An archive of sewing tutorials and inspiration


FMQ Lesson #5 // Skill Builder Bom

This post is part of a series of posts for the Skill Builder BOM (Block of the Month). To learn more about the block of the month or to see a list of all posts click here. As usual, I am blown away by the beautiful blocks posted in the Flickr group! I have seen so much improvement and growth in your blocks over these past few months, and it makes me so very happy that I started this BOM.

This month I have two challenges for you:

  • Challenge #1 – Saffron Stitches had the wonderful idea to start a a Flickr discussion in the Flickr group with the question: What have you learned so far? My challenge to all participants would be to take a second, stop by the group and share what you have learned during this BOM. I’d also love to know what your favorite blocks and/or techniques have been so far.
  • Challenge #2 – This month I want to see what type of quilting designs you can visualize for the Switz and Geo Swirl blocks. Print out the block outlines and draw in your envisioned quilting. Then post a photo of your ideas in the Flickr group to share with others and myself.

Switz Block

Switz Quilt Block by Alyssa Lichner // Skill Builder BOM |



For the Switz block, I decided to play with a bit of “echo quilting”. To quilt your block in the same way:

  • First, stitch in the ditch between the block and border.
  • Next, while you still have your background color thread in your machine, stitch parallel lines ¼” apart in each border.
  • For the four corner background triangles start near a corner and stitch a spiral triangle circling outward. Travel stitch along edge as needed.
  • I decided to skip my purple triangles and leave them un-quilted (unlike my drawing).
  • For the inner triangles around the center square, quilt an arch shape that echoes the shape of the triangles. Repeat with another arched triangle inside the first.
  • Fill the space above the larger arch with pebble quilting.
  • Fill the space below the smaller arch with small pebbles or tight wavy lines.
  • Finally, use the edge of your FMQ foot to echo quilt around the largest circle until the entire background center square is full.
  • Bury the threads and trim the block down to 14.5″.

Geo Swirl Block

Geo Swirl Quilt Block by Alyssa Lichner // Skill Builder BOM |  


bom5quilted 1

For the Geo Swirl block, I wanted the quilting to be easy, fast, and simple. To quilt your block in the same way:

  • Start in the center of the block and quilt a loose wave pattern on the background pieces. Continue quilting this pattern until you reach the outside border.
  • Quilt the outside borders with a tight wavy line.
  • Bury the threads and trim the block down to 14.5″.

Lesson Download

Alyssa Williams

Alyssa Williams

Creator of Pile O' Fabric

Alyssa Lichner is a graphic designer turned avid sewist. She writes modern quilting tutorials and shares techniques and inspiration on her blog, Pile O’ Fabric. Alyssa has a passion for exploring different techniques and applying them to modern designs. She is thankful to have the opportunity to share these techniques, through her tutorials, patterns, and classes with quilters around the world. She always encourages her readers and students to challenge themselves to try new things and to approach quilting with a fearless attitude.