This post explains how to do orange peel (also called cathedral window) quilting using your walking foot. I used this quilting on my Gingham Patchwork quilt:
I like using my walking foot because the result is a little smoother for me than using a free motion foot. I recommend using this method if your individual petals are going to be 1.5" or larger, i.e. one full motif is 3" or larger. For smaller designs, the curves are too tight to be done easily with a walking foot, but you can try Elizabeth Hartman's excellent tutorial for doing orange peel with a free motion foot instead.
Let's do this!
The first step is to mark your quilt with circles. I'm using a jar lid that happened to be a good size, but if you need a specific measurement, you can also create your own circle template in the size you need - just print a circle & transfer it to something you can trace around, like plastic or cardstock. For marking quilts I have had good success using crayola markers - the ones labeled "super washable", the blue water erase pens from Joann's, and the newer Frixion pens from office supply stores that erase with heat. Since I love Clover products, I was shocked when I had problems with the yellow color Clover chalk pencil, which I spent days get out of blue fabric after I accidentally ironed it in).
Measure the width of your circle and mark a line 1/2 of the circle width from the edge of your quilt. Draw circles in a grid, first tangent to the line and then to each other:
As you can see, I have good taste in tea...
Then, come back in the other direction and draw circles 1/2 width to the right and 1/2 width down:
Over a large area or if you have design elements in your quilt that you would like to line up precisely with the quilting, I draw additional grid lines every 3-4 sets of circles, to prevent them from migrating away from a straight and even grid.
For quilting, we'll work our way through the pattern on the diagonal. This minimizes the amount of turning that is required, definitely important when you are working with a walking foot! Head down one direction quilting waves (you could also do scallops, but the waves are easier because you don't have to stop to turn constantly):
At the far edge, continue off the edge of your quilt and then cut your threads before starting again at the starting point and filling in the other half of the diagonal. Now you have a 2D representation of a DNA strand:
|Woops I forgot to take a picture before starting the next step... ignore that extra line to the upper right, please!|
Now you are ready to get a little bit fancy. Head down the diagonal, and at the end, turn the quilt 90° and quilt down the diagonal again, then turn, quilt, turn, quilt twice more to get back to your starting point... then you are ready to travel that route again and fill in the second half of the "DNA strand".
Hey look, we made two flowers already! On my tiny "quilt" I just need one more round and then to fill in the last diagonal:
And we're done!
When you are feeling more lazy and don't want do to as much marking work, or when your quilt already has a grid, you can mark instead with a simple grid and judge by eye where to place your curve. Here's an example:
You can see that the result is (lots) less precise, but when the quilt is finished it won't be terribly obvious, especially if you are better than me at eyeballing. It just depends on how important the perfect circular look is to you, and how confident you feel about winging it.
Either way you wanna do it... go forth and quilt, my friends.