Easy Machine Quilting
Looking for some easy machine quilting tips?
You're excited, you've just finished your
very first quilt and you're very pleased with yourself. And
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But then you're struck with the realization
that the quilting process is ahead of you. You start to panic.
You have no idea where to start? You couldn't bare the thought
of making a mess of things at this stage. Not when you have
invested so much of your time and effort into this project, not
to mention money.That would never do.
Sure you could take the easy option and get
a professional quilter in but really you want to have a go
yourself. You want this quilt to be your masterpiece from start
to finish. And fair enough too, I totally understand how you
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So where do you begin?
Here are my tips for easy machine
1 Ideally choose a backing fabric that is
wide enough for the quilt top, consider the colour and pattern
of the fabric. Choose it to match the colour of your quilting
thread and if you are new to machine quilting decide on a
patterned fabric that will be forgiving.
2 Press your backing fabric and quilt top.
If you are using a cotton or wool batting it may need pressing
as well to get out any fold lines. Trim any lose threads, these
can shadow through if quilting over a lighter fabric. Depending
on the size of your quilt, tape the backing fabric to the floor
or table right side facing down. Place your batting over the
top and then your quilt on top of this. Your backing and
batting should be bigger than your quilt top.
3 Take time preparing your quilt, by this I
mean that you need to decide whether to baste your quilt, or to
pin all the layers together. As a general rule hand quilters
baste their quilts in a grid fashion using a needle and thread
and machine quilters prefer to pin. Use safety pins and pin
every 10-15cm (4-6"), starting from the middle and working out.
(Yes you will need a lot of pins for a full size quilt and yes
your fingers will probably get sore.)
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4 In most cases easy machine quilting does
not involve marking out a pattern on your quilt top, it can be
done in sections using your quilt design as a guide. If you
want to quilt a shape, you will need to transfer your pattern
onto your quilt before attaching all the layers together. Do
this with a water soluble marker or tailors chalk, lead pencil
can be difficult to remove.
Most easy machine quilting involves
stitching in the ditch (this means following the seam line). Or
you can quilt straight or curved lines by sewing your first
line of stitching and then follow it with a special bar to
space the following lines. (Look in your sewing machine
accessories compartment and you may discover one of these.)
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5 Once you have decided on a overall quilting plan, consider
your thread choice. Use machine quilting thread which is
slightly thicker than ordinary thread and choose a contrasting
color (for the more experienced quilter) or complimentary color
(for the beginner quilter). Use the same color thread in your
top and bottom bobbin.
I hope these easy machine quilting tips have
shed some light on the quilting process and that you now feel
more confident to give it a go. There are however another three
important factors to consider. These are stitch length, how to
handle the quilt with your sewing machine and what to do with
the feed dogs. Discover these tips and more by following the
link in the signature below. Happy quilting.
Lenna Green is a textile designer who has
been teaching patchwork, quilting, applique and hand embroidery
for the past ten years. The Stitching Cow website is a visual
feast for sewing enthusiasts who are looking for a new quilt or
craft pattern to sew. The website also offers free useful
information and helpful resources. To discover more tips for
easy machine quilting go to