Quilting Geo Diamonds with Your Domestic Machine
You are going to want to add Geo Diamonds quilting motif to your domestic machine quilting repertoire after you read this tutorial. And trust me, it is easier than you think it is. I love the look of this quilting motif so much because the finished project looks like it has been professionally quilted by a longarm quilter, and the layers of diagonal quilted lines adds another dimension to any project.
The quilt shown above is Ocean Trail. It was featured in Love Patchwork & Quilting Magazine, issue 98. The magazine can be purchased here.
What you'll need
- Coordinating quilting cotton thread – preferably 50 weight, and don’t be afraid to experiment with different coloured threads on the top and back of the quilt.
- Heramarker or dull kitchen knife to mark quilting guidelines.
- A basted quilt sandwich – Basted in your preferred method (pin, thread or spray). Thread or spray basting is preferred method for this particular domestic machine quilting motif. This is because pins could get in the way when marking the several quilting guidelines.
- Scissors and snips
- Seam ripper
- Walking foot or activate dual feed dogs on sewing machine – this is an essential for domestic machine quilting. This extension ensures the quilt sandwich is evenly fed through the sewing machine and prevents the project from puckering.
Step 1: Identify and use the heramarker or dull kitchen knife to mark the centre of the quilt top – vertically and horizontally (orange lines in diagram). These guidelines are the starting point for marking guidelines and will ensure the quilting motif design is centred.
Step 2: Attach walking foot or active dual feed dogs function on sewing machine. Adjust the stitch length on sewing machine to anywhere between 2.5 and 3.0 and sew on the guidelines.
Starting from the centre of the quilt, Mark vertical guidelines, 1½" apart (blue guidelines in diagram).
Sewing the guidelines at this stage of the quilting process will prevent the quilt sandwich layers from shifting as you’re adding more quilting guidelines, and run the quilt sandwich through the sewing machine.
Step 3: Using the centre horizontal marked guideline as a guide (orange line in the diagram), mark horizontal guidelines, 3" apart (blue guidelines in diagram). Together with the vertical guidelines, this creates a rectangle grid. Do not sew on the marked horizontal marked. These marked guidelines will be used to mark the diamonds throughout the quilting process.
Step 4: This step is all about marking the first set of diamonds. Take your time at this step, as these diamonds set the foundation of the geo diamond quilting motif.
Starting from the centre point identified in step 1 (orange dot in diagram), mark the first set of diamonds. Referring to the rectangle grid, each diamond (green lines in diagram) in the first set is made up of 4 rectangles (2 rectangles x 2 rectangles).
To make it easier to visualise the placement of the diamonds, 1 chain of diamonds are made up with 2 columns of the rectangle grid.
Step 5: Once you have marked the first chain of diamonds, the next 2 columns of the rectangle grid is where you mark the following chain of diamonds. Referring to the diagram below, the horizontal points of the diamonds are alternating the first chain of diamonds.
Repeat steps 4 and 5 until the entire quilt top is covered with the first set of diamonds.
Step 6: Following a zig-zag pattern (red arrows in diagram), sew on the marked guidelines.
Tip: When you get to the points of the diamonds – depending on the sewing machine – before the presser foot is lifted and the quilt sandwich is rotated:
- use the built-in lock stitch feature on the sewing machine, or
- back stitch a stitch or two
to ensure the points of the diamonds are defined.
You may find some of your points skip a stitch and it leaves a ‘blunt’ diamond point if this tip is skipped. See below for example.
Step 7: Marking guidelines for the final set of diamonds is quicker and easier compared with the first set of diamonds. The foundation of the final set of the diamonds are laid out in a crosshatch-like pattern.
Starting from the centre of the quilt top, mark a diagonal guideline (see red diagonal guideline). The diagonal guideline cuts across 2 columns and 1 row of the rectangle grid (see red boxes in diagram).
Repeat this to cover the quilt.
Step 8: Similar to the previous step, start at the centre of the quilt and mark diagonal guidelines going the opposite direction (bold red line and boxes). Use the rectangle grid as a guide in laying out these guidelines.
Repeat this to cover the quilt.
Step 9: Sew on the marked guidelines to complete Geo Diamonds quilting motif.
Marking out the quilting guidelines for Geo Diamond quilting motif requires a little more time and effort, but the results are totally worth it in the end.
If you need that confidence boost to get you started, try this out on a smaller project. For example, a cushion, baby quilt. And if you’re up for a challenge and want to change things up, play around with the scale of the grid or even change it to a square grid instead of a rectangular one.
Happy Geo Diamond quilting!