How to Free-motion Quilt Sailboats

Free-motion Quilting Sailboats

Summer is here and it’s time to quilt the high seas with the adorable Sailing Away border!

I’m Lori Kennedy from Lori Kennedy Quilts with another machine quilting motif tutorial and video.

The sailboat motif adds a nautical touch to any border. Or stitch a single sailboat in the center of a block. Once you know the basic quilting formula, customize your boats with different size sails, flags and masts to fit your quilt. Then add embellishments like clouds, wind or the sun to add more fun and interest to the design.

Free-motion Quilting Sailboats - step one

Begin by drawing two parallel lines as guidelines. In the sample here, the lines are three inches apart.

Begin stitching on the bottom line. Stitch a curly line and then stitch over the line to create a knot.

Next, add the back of the boat by stitching a short line, angled to the left and a horizontal line.

Free-motion Quilting Sailboats - add the mast

Stitch a vertical line to create the mast and add a small triangle flag.

Free-motion Quilting Sailboats - create the sail

Add a larger triangle, stopping to the right of the vertical line.

Free-motion Quilting Sailboats - create a curved line

Stitch a slightly curved line, stopping to the left of the small triangle flag.

Free-motion Quilting Sailboats - create the second sail

Add two triangles, stopping to the right of the vertical line.

Free-motion Quilting Sailboats - create the front of the sailboat

Stitch down two or three stitches, then add a horizontal line and an angled line to create the front of the sailboat.

Free-motion Quilting Sailboats - echo stitch to create a wave

From the front of the boat add a curl, then echo stitch the outside of the curl.

Free-motion Quilting Sailboats - create waves under the sailboat

Stitch a wavy line under the boat, then echo stitch the line. From here you can add the next sailboat in the border.

Free-motion Quilting Sailboats - create waves under the sailboat - add scallops for clouds

Add a row of scallops to create clouds around the Sailboats for a fuller border.

PRO TIP: Be sure to doodle the motif first! Doodling helps develop the muscle memory necessary for smooth stitching and is the best way to determine what size sailboat is best for your quilt border or block.

For machine set up see my tutorial Twelve Steps to Free Motion Quilting here on WeAllSew.

You might also like:

Free Motion Quilt Nora’s Rose

How to Free-Motion Quilt Chicks

Free-Motion Stitching Shamrocks

For more tips and tutorials, please visit me at LoriKennedyQuilts.com and on Instagram.

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