt top, batting, and backing).


Set up Machine

Remove presser foot and install a free-motion or darning foot. Lower the presser foot. Note: Even though the darning foot does not touch the quilt top when the presser foot is lowered, lowering it will prevent the quilt from “jumping” up and down as the needle goes in and out. It also engages the tension discs, which will make your stitches more even and taut.

    Add a new machine needle, and thread the machine and bobbin with 50-weight, 100% cotton thread. Use a quilt-sandwich swatch to test thread/needle/tension combination and stitch length.


Begin Quilting

1. Begin stitching at top corner of top left-hand square of quilt top. Hold both needle and bobbin threads in one hand. Working within seam allowance, make three to six stitches in the same area to lock stitches.

2. Move quilt sandwich slightly across marked lines (with feed dogs down, fabric layers won’t move unless you move them), working back and forth across lines as shown in Diagram 1.

3. Without rotating quilt sandwich, round stitching line 90º; stitch adjoining squares as shown in Diagram 2. End stitching in seam allowance.

4. Without rotating quilt sandwich, begin stitching second row at bottom corner of right-hand square as done in Step 1. Stitch as before to reach top of square as shown in Diagram 3. Round stitching line 90º and stitch adjoining square as before.

5. Continue stitching established pattern, alternating direction in adjoining squares (Diagram 4). Baste any remaining unstitched edges.

Next page: Option #2 Quilting Design