FREE Quilting Patterns, Tutorials, Magazine

Let’s try modern machine quilting!

Congratulate yourself! Yesterday you did a lot of work! Applique can take time but the effect is wonderful. The quality of your applique is bound to be beautiful when using Banyan Batiks Floral Boxes.

Today we add some quilting to the background and prepare the ‘quiltlet’ for binding and hanging sleeve which I’ll get to tomorrow.

Press the quilt well and thread your machine with a color to match your background, in my case white.

Set the sewing machine at a slightly larger stitch length for machine quilting. If you usually have your stitches at 2.4, bring them up to 3.0.

Starting in the middle center at the edge of the background fabric where it meets the batting, back stitch or lock stitch (depending on your machine) then stitch a few inches, stop, rotate the quilt 45 degrees and stitch a few more inches in a straight line, repeat. You will be making an overlapping squares pattern.

I always use a walking foot or an even feed food for straight line quilting. This helps to avoid any bumps or ripples and if you don’t already have one, I would recommend purchasing one from your sewing machine dealer.


A close up of the overlapping squares quilting pattern
A close up of the overlapping squares quilting pattern


This simple pattern will allow you to get into the spaces between the flowers and fill the rest of your background. Always work from the middle out because although you have secured the entire quilt with the applique stitches, ripples can still happen.

Once you’re happy with the amount of quilting it’s time to trim the quilt to size. The pattern is for a 24″ square but this is a general size and depending on how you placed your appliques, there’s wiggle room. It’s good that I left that room as my design ended up closer to 25″ than the 24″!

Using a 6″ x 24″ ruler decide how much to leave on the outside of the design when trimming the quilt. The picture below shows where you can line up the ruler on the outside edge of the applique, in this case at 3″, and then trim on the black line. Do the same to the top and the bottom of the design to keep the entire piece square.


Trim the quilt by measuring from the edge of your design to the outside edge of your quilt.
Trim the quilt by measuring from the edge of your design to the outside edge of your quilt.


Always trim less than more, you can cut more away but you cannot add fabric after you have cut it!

Finally, stay stitch the edge of the quilt. I find this is a good idea for smaller quilts that you hang as it helps stabilize the edge and reduce any waviness that might happen.


A beautiful result with some simple modern quilting!
A beautiful result with some simple modern quilting!


I think you’ll agree that Banyan Batiks Floral Boxes add a fresh, modern feel to your quilt art!

Tomorrow we bind and add a hanging sleeve to display the lovely May Flowers wallhanging!


This is part 4 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 3: Making May Flowers wallhanging bloom with heirloom applique stitches

Go to part 5: A sleeve and the binding, and the May Flowers wallhanging is done!

Tania has been a quilty creator for over 20 years. She loves to make quirky quilts ranging from a bowl of ramen to a Christmas turkey or a fruitcake. She has not yet found a subject that she wouldn't like to see rendered as a quilt. Her current focus is on food quilts and her work has been featured in magazines such as Cottage Life, Make Modern, Gastro Obscura and SBS (a food network in Australia). Her creative interests also include illustration, painting, and crocheting. There is nothing she likes better than to try something new. Tania believes curiosity in all things is key to a creative life.


  1. Lisa England

    Very nice! Sometimes simple quilting is exactly what a quilt needs.

  2. Joanne C

    A happy pattern!

    • Thank you 🙂 I love to spread happiness!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *.

It may take up to 24 hours for your comment to appear above.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.