How to Gain Confidence with Organic Quilting Techniques

This month I am happy to be launching my latest quilt block pattern, the Bear Paw On-Point. I have already launched the PATTERN HERE and an accompanying KIT HERE if you’d like to play along with me this month creating the Bear Paw On-Point (BPOP) block and quilt.

To kick off the celebration, I am finishing up an old sample I made for the pattern while I was writing back in the spring of 2022. The Autumn Wildflower version of the BPOP block was my original tester, and it deserves to be completed! Now I am sharing my organic quilting techniques to finish up the wall hanging and how to gain confidence with organic quilting techniques.

Start with Inspiration from your Fabric

Every time I work through a project I begin with a point of inspiration. This inspiration can be a theme of a story you want to tell, a person you want to gift to, a room you want your project to live in, or simply the fabrics themselves. Choosing the inspirational starting point gives you a reference to help narrow down your choices while you work and be the guiding light if you will for what you choose as you work through the project.

For the Bear Paw On-Point featured in the October issue of We Like Sewing, Mountainside Bear Paw Wall Hanging – We Like Sewing, I used all straight lines basically echoing the seams of the patchwork. Because the interior paw of the quilt was so organic in the cyanotype leaf print, but the points were so graphic in just the solid colors, I thought the straight-line quilting emphasized the echo or connection between the two types of fabrics.

For the Autumn Wildflower BPOP, I wanted to reference the organic drawing style of the paw print fabric. The point fabrics also had a softer, more organic vibe in a rose batik print as well. Flowers and leaves just felt like a natural compliment to the rest of the quilt top. So I set about filling in the open space around the paw and points with free-form leaves and flowers.

Gain Confidence with the Technique

I do not have confidence in using a free-motion quilting foot, so my instruction will not be on that. I do, however, spend hours a week quilting with my walking foot on my Janome. So I highly recommend working with the tools you are most comfortable with. For me, I have no trouble using the walking foot to create these organic designs.

My tips are:

  • create a rough outline sketch to follow using a hera or other marking tool
  • go slow, never hurry
  • follow an organic object as a reference
  • create gradual turns in the fabric as often as possible

Basically, I chose a leaf picked and pressed from my garden to serve as the template for my corner leaf quilting. I used a hera marker to score a rough outline of the shape in the position I wanted it on the quilt, popped the quilt on my machine, and tried to stitch as smoothly as possible while I gently guided the quilt.

For the central flower and three five-petal flowers, I took inspiration directly from the gorgeous Sharron Holland for Art Gallery Fabrics floral print. I looked at Sharron’s flower shapes, then again used my hera marker to make a sketched and creased guide to follow while I stitched.

For a complete walkthrough of how I created my organic quilting techniques on the Autumn Flowers Wall Hanging quilt, check out this video on my YouTube Channel.:

Go Forth and Play!

Honestly, I know starting a new technique can be scary and intimidating. (Take note that I specifically don’t use the free-motion foot for that reason.) But learning a new technique and exploring your quilting creativity can be fun if you allow yourself to start where you are with some of your comfortable equipment and build confidence from there. I hope you found this article and the video a helpful reference and pep talk so you can go forth and explore your own creativity in quilting!

Quilt With Me!: The Bear Paw On-Point Quilted Wall Hanging

Grab the Bear Paw On-Point Quilt Pattern for just $10 USD HERE or a KIT HERE. Then pop on the video for additional tips before you start sewing. After you’ve prepared all your blocks based on those tips, join me to machine stitch the simple to-create quilted wall hanging!

In upcoming videos, we will work together to piece the entire quilt top and complete a Bear Paw On-Point Quilted Wall Hanging using one of the kits!

If you join in with the video or create the Bear Paw On-Point Quilt on your own, don’t forget to share your work with the La Rue de Fleurs community by tagging me on IG @laruedefleurs and using the hashtags #bearpawonpoint and #laruedefleurspatterns. I hope you’ll join me and have fun using those triangles with a twist!

Stay creative, friends!

Inspiration and resources are linked where applicable. All written work and photographs are original content and are copyright protected; kindly give due credit by linking back to my website if you use or share.

(©2023, Janice Bailor //