Blue and Yellow Table Topper

This past week I got back to the blue and yellow table topper that I strip pieced at retreat. I wanted to use it to get more experience with doing some custom quilting. When we left off, I had finished the top and borders.

I loaded it on the longarm when I got the rulers that I had ordered. I found some yellow fabric for the backing, and pieced some batting to get a large enough piece from two scraps.

I knew I wanted to do some curves, but when I got the curved rulers I ordered, not one was the precise curve I really needed. The closest is the one on the left, but I had to put a piece of tape on it as none of the lines would be right for the square size.

I also need a lot more practice with stitching in the ditch, so I got out the straight edge rulers and did the borders.

Then I did the ditches between the squares as far as possible.

Not bad, but there are still a lot of places where the stitching is outside the ditch.

Using the smaller straight edge, I put piano keys on the outer border, stitching in the ditch, then over to the midpoint of the square, and moving back to the outer edge.

OK, now to figure out a stitching path. If I do one square at a time, the path will bring me back to the starting point, and I’ll have to tie off and start again on every square.

So, the better thing is to do only a part of the square, and then go back and stitch the remaining sides. This can be done in two passes across each row of squares, far fewer stops and starts. So, I planned to stitch one curve on each square in a row all the way across.

Then I will go back to the left edge and start again, stitching the left side and across the bottom of the square.

Next, I’ll stitch up one side of the vertical seam between the squares.

Then back down on the other side, and across the bottom.

In this manner I can finish the remaining three sides of every square across the row in one pass.

Here is what it looks like with one row done.

This is far more tedious than I expected, but I do hope it will get better as I practice more. My curves are not consistent, and it is more difficult to hold the ruler in some positions than others. I am just awkward with it right now, so more practice is definitely needed. I plan to custom quilt Quadrille, but I am not nearly ready to tackle that yet!

For those in our Facebook Friends group, post a photo of any free motion quilting, ruler work, or any challenging quilting you’ve done in April! Whether it is quilting the Oh My Strippy Stars project, or another recent project, we are looking for more participation in the group, inspiration for others to step outside their comfort zones, and you may win a prize! Share your progress in our Facebook group Friends of From My Carolina Home. If you are not already a member, be sure to scroll down on the Join application and answer all the questions to be approved by the moderators.

How are you challenging yourself in your quilting?


Well Loved Quilt Repair class is scheduled for Monday, May 22 at 3 pm Eastern Daylight Time. This class pulls together my tips and tricks, and organizes the program according to the types of repairs needed.  Everything from small holes, and dog chewed corners up to major damage is covered, with advice on starting your own repair business.  Class time runs about 75-90 minutes, class fee $35 invoiced from Paypal to the email address you provide. Note: for those without Paypal accounts, you can check out as a guest using a credit card, or Venmo. If this still doesn’t work for you, I do accept personal checks by mail, but you’ll need to let me know by May 10 so we have time for the mail. Please email me if you need this option, or leave a note on the form. Fill out the form if you’d like to be on the list for this class. Invoices will be sent the week of May 8, with payment due by May 15. Click HERE to add your name to the list.

16 thoughts on “Blue and Yellow Table Topper

  1. Vicki in MN

    When quilting your squares if you don’t do the last curve in the row, but instead continue with the next row you can do all the squares and then come down the side of your piece to fill in the last curve of each row. I hope that is clear:) I like Deloa Jones’ Castle ruler for SID.

  2. Julie

    Continuous curve is me favorite way to quilt a field of squares, but I do it freehand on my domestic. The curves aren’t so nice & regular. I need to try it with rulers. I have a ruler foot for the mechanical machine I’m using now for free motion but haven’t tried it yet. I never got the tension to work out with rulers on my newer machine and just put them away. Time to get back on the wagon.

  3. Lenora

    Another beautiful piece. Blue and yellow has always worked well together, but in our world today it means so much more. I wish I was a quilter so I could make a positive comment on the quilting of this piece.

  4. Linda

    I bought rulers for my domestic machine but I have never even taken them out of the package. I am definitely a squirrel, flitting around from one thing to another. My hubs and I will be in your neck of the woods for a rally in a couple of weeks….

  5. I love the blue/yellow combination. I think the freehand quilting looks really nice. They always say, “practice, practice, practice”. I would imagine the flow comes much easier as the mind gets trained.

  6. Diann@ Little Penguin Quilts

    That’s a pretty tablerunner, and looks like a great way to practice some new quilting techniques! I hope you feel better about everything as you get more experience with it. Since I only quilt on my DSM with mostly straight lines, I’m always in awe of the quilting you do!

  7. lois92346

    Blue and yellow is a favorite color combination of mine. I made a Yellow Brick Road lap quilt using those colors and gifted it to my BFF’s grandbaby. I must be living under a rock because I never thought about using a ruler to stitch in the ditch. What a clever idea! And I love your strategy for quilting the squares in just two passes.

  8. This is just too darned pretty for words with my favorite color combo! I appreciate that you are honest with yourself and us but boy — I can’t see the flaws on the curves! I see only the color, pattern and beauty!

  9. I love the blue and yellow combination. It so pretty. Have you ever watched any of Leah Day’s videos? She has some interesting techniques for domestic and long arm quilting. Sigh, something I aspire to do at some point is quilt my own projects with something other than straight lines. My sister in law let me use her new Gammil a few years back and it had a “lock” for vertical and horizontal lines. I loved that feature.

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