Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Quilt Class 101 - Week 10 - Machine Quilting

Quilt Class has come a day early this week, cause I'm off to the Craft Fair tomorrow!! I'm so so excited!! I will also be helping Saffron at her stand on Saturday, So if your able to pop in... come say HI!! There is lots happening this week... Something exciting on the 24th June???... mmm I'll leave it with you.. see if you can guess? xx

Quilt Class 101 - Quilting By Machine
If your following along and you have your quilt top to this stage, and have it all basted like this, you are now ready to Quilt!! How are you all doing?? Still hanging in there???

There are a couple tools you really need for Machine Quilting your quilt. Firstly, a walking foot (the big one on the left) for straight line quilting. The one on the right is a free motion Quilting foot if you want to draw your designs.
You should also try and grab yourself a pair of gloves. These Ansell ones you can buy from your grocery store for about $5, or you can get proper machine quilting gloves called Machingers.. I also change my needle to a size 90/14. A longer heavier needle works better for getting through the three layers.
Now, the FUN part... Choosing a design...
If your a beginner I would stick with your walking foot and try doing straight line quilting at first. The easiest straight line quilting is when you quilt, a 1/4" off your seam line. I did that for this quilt.
 I find it fast and easy and hides mistakes if your needle wanders a bit.
For my very first quilt, I thought the only way was to stitch in the ditch. Stitching in the ditch is where you sew exactly on the seam line. You have to go slow and it can look untidy if your a bit off. I found it alot harder than they say.
Stitching 1/4" off the seam line also gives it a nice look on the back.
 Red Pepper Quilts straight line quilts 1/4" off the seam, for ALOT of her quilts. Check Here and Here for some inspiration.
The next thing you can try is Free Motion Quilting

I am NO expert when it comes to free motion quilting. I took a great class taught by Deborah Louie. She is amazing. She taught us some great techniques and got us thinking outside the square of stippling and trying something new.
Its a bit tricky and takes LOTS of practise. Its fun though... So if you have some time, set up a few small quilt sandwiches and have a play...
Its also great to practise your skills on a few coasters, place mats, hot pads, or bibs you might make..
Next, If your not game to do it yourself, you can hand it over to one of your trusty Professional Quilters. They have hundreds of beautiful designs you can choose from.

Well, I'm going to leave you to browse through Flickr HERE and HERE and think about how your going to Quilt your QC Quilt. I will show you shortly how to Quilt your Quilt and what design I'm going do for mine.
If you would like to share some of your quilts you have quilted either straight line, or free motion, it would be great to see them Linked up Below!



  1. Another great post in this series! I'm also quite new to machine quilting so its really useful to hear (or read) all this reiterated!

  2. awesome! i spent an hour yesterday looking for tutorials like this and only found one even close to this one in usefulness. thanks so much!

  3. Thanks Bec, I have been enjoying your 101 tutorials. Machine quilting is an art but with practice it becomes easier (or supposed to). I have jumped into the long arm arena and it will take me months of constant practice before I am confident to do others quilts. You are so lucky to work with Saffron Craig at the Craft Fair.

  4. Thanks Bec. Have been trying some free motion quilting and not happy with how it is going thru my machine. Seems a bit jerky - not lovely and smooth like your stitches. I haven't bee wearing gloves so maybe that is the answer.

  5. Love your work!!!
    Andi x

    PS I did a Deb Louie class too. Learned SOOO much!

  6. This will be my very first one. I'm anxiously scared to be honest!!

  7. Wow great tips. Your free motion quilting looks great. I'm going to need to do a lot of practicing I think.

  8. Thanks for a great series of lessons. Tonight I basted my quilt sandwich and will start hand quilting. I have realy loved these lessons and plan on making several more quilts using the HST block.


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