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More Filled Grid Variations – Swirl

Last week we filled grids with straight lines, curves and S-shapes. That leaves two more of the 5 basic shapes to create even more filled grid variations, swirl and loop.


The swirl is a fun one to quilt because it flows so easily. If you are not proficient at quilting swirls, remember to practice this shape every day. Your skill will improve and before you know it you’ll be loving to quilt swirls too!

Let’s start with a little larger grid this time. A 5 across by 4 down will work well for this example.

Pro-tip: You can fill any size grid with these shapes! you might be filling a border that’s 4″ x 60″.  Just use the same paths. It will work.


Start (as usual) in the upper left corner. Stitch a swirl. I chose to do a simple spiral into the center and use the diagonal line trick to get to the upper right corner of my grid box. Just like we did last week with the square spiral design.


I also chose to make that line from the center to the upper right a curve. If I had chosen a straight line, I’d get a different look. But, I don’t need to pull out my straight line ruler to quilt the curve. It will be faster and easier this way.

Next travel along the grid line to skip the next box and get to the third box.

Since I practiced this design before I quilted it on a real quilt, I realized some thing that would help me finish this grid work faster. Remember the S-shape design from last week? It looked much better when the grid was also stitched. Because the swirls do not fill the entire grid box, this one will look much better with the grid lines quilted as well. As I practiced, I discovered if I quilted across the top of the 2nd and the 3rd grid boxes. Then started my swirl from the upper right corner of the 3rd box (rather than the upper left). I would complete stitching the horizontal grid lines as I worked the swirls. This saves a lot of time!

Pro- tip: As you practice your design, try to think of ways to make it easier or faster to stitch. Try variations to see what works and what doesn’t.


Don’t worry!  I will stitch the top of that 1st grid box a little later.

By stitching the top of 2 boxes I need to start my spiral from the upper right. No biggie!

Then stitch that diagonal line to the upper right corner of the box.

Rinse and repeat

Continue across the top row of the grid in the same manner till you reach the right side of your grid.


The next row will get worked right to left. Stitch down the right side of the grid to the top of row 2. Remember you are filling alternate grid boxes. So stitch across to the top right of the box you want to fill next.


Stitch the swirl and end in the upper right corner of the box.

Use the trick of putting marks in the boxes you want to fill so you don’t make a mistake. It’s easy to do!

Pro-tip: Use all the tricks you have up your sleeve to help make the quilting easy!

If you have followed along with this Free Motion Quilting for Beginners series you have quite a few tricks you can apply to whatever the job. If you’re new here, start with this post. It has links to many of the first posts in the series. Then you can continue on from there.

Travel across the top of the box you just filled and the next box that will remain empty.


Fill the next one. Then travel across and down and back across to the right. This will set you up to fill the next box.

Rinse and repeat til you have filled all the alternating boxes.



All that is left to do is to finish stitching the grid. Most of the horizontal lines are already stitched! Just finish the last part of the line you are working.


Then choose a path to complete the vertical grid lines. I chose to stitch up the left side to get started. You can finger trace your path to figure out which way will work the best in your situation, before you start stitching.


Now I can finish that open top!


As you come to a vertical line, stitch it. So I stitched down that first vertical line I came to.


Rinse and repeat.


I ended up at the bottom right corner working my vertical lines. So all I needed to do was to go across the bottom and up the one grid box that was still open. And my design is finished!


Next week: Loops and more ideas.

BTW, the basic examples I am showing you are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to filling up a grid and creating texture on your quilts. I hope you’re imagining other ways to use the shapes! That’s the fun of free motion quilting. The sky’s the limit when it comes to more filled grid variations!


Quilt every day!


by Mary Beth Krapil

Filled Grid Variations

Now that you’ve got the basics of filled grids from our last post, it’s time to kick it up a notch and explore some filled grid variations.

If you’ve been following along with this Free Motion Quilting for Beginners series, I bet you can guess what I’m going to say next. IYKYK.  If you’re new here, then go to this post. It is a list (with links) of the first posts in the series. Then you can continue on from there.

IYKYK = If you know, you know.

The Five Basic Shapes.

We used straight lines to fill every other grid box last week. That created fabulous texture!


This is another example:

There were squares pieced in this quilt, and I could have used those piecing lines as my grid, but I chose to divide those pieced squares even further, to make a smaller grid. I used a removable marking tool, the Handi Iron-Off Pencil, to do that. They work great on dark fabrics, iron off, and leave no residue. Just what you want in a quilt marking tool.



Straight Line Variations

We can change up the way we use straight lines in the grid boxes:


I started by going around the perimeter of the grid box and then spiraled in towards the center. When I got to the middle, I just angled back out to the perimeter.

That makes me think of another variation! Use angled straight lines to fill alternating grid boxes. Can you picture that?

How about the other shapes?


We can fill the alternating grid boxes with a simple small stipple.

Using the method of doing 2 rows at a time, like we did in the last post, works great for stipple as well. You do need to think ahead and end in the corner that connects to the next box you want to fill.


Using the S-shape to fill the grid lends movement to the quilt.

Once again, I want to make the design as continuous as possible. Using the alternating rows trick doesn’t work for the S-shape variation. But working on a diagonal and alternating the direction of the S-shape works really well!


Start in the upper left. Fill the grid box with S-shapes ending in the lower right corner of the box.


Fill the next grid box on the diagonal but this time rotate the S-shapes by 90 degrees. End in the bottom right corner of the box.

Fill the next box on the diagonal, rotating your S-shapes by 90 degrees again. Continue along the diagonal as far as you can within the quiltable space of your machine, or the end of your grid, whichever comes first.


Work the other diagonal rows that you can reach in your frame space. This example is a small 9-box grid so I just need to fill in the corners.

Pro-Tip: remember to keep the alternating direction of the S-shapes when moving on to new diagonal rows.


Sometimes, when shapes do not fill the whole grid box, the design can lose the crispness of the grid. If I erase the grid lines for this S-shape variation, I’m not too happy with the look of the design. This often happens with curved variations.



This is totally personal preference. Always remember, it’s your quilt, so make it look the way YOU want.

When I lose the crisp lines of the grid, I opt to stitch the grid as well as the design. If the design does the job of defining the grid, I don’t need to stitch the grid. In the case of the S-shape design, I think the grid needs to be stitched.

To me, this looks much better. What do you think? Let me know in the comments!

Next week we’ll dive into some more variations.

Till then……quilt every day!


by Mary Beth Krapil





Filled Grids

We are back this week to our discussion of grid-work. Next up are filled grids. When you want maximum texture on your quilts, filled grids are the way to go. Whenever parts of the grid framework are stitched and other parts are left un-stitched the result is texture.


Stitching tamps down the batting and creates low places. Leaving parts with no stitching allows the batting to pouf (Isn’t that a great word? I love words that sound like their meaning. Pouf!). The batting poufs up and creates a high place. The contrast between the low place next to the high place is Texture.

Fill every other grid box

Just like always, we start with the grid. I use filled grids more for background quilting, so my grids tend to be small. The grid squares in the photo are 1/2 inch.

Decide whether you want to stitch the grid or simply mark it as a guide.

Pro-Tip: Stitching the grid is a bit more forgiving when filling the grid. When it is not stitched you must be careful to fill right to the grid line. Not beyond it, and not shy of it, but right-to-the-line. That will keep the shape of the grid “boxes” and you will achieve even texture. When the grid is stitched it helps define the grid boxes and you can get away with a small amount of deviance. 

Let’s start with using the straight line for our fill, just like in the photo above.

Pro-tip: mark the grid boxes you want to fill with a removable mark to help you keep going right.

Mark every other box alternating rows, like this:


Stitch back and forth in each of the marked grid boxes to fill the box. Make a choice whether you will make the ends of your lines straight or curved. Straight is easier to keep the grid lines nice and crisp. Curved is easier to quilt, because it flows.






As usual I start in the upper left corner. If you are not quilting the grid lines, the first line you quilt should follow the grid line.


Stitch down along the grid line. Have a plan for the spacing of your quilting lines. Try for even spacing as best you can but don’t worry too much about it.

Then quilt back to the left.


Continue in this manner to fill the box. Your last quilting line should follow the bottom of the box grid line and end on the right. This will make it possible to stitch continuously using 2 rows at a time.

Keep stitching on that same grid line across the top of the marked box in the next row.


Fill this next box in the same way, BUT end on the LEFT this time. You’ll want to go back to the first row for the next box to fill.


Did you notice it took an extra stitched line within that box to accomplish ending on the left?

Pro-tip: until you get comfortable with this design, you can stop at the end of one box and finger trace your next path to fill the next box. Knowing where you’re going is half the battle!


Follow the grid line to the left and fill the bottom box in row 1. End on the RIGHT.


At this point you can decide to tie off and cut your thread, to go up to the top of row 3 and start again. Or you can choose to travel along the grid line to the bottom of row three and work your way up the grid. I’ll travel.


You guessed it, fill the next box. End on the right.


Since my grid only has 3 rows, I’ll travel up along the outside of the grid to the next box I need to fill.


And fill the last box.


When I finish filling a grid like this, I like to stitch around the entire grid to define it. Often this is stitch-in-the-ditch work.  Do it! It makes the whole quilt look so much better!


Last but not least, remove your marked grid and the marks you used to indicate the boxes you wanted to fill.


This graphic looks a little incomplete but when you are quilting this it comes out looking very nice. Refer to the photo of the filled grid at the beginning of the post. The grid lines were not stitched there and yet you can clearly see the grid.

Have some fun trying out filling a few grids with straight lines. Try both straight edges and curved edges to see which one you like better.

Next week we will look at some different filled grids. After all we have the 5 basic shapes!




Skill Sets

If you have been following along with our Free Motion Quilting for Beginners series, you already know the importance of practice for gaining FMQ skills. I like to think of practice time as play time. It’s stress-free quilting time. Time to bond with your machine. No worries about making mistakes. No worries about getting out the seam ripper. And that practice time just got even better with something new from Handi Quilter. The very first Skill Sets is available exclusively at your local HQ retailer.

The skinny on Skill Sets

It’s a box full of items that will give you some direction for your practice time. And give you some ideas for new designs to use in specific areas on your quilts.

What’s in it?


Practice with Purpose Notebook

First you’ll see a small notebook that contains design ideas and space for drawing practice as well as outlines for the Skill Sets panel. You can plan which designs you will quilt in which spaces on the Skill Sets panel.

Pro tip: Having a plan is one of the skills you should make into a habit!

On the front and back inside cover of the notebook are some great reference guides that are valuable tools to always have in your studio.

HQ Curvy Template


I really like the Curvy with its 2 different curves and angle markings, plus straight edges. You can learn some cool designs using the Curvy by watching the video at this link. This template has a retail value of  $34.95! After you see all the things that are included in the skill sets, you’ll see, it is a really good deal.

Fabric Panels

Two fabric Panels are included.

The smaller one is meant for you to practice the designs. It has areas marked off for practice and it also has two mini quilts for even more practice.

Pro-tip: Use water soluble thread in your bobbin and you can use the panel over and over. A quick dip in some warm water will remove your stitching. After it’s dry, you can try again!

Vanish Lite by Superior Threads is the water soluble thread that I like.


Super Pro-Tip:  Keep this thread in a zip-top bag and LABEL it. You don’t want to accidentally get it wet and you sure don’t want to use it to repair your bathing suit. :O

You will also get a larger panel. It is approximately 2 yards. The idea is for you to practice your designs on the smaller piece. Then, when you feel confident, quilt the larger one to use as a throw or a wall hanging. This is just a little sneak peek:

Official Handi Quilter pencil

And of course you’ll want to do your drawing practice with the official Handi Quilter Pencil! Because it has the FMQ mojo.

Unboxing Video

If you’d like to see an unboxing video, you can watch here.

Where can you get one?

They are ONLY sold by Handi Quilter retailers. You cannot find Skill Sets on our website. Find a retailer near you here.

Pro-tip: If you don’t have a retailer that’s a reasonable distance from you, give the closest one a call. Many retailers would be happy to mail your Skill Set.

More to come!

While you’re waiting for your Skill Sets box to arrive read this post, Practice with a Purpose.

This is just the first in a series of Skill Sets. Stay tuned for more great practice opportunities brought to you by the great folks at Handi Quilter.


by Mary Beth Krapil





My Australia, Helen Godden’s Masterpiece

There is an amazing, fabulous, HUGE quilt hanging at the Australasian Quilt Convention in Brisbane, Australia this weekend.  My Australia was created by our Handi Quilter Ambassador, Helen Godden.

She drew the design in 2018 but with her busy life of teaching, lecturing and traveling, she wondered when she would ever have time to actually make it into a quilt. Then along came 2020….

So, Helen gave herself a personal challenge, because she had the time. She began the quilt in July 2020 and finished in January 2021.

The Process

Helen generously shared the process of creating the quilt on her Facebook page, Helen Godden Quilts. You can see videos of her painting this massive project. It’s fascinating to watch! She spent 75 hours painting with dyes on muslin. If you are interested in learning her technique, you can take her online class Arty Farty Sunflowers. I took the class and had a blast!

This quilt really is massive!  It measures 220 feet wide by 5 feet high.


Helen quilted this on her HQ Sweet Sixteen stationary longarm machine. It took 110 hours total, about four hours per day over a six month period. Helen is an absolute wizard with her machine and quilting skills. You can watch her quilting on Facebook as well. (You’ll learn a few tricks and pro-tips as you watch her videos!)

The Images

The quilt is filled with iconic images of her beloved Australia.

From sea life,


to birds,


on to mammals,


to well-known, iconic buildings and bridges.


Not to mention lizards and snakes and insects and trees and flowers! All that is native to Australia is in her quilt.


The painting and quilting are fantastic to see, but if you’ve been down under or studied anything about Australia, you’ll enjoy just picking out and naming the images. It’s a “where’s waldo” of Straya. If you actually live in Australia, you’ll likely find hundreds of things familiar to you! Let us know in the comments what you see on these photos.

My Australia truly is an epic masterpiece by a master quilt artist. Congratulations, Helen! Well done. We are so proud of you.



by Mary Beth Krapil



Practice with Purpose

If you’ve been following along our free motion quilting for beginners series, you know how important practice is.  And you probably have a pile of quilted fabric that you’re not quite sure what to do with. Some of them you’ll want to toss. Maybe you breathed new life into a piece by adding a second or third top layer and re-used the batting and backing. That’s a great $$ saver! Maybe your tension was so bad, the back looks like a nest. Go ahead and toss those!  They served their purpose!  You learned, you gained skills, you grew as a quilter.

Some might make a good liner for the cargo area of your car. They keep everything clean and are easily washable! Note: I did not add a binding, I just tuck the raw edges under. No one will ever know!

NEVER toss your first practice piece. It’s purpose is to remind you how far you’ve come. Put a binding on it! Hang it up! (maybe somewhere only you will see it :). Or just keep it in a drawer and pull it out if (when) you get frustrated in trying to learn a new design.  It’s good to see just how much you can accomplish with practice.

Now that you have had lots of practice, the next time you want to learn a design, you might want to think about how you could use the practice piece. Then choose your fabric accordingly.

Do you remember the echo quilting design from Helen Godden called Roadmaps?

When I stitched out a sample of that design, I thought about how I might use it.  I was wanting to do some couching with the HQ Couching feet. It’s just so addicting!

I wanted to try quilting the fabric first, then couching a design over the background quilting. My background quilting needed to be simple but interesting. Roadmaps checked all the boxes!

I thought I would make a bag out of the finished piece, so I quilted two roadmaps. One for the front and one for the back of the bag. I chose my fabric with all of those criteria in mind. The batting was also a consideration for the project.  I like using foam for my bags. It gives them good structure and crispness, while still being soft. And quilting foam really shows the quilting texture! There are many brands out there. Just Google foam batting for sewing to see what is available.

I loaded the foam just like I would normally load a backing. Then basted my top fabric in place. Using blue water soluble marker, I marked my swirls and then quilted the echos.  Go back and read the post on Roadmaps to see how to do it.


There was not enough of the fabric I chose, so I used a coordinating fabric and quilted the other piece in the same way, for the back of the bag.

Then life and other commitments happened. The quilted pieces rested and waited til I had some time to do the couching.

I marked a rough outline of what I wanted to couch and gathered my yarns. You can visit our YouTube channel and search for couching to learn how it’s done and get even more inspiration for projects.


I used several different yarns to create interesting texture.


Once I was happy with my couching, I trimmed the pieces and cut some lining as well.


You can use your quilted pieces to make just about any bag pattern of your choice. I didn’t use a pattern. I’ve made so many bags over the years, I just winged it!


It was a fun project that started out with a “practice with purpose”. And now I have a new summer tote!

What is your favorite way to use or re-purpose quilting practice pieces?

We’d LOVE to hear! Let us know in the comments.


by Mary Beth Krapil

How Many Quilts?

I had the pleasure of being at the Quiltfest show in Greenville, SC. I was working with one of Handi Quilter‘s lovely retailers, Sew Suite Studios. There wasn’t much time to look at the many quilts on display, but one of the special exhibits really caught my interest. The Hoffman Challenge 2020, Garden State of Mind. As I walked up to the exhibit I wondered, “How many quilts could possibly be made using one fabric?”  That’s how little I knew about the Hoffman Challenge! I thought the participants made a quilt using the fabric of the year from Hoffman.  It turns out that it’s not just one fabric!

I googled the challenge to learn a little more about it. The 32nd Annual Hoffman Challenge for 2020, used the “Garden State of Mind” digital print collection.

For the first time ever, Hoffman Challenge participants were required to use a minimum of 3 out of 6 fabrics from the collection in their artwork entry.

The quilts are all beautiful and each one is unique. So I took lots of pix to share with you. Here they are. (my apologies, I was not able to get a photo of every one that was hanging at the show)

















How many quilts?

So it turns out that the answer to the question “How many quilts?” is: as many as you have quilters.  Plus one.

Such variety! And each one is stunning! It made me marvel at the creativity in the quilting world.


But wait, there’s more!

The challenge is not only open to quilts, but also garments and accessories. Check these out:







How fun is that?  I thoroughly enjoyed this special exhibit at the show! Hope you enjoyed seeing the photos.


by Mary Beth Krapil









Stay In the Know

Facebook (Meta) has started to change its algorithm that decides what you see in your newsfeed every day. If you want to stay in the know about all things Handi Quilter you’ll want to be sure you are following our Facebook page and haven’t simply “liked” it. If you’re not sure how to do that I’ve got you! Here are instructions with pictures. After all, you wouldn’t want to miss all the great stuff on our page. Weekly HQ Watch and Learn shows and announcements of all the fun going on at Handi Quilter are just a couple of the things you’ll see.

Open HQ Facebook page


Start by going to the Handi Quilter Facebook page. You can get there by typing The header looks like this:


Click on the 3 dots

Click on the 3 little dots shown circled in red here (bottom right corner):


Choose Follow Settings

From the drop-down menu choose Follow Settings


Set as a favorite

Set as a favorite so that you will always see Handi Quilter posts in your feed.



The bottom half of the Follow Settings menu is for notifications.



Click the little arrow to the right of Posts



Set to Standard.

Then click the back arrow in the upper left.

Click Video.


Set to All Notifications then click the back arrow.

Click Live Video.


Set to All notifications. You absolutely want to see HQ Watch and Learn!!  Then click the back arrow.

Be sure that Offers is turned on (it should be blue). Of course you’ll want to know when something goes on sale, right?


Last but VERY IMPORTANT! Click UPDATE to save your settings. Update is all the way down at the bottom. You may need to scroll.


Now you’ll be all set and you’ll stay in the know about all things Handi Quilter.


Thanks so much for following us on social media. We love staying in touch with every member of our HQ family!



by Mary Beth Krapil


2022-05-08T04:51:20-06:00May 8th, 2022|Categories: Uncategorized|1 Comment

Swirly Grid Design

We have used all the shapes to make continuous grid designs except for the swirl (or hook). So today we will dive deep into the swirly grid design.

The Swirl

Remember the swirl or hook for the 5 basic shapes?

Like the S shape from last week, we need to make some modifications to the shape. To make our path continuous, the shape must start on the left and end on the right. I accomplished this by extending the line leading into the swirl and the line leading out. Then I spread them apart like this:

Notice that I also closed the swirl, or over-stitched the swirly part.  I did this is because this design is a lot of quilting in each grid space. If your grid is large, feel free to leave the open swirl with the double lines, like the original shape. Make it your own!

My quilting starts at the green dot on the left and arcs down slightly.

When I get about half-way across the grid space, I start my swirl.

Backtrack along the swirl.

Then arc up towards the grid intersection.

One thing to keep in mind while you are quilting this shape is that you cannot go too deep into the grid space. You have to allow room for a swirl on each of the four sides of the space. You can add a chalked dot or circle to the center of the space as a reminder, like we did when we used the loop shape.

The Path

To keep things consistent, let’s use the same grid.


Start in the upper left corner and stitch the shape across the top. Just like all the other shapes before.


The Mantra

Like the S-shape, it is SUPER important that the shape is stitched the same each time. In this case, the swirl has to go in the same direction. I chose to stitch the swirl swirling back towards where I started.


To help me keep the swirls going in the correct direction, I use the mantra “SWIRL BACK”.  And just like the S-shape, this mantra will be helpful when you you have to change the orientation of the shape to fill the grid.


Next stitch down the side. SWIRL BACK.


Keep the path going

As we did before we will work across the horizontal grid line. But for this design, like the Terry Twist, the serpentine path will not work. You will simply stitch across the top of the line. Keep the mantra going!

You can see how the swirl is opposite of the ones going across the top of the grid. It’s easy to get confused and turned around without the mantra, but the mantra will keep your shapes going the way they should. SWIRL BACK.

Next, stitch across the bottom of the horizontal grid line back towards the right. Keep the mantra going!

Without the mantra, you’ll be sure to get confused on this step. With the mantra you’ll just go along easy-peasy.

Continue on down the right side, and across and back on the next horizontal grid line. Keep the mantra going!

Stitching down the right side brings you to the bottom of the grid. Begin to stitch across.


Just as before, work the vertical grid line up.


Can you see now how using a chalked dot in the center of the grid space will help?

Next, work your way back down the vertical line. Keeping the mantra? Of course you are! If you don’t, you’ll be getting out the seam ripper.


Move across the bottom to the next vertical line and stitch up and down. Then across the bottom to the left side. Then all that’s left to do is stitch up the left side, back to where you started!


This swirly grid is great for larger grids. There is a lot of quilting in each grid space!

Did you notice that this intricate design used the skills we acquired when we learned the simpler shapes grid designs? We used the path that gets us from start to finish with just one start and one stop. We used a guideline (dot), we modified the shape slightly, we used a mantra to keep the pattern going correctly.  When you come up with your own new designs be sure to remember your skills and put them to work for you!


The Name

I have not named this one. Will you help me give it a cool name? Add your name suggestion in the comments. I can’t wait to see what you creatives come up with!


by Mary Beth Krapil


More Grid Designs

Last time, we took our grid work to a new level by using more of the basic shapes. We followed the same path using the grid. It’s time for more grid designs! Using the S shape and the (mostly) same path.

I saved this shape  and the hook for last because they are a bit trickier to stitch and keep the grid going. But as always, I have hints and pro tips to make it fun and easy. More grid designs = more fun!

S shape

Remember the S shape?

Such a useful shape! If you’ve been following along with the Free Motion Quilting for Beginners Series you should be very familiar with it. If you’d like to start the series from the beginning, start here.

For this grid design we are going to modify the S shape a little. We need to exaggerate one side of the S and flatten out the other side. Like this:

I named the two parts of this S shape. You’ll see why in a bit. The exaggerated side is the “BUMP” and the flattened out side is the “SLIDE”.

The Path

Use the same 9-patch grid.


Start in the upper left corner and stitch the shape across the top. Just like before.

The Mantra

It is SUPER important that the shape is stitched the same each time. The BUMP first and then the SLIDE. So I use those words as my mantra.

Bump and Slide – Bump and Slide – Bump and Slide……

This mantra will be ever so helpful when you start changing directions.

Next, stitch down the side. Bump and Slide.


As we did before we will work across the horizontal grid line. But for this design, the serpentine path will not work. You will simply stitch across the top of the line. Keep the mantra going!

Can you see now why we need a mantra? The S shapes going across to the left are opposite of the ones we stitched across the top of the grid. It would be easy to get confused and turned around without the mantra.

Next stitch across the bottom of the horizontal grid line back to the right. Keep the mantra going! Bump and Slide.

Without the mantra, you’ll be sure to get confused on this step. With the mantra you’ll just go along easy-peasy.


Continue on down the right side, and across and back on the next horizontal grid line. Keep the mantra going!


Stitching down the right side brings you to the bottom of the grid. Begin to stitch across.


Just as before, work the vertical grid line up.

Are you noticing how the S-shapes are nesting together? Cool!


Next, work your way back down the vertical line. Keeping the mantra? Of course you are! If you don’t, you’ll be getting out the seam ripper.


Move across the bottom to the next vertical line and stitch up and down. Then across the bottom to the left side. Then all that’s left to do is stitch up the left side, back to where you started!

I love the movement this design brings!

The name

This design is know as “Terry Twist”. It was named for the great quilter, author, and teacher, Sally Terry, who originated the design. You’ll want to check out her books and if you ever get a chance to take a class from her, DO NOT pass up the opportunity! You will learn a ton and have the most fun ever.

Here’s some real-life grid-work quilting. You can see a nice example of Continuous Curve (top right) and Terry Twist (bottom left). Notice the actual grid is not showing. I marked the grid on the fabric with blue water soluble marker. After quilting I rinsed the marks away. When we have seam lines on the quilt marking is not necessary. But where you have no seams, mark that grid. Sometimes you will want to stitch the grid and other times not.

The center circle is also grid work. A simple cross hatch is grid-work!

Next up, we will explore using swirls or hooks for more grid designs.


by Mary Beth Krapil






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