Succulents – How to Quilt It – #5



Today’s post is part of a series called How to Quilt it.  All posts come with coordinating block patterns that you can find here.

All tutorials in this series are for domestic machines and meant to show you the ends and outs of different designs when free motion quilting.  This series assumes you are already know how to free motion quilt, but are just interested in learning about different designs.  If you are brand new to FMQ and need to learn the basics, consider tackling this quilting technique first.

To view all previous posts in this series, click here.



I cannot believe it’s been almost a year since I last posted one of these tutorials. Eeek! My apologies!

Okay, so we have a free motion quilting tutorial (domestic machine) on the Succulent design you might have noticed in my last two quilts. Here’s a quilt and here is another quilt. It may look difficult, but it’s not. It’s WAY easier than your classic feather. YOU can do this, especially if you have free motion quilted  before (I will call this FMQ for the remainder of this blog post).

If you’ve never free motion quilted before, brush up on some basic skills first with this video.

If you are looking for some of my other FMQ videos, you’ll find them here:



What we are quilting

I’ve cut just an 20″ square for today’s tutorial, with plans of turning it into a pillow for my front porch.  We will be doing an all over design today with only succulents.

Today, I’m going to show you how to quilt:

  • Succulents – This design starts out with a little teardrop/paisley shape and then you echo inside of one or two times. Then you make paisley like petals. Unlike feathers, you come all the way back to the beginning with every petal. You want them to flop over or around the original tear drop shape. You’ll echo around them as well.




A Few Thoughts

  • The gloves I’m using are Machingers.  I promise they’re not dirty, dye from my fabric tops have stained them.  🙂
  • I’m using Microquilter in gold for my top and bobbin thread.
  • You don’t need a fancy machine to free motion quilt, you just need one that has a feed dog that lowers (check your manual).
  • I am quilting on a Bernina 550QE domestic machine.
  • I’ve spray basted my block if you are wondering why there are not any pins.  Here’s the spray I use.




Things to think about

  • I like to move starting in the right top corner, moving towards the bottom corner, then pivot and move across the bottom, pivot again and move from bottom left corner to top left corner, then move from top left to top right.
  • I’m echoing most of my succulents, but I like to leave one every now and then without it. I think it looks more interesting.
  • Sometimes I will echo twice if I need to move to a different part of the quilt.
  • Your quilting may look a bit different even if you are using the same designs.  That’s what you you want, for it to look like YOU.
  • You might resize this design a bit to make it more suitable for you.  Smaller or bigger.
  • Don’t get caught up in perfection.  Let this be play time.  It’s the best way to learn.
  • I do not in any way consider myself an expert, I’m just exploring.




The pic above is the Succulent quilting design on a quilt if you needed a visual. It is seriously crinkly!

If you are wanting to turn this block into a pillow, you can see a tutorial for doing that right here. I’m going to do another one of these soon! Don’t hesitate to ask me specifics. I almost always answer comments below. 🙂



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