Wonky Piecing & Easy Applique QAL – Week 3 – Machine Quilt the Background

Wonky Week 3 SlugWelcome back!   It’s Week #3 of our Wonky Piecing & Easy Appliqué QuiltAlong !  This week we’ll be machine quilting the background fabric.

There are so many different ways you can machine quilt the background fabric and anything goes so don’t be afraid to use this little quilt along project to experiment:

•  you could practice your free motion quilting and simply stipple the background;
BG Quilt 1
•  you could practice ‘matchstick quilting’ – this is simply stitching straight lines about 1/4″ apart up and down over the background fabric; or,

BG Quilt 2
•  you could mark diagonal lines about 3″ apart, set your machine to a decorative stitch and stitch a crosshatch pattern.

BG Quilt 3

Really – anything goes, so have fun ….

But I’d like to share with you three of my favorite machine quilting patterns that look “artsy”, are pretty easy to do and imho, make a great quilted background for smaller quilts like these.  I’ll do my best to explain how to do these patterns here in the blog but if you are more of a visual learner than I would encourage you to check out my companion video to this week’s quilt along which will be posted on our Colourwerx website and Colourwerx UTube channel in a few days.

Linda Week 3

These are the three patterns I use most often:
•  The Wonky Slanted Line pattern – you see this most often in my Mini ModDog pillows and quilts, and if you have the Mini ModDog pattern, you’ll find instructions on how to do this pattern on page 2;

Wonky Slanted

•  The Curvaceous Quilting Pattern – easy to do and very relaxing!


•  The Wonky Chevron Pattern – this is fun and  is wonderfully forgiving.

Wonky Chevron

Create the Quilting Sandwich —
First you’ll need to gather your Background Fabric (a fat quarter or a piece about 18″ x 21″) , and a scrap piece of batting or fusible batting of the same size.  If you’ve already decided to make your animal into a wallhanging, then you should also gather a fat quarter size of fabric to use as your backing fabric too. (If you are making a pillow, you don’t need to add a backing fabric unless of course you think you might wash the pillow in the future).

Place the batting on the WRONG side of the Background Fabric and secure.  You can do this by safety pinning the two layers together or using a fusible adhesive spray like 505 Temporary Spray Adhesive.  If you are making a wallhanging, go ahead and fuse (or safety pin)  your backing fabric to the other side of the batting as well.    You now have your quilting sandwich ready for machine quilting.

FuseWonky Slanted

Let’s get started with the first quilting pattern –

#1 – The Wonky Slanted Line Pattern —
When I quilt this pattern, I like to use a chunky thread – like the Aurifil 12 weight – and a variety of different thread colors – usually I choose 5-6 different colors.  But this method also looks very nice with any variegated thread or even just a lovely solid thread.

Also just a tip – if you are using a a chunkier thread, make sure you change your sewing machine needle to a larger size.  I prefer to use the Schmetz 90/14 Quilting Needle.  This size accommodates a variety of different weight threads with no problems.

The first step is to draw a few wonky lines on your background fabric.  With a iron off marker (or water soluble pen), just drop your ruler at a slant and draw a line.  Slant the ruler in opposite direction and draw another line.  You can also use a Hera marker to make these lines as well.  Hera Markers are sold at all quilt shops and actually just crease your fabric with the rounded edge – so no fear of a marker staining the fabric or never coming off.

Start with about 3-4 lines and with your first thread color.  Set your machine to a straight stitch, leave the feed dogs up and put your walking foot on (or engage your even feed system).  Also set your stitch length to about 3.0 so the stitches are a bit longer.   Stitch directly across those drawn lines.

Wonky 1

Mark another 3-4 lines.  Switch threads if you’d like, and stitch on those lines.

Wonky 2

Continue adding wonky slanted lines and stitching until you have filled the background fabric.

Voila!  Done And it looks super especially behind your dog, cat or fish!Curvaceous

#2 – The Curvaceous Quilting Pattern —
I really love doing curvy quilting – it looks very artsy and I love the movement it provides to the background fabric.  I use this pattern alot when making the ModFish as it gives the feeling that the fish are swimming with the movement the curved lines create.

To start, again set your machine to a straight stitch, leave the feed dogs up and put your walking foot on (or engage your even feed system).  Also set your stitch length to about 3.0 so the stitches are a bit longer.  Start in the middle of the fat quarter and just stitch straight stitches from the top to the bottom, gently ‘ungulating’ from right to left creating a curved stitched line.  Think of driving down a country road – no sharp turns.

Curvy 1

Move over about 2-3″ and stitch another curvy line.  Again move over another 2-3″ and stitch another curvy line.  Keep filling the background with curved stitched lines about 2-3″ apart.
Curvy 2
To fill in the background, next begin to stitch in between the stitched lines with more curvy quilting.  How dense you make the curvy quilting is entirely up to you.  I find that it really depends upon my mood – some curvaceous quilting is quilted quite dense and some not so much…again, anything goes and stop when it looks good to you!

That’s it – doesn’t that look great!?!?Wonky Chevron

#3 – The Wonky Chevron Pattern —
This is a fun pattern, looks great with a variegated thread and one that I use alot on my little ModCat wallhangings .  Once again, set your machine to a straight stitch leave the feed dogs up and put your walking foot on (or engage your even feed system).

The first step is to draw a few chevron-like lines across the center portion of your background fabric.  With a iron off marker (or water soluable pen),  just drop your ruler slanting it right and left and draw wonky angles or chevrons. Don’t worry about making the chevrons too even or regimented – in fact the more uneven they are the better!
Chev 1

Stitch directly on the drawn line  (it’s ok if you are not directly on the drawn line – it’s more of a guide for you to start from…)  Now move down about an inch and “echo” the same chevron pattern but don’t try to be too perfect – in fact, adding little changes or additional little chevrons to “mix it up” as you stitch along makes it look more artsy.

Chev 2

Keep echoing and stitching  out from the middle drawn first chevron until you reach the edge.  Turn the background fabric around and start to do the same chevron echo stitching from the middle drawn line out to the other edge filling up the background fabric with wonky chevron lines.   Check that out!

What fun!  🙂  I can’t wait to see what you guys come up with!  be sure to chedk out the companion video to this week’s blog coming out in a few days on the Colourwerx website and Colourwerx UTube channel .

That’s it for Week #3!!  Next week – our final week – Week #4: we’ll be machine applique stitching our animal shapes onto the background fabric and I’ll be sharing some tips and tricks with you!

Until then, please be sure to email us at colourwerx@yahoo.com if you have any questions.  Or feel free to post progress pictures on our Colourwerx QAL Facebook Group.

Until your next colour fix and next week’s QAL post ~  happy and bright quilting always!    L&C xxoo

Wonky Piecing & Easy Appliqué QuiltAlong – Week 1 -Gather the Pattern and Materials

Wonky Week 1 SlugHello!  And welcome to the ‘first week’ of our third Colourwerx QAL (quilt along) where we’ll be stitchin’ up Wonky Piecing and doing Easy Machine Appliqué – the fun part about this QuiltAlong is you get to choose which animal you’d like to make – A Mini ModDog, a ModCat or a pair of ModFish!

First, I want to thank you so much for joining us here and for your ongoing support of our Colourwerx patterns and Colourwerx Shop during these unprecedented times – brighter days are indeed coming back soon but in the meantime since we are all still self isolating, the Wonky Piecing & Easy Appliqué Dog/Cat/Fish seemed like the perfect project!  The materials you’ll need are minimal and are likely sitting right inside your fabric stash or scrap bag.  The pattern can be purchased from our Colourwerx Shop and no matter which animal your choose (Mini ModDog, ModCat or Mod Fish), all are available in both a paper format or as a downloadable PDF format.

Regardless – Carl and I are so, so, so  happy you are here!!   Please know whether you’ll be sewing up the pattern along side us or just observing from afar, we welcome you and are overwhelmed by your enthusiasm  and so appreciative of your support  – so thank you, thank you, thank you! 


As you can see below it’s a 4-week QAL this time, but please know that you can take it at your own pace and join in anytime.  All of the videos and blog posts will remain here on my blog, as well as be posted on our website and social media pages throughout the year.  There is no fee to join the QAL or our Facebook Group page so feel free to hop in anytime you are ready!

Join the Colourwerx QuiltAlong Facebook Group:   Speaking of the Facebook Colourwerx QuiltAlong Group,  if you want to join with other quilty friends and aren’t yet a member of our Facebook group, I  invite you to join our free QAL Facebook group where you can ask questions, share your progress and of course, post pictures of your finished projects so everyone can share in the fun!  Also feel free to share this invite and any other QAL news with quilty buddies and invite them to join along in the fun!


Look for a companion video to be posted later this week…..

Linda Week 3

So this is Week#1 of the Wonky Piecing & Easy Appliqué QAL –  First let’s review the schedule over the next four weeks:

Week 1 (today-April 8th) – Gather Your Pattern & Materials
Week 2 (April 15) – Wonky Piecing & Cut Out Your Animal
Week 3 (April 22) – Quilt the Background Fabric & Prepare Shapes
Week 4 (April 29) – Easy Machine Appliqué & Finish

Wonky QAL Slug
Here’s what you’ll need though to join in on the stitchin’ fun –

Choose Which Animal You’d like To Create and Purchase the Corresponding Pattern:
There are 3 patterns to choose from : the Mini ModDog, the ModCat and the ModFish – all of our Colourwerx patterns are now 20% off until the end of April so now’s a great time to stock up! Also our patterns are available in both a paper format or as a downloadable PDF format.

Click on the links below to purchase the patterns :
Mini_ModDog_PatternCover copy








CW127 ModFish Front





Each animal has slightly different fabric requirements but as you’ll see below the “wonky piecing” is made from smaller length fabric strips (these strips can be orphaned jelly roll strips or cut from your stash or scrap bin).  Although the requirements below stipulate 2-1/2″ wide strips,  the strips can really be anywhere from 2″ wide to 3″ wide X 14″ in length (or thereabouts).

— For (1) MINI MODDOG, gather these fabrics: Mini ModDog
a. (10) 2-1/2” x 14” strips of coordinating fabrics
b. 1″ x 6” piece scrap fabric for dog collar
c. Scrap of black or 5/8” button for dog eye




— For (1) MODCAT, gather these fabrics:
a. (20) 2-1/2” x 14” strips of coordinating fabrics or scrap fabrics
b. 4″ x 6” scrap for cat eyelids of coordinating solid fabric
c. 4″ x 6” scrap of dark brown or black for cat eyeballs

— For a pair of MODFISH (using the Small Fish shapes), gather these fabrics:
a. (10-12) 2-1/2” x 14” strips of coordinating fabrics
b. (2) 9” x 4” scraps for fish bellies (can be the same fabric or two different fabrics)
c. (1) 6″ x 10” scrap of black for fish head/eyes
d. (1) 3” x 3” scrap for fish outer eyes (white)

•  Additionally, whichever animal you choose you will also need the following materials:
•  (1) Neutral Colored Fat Quarter (or an 18″ x 21″ piece of fabric) for the Background
•  (1) Fat Quarter (18″ x 21″) Size of Scrap Batting or Fusible Fleece (like Pellon 987F)
• 1/2 yard of Fusible Web (not to be confused with interfacing so please check to make sure you have a lightweight iron on advhesive) – Look for the brand names like Heat ‘n Bond Lite, Steam a Seam Lite II, Pellon Wonder Under etc…
• Your favorite threads for stitching the background fabric and for appliqué stitching around your animal shapes.

To be ready for next week – ‘Week #2 – Wonky Piecing & Cut Out Your Animal’ – trace the animal shapes from the pattern on to the smooth side of your fusible web.    If you need to purchase fusible web and can’t do so for a few days , that is ok as you can make up this step in Week #2.

ScaleNOTE for PDF Pattern Users: If you purchased a PDF pattern before tracing the shapes, make sure that when you printed out your pattern page you maintained the correct scale for the pattern shapes.  You can do this by placing your ruler on the 1″ scale graphic included on each pattern shape page.  If it measures correctly, you are ready to start tracing.  If it measures less or more than the 1″ scale, then you will need to adjust your printer settings  to “Print Actual Size” and reprint the pattern pages until the 1″ scale measures correctly.

Follow the manufacturer’s directions for tracing you shapes and also:
•  Trace just one of each shape with the exception of the ModFish (trace 2 of each of the Small ModFish shapes).
•  Use a mechanical pencil or #2 pencil to trace the shapes;
•  Trace the shapes directly on the lines – you do not need to add 1/4″ seam allowance to any of the shapes;
•  Trace all of the shapes independently and apart from each other:
•  If a shape has a dotted line, include the dotted line when tracing your shape. Some of the shapes you will encounter here that have the dotted lines are:
•  Mini ModDog – Shape A – second ear
•  ModCat – EyeBalls (lower half of Cat Eye)
•  Mod Fish – Shape K (belly) & Shape M (top of fish) – when you trace Shape H – trace all the way out beyond the dotted lines to the solid line of the fish head shape.

Here’s a quick view of what my animal shapes look like when I’ve finished tracing them on the fusible web.

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Yay!  🙂  That’s it for Week #1!!  Next week – Week #2: we’ll create the wonky strip piecing units which you’ll cut your animal shapes from.

Until then, please be sure to email us at colourwerx@yahoo.com if you have any questions.  Or feel free to post progress pictures on our Colourwerx QAL Facebook Group.

Until your next colour fix and next week’s QAL post ~  happy and bright quilting always!    L&C xxoo