Creative articles about quilting

Quilting Designs for a One Block Valentine Quilt

How to Decide on Quilting Designs for a One Block Valentine Quilt 

I am the extremely happy owner of a BERNINA Q20 Long Arm Machine with Studio Frame.  

Today, I am going to show you how to choose quilting designs for a one block Valentine quilt & how I stitched it out with my BERNINA Q20 Long Arm Machine.

BERNINA Q20 Long Arm Machine

BERNINA Q Series Machines are available in Q16, Q20 & Q24 throat spaces


As part of my daily activities, I take in customer quilts to either custom quilt or pantograph (edge to edge) quilt.  What is really fun is I have a smooth running BERNINA Q20 Long Arm which allows me much more time to design quilt patterns for my customers. I thought that with Valentines Day quickly approaching, I would share with you which quilt designs I’ve chosen for this one block heart quilt. In this post I’ll also link the free actual sized heart quilt designs. My customer has given me permission to show her mothers beautiful vintage quilt.  Because it is a vintage quilt with older fabric, I needed to handle this quilt with care and choose designs to enhance it’s beauty.

When I approach any quilt for quilting I think of a few things:

  • What is the predominant motif ?
  • Are there borders, sashing or corner stones to consider?
  • Is the quilt traditional or more modern?
  • What is the colour of the backing and quilt top?
  • Does the quilt need custom or pantograph quilting?
  • Does the quilt need one or more thread colours?
  • What is the scale of the quilt design as it relates to the fabric on the quilt top & the pieced areas?
  • What foot am I going to need to work with (thinking about the thickness of the quilt)?
  • How can I enhance the quilt with quilting to show off the owners piecing work?

So here is what I came up with:

Easy Pieced Heart Block

Heart Block with Sashing & Corners Stones

  • The predominant motif is a heart
  • There are no borders so I have to consider the sashing and corner stones
  • The quilt is traditional & therefore I wanted a vintage look with dense quilting
  • The backing of the quilt is pink mottled cotton
  • The quilt needs a custom design that is repetitive as the blocks are repetitive
  • The quilt needs white thread for the background, pink in the hearts, green in the corner stones & lavender in the sashing.  I matched the top thread with the bobbin thread.  The threads are all soft colours so I knew they would look very nice on the soft mottled backing of the quilt
  • I needed a background design in small to show off / pop the heart appliqué, a design to fit inside the heart appliqué, designs to fit inside the sashing & designs to fit in the corner stone
  • I can work with the BERNINA #9 Darning Foot. A multi-purpose hopping foot for free-motion quilting as this quilt is not very thick.  This foot has excellent visibility when quilting intricate designs and it fits on my Q20 Long Arm Machine which means it’s just perfect for this quilt
  • I want to make the appliqué pop and allow the vintage fabric show off by using matching thread 
Darning Foot #9

#9 Darning Foot

The Design I decided on:

Yes , I actually do design on paper first, I find it helps me to plan out designs and makes me more confident with stitching out my designs before working on my BERNINA Q 20 Long Arm Machine.

Heart block quilting designs

Repetitive Heart Quilt, Quilting Designs

 Go here for a free download of these patterns in actual size.

Some photos of the finished quilt:
Heart Quilting Designs

Back of Quilt ,Quilted with BERNINA Q20 & Dense Quilting


Heart Quilt designs close up

            Close up of dense quilting designs


Front of heart quilt

Close up of designs, showing off quilting & that gorgeous fabric


Heart Block Quilt

Isn’t she lovely! Repetitive Heart Quilt

The dense quilting of this quilt would not have been possible without my BERNINA Q20 & the #9 Darning foot.  If you are interested in seeing more of what I am doing with my sweet BERNINA Q20 (I’ve named her Nina!), have a look at my blog here. I feel like I showed myself some love when I purchased this machine. Happy Valentines Day to you & please show yourself some love ❤️


Free sewing instructions: One Block Valentine Quilt

Difficulty level: Beginner
Time to Complete: A week or more
Used Products:
Darning Foot #9
Darning Foot #9

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