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Machine Quilting: Some Basics

Charm Party Tote from Quilts Illustrated

Last night I got started on putting together a tote bag. A friend of mine bought a kit to make the tote and, not being a seamstress, had some trouble with the directions. I think the finished product is going to be very cute. It’s a patchwork design with some large interior pockets and a cute envelope-style pocket on the outside. The finished tote is quilted, and since quilting is still new for me, I thought some research on machine quilting was in order.

Machine Quilting: Tips and Designs

AllPeopleQuilt.com has all sorts of clear tips to take you through the entire quilting process. In the article Machine Quilting Like a Pro, they provide direct suggestions for the best needle to use when quilting and ways to make the actual work of quilting go more smoothly. While tips are great, I wanted to know more about different quilting designs. Being a general quilting resource, AllPeopleQuilt also listed the common quilting designs:

  • Stitching in the Ditch: This involves stitching just inside the seam line, and results in stitches that are less noticeable.
  • Outline Quilting (also called echo quilting): stitching 1/4″ from a seam line, this type results in more visible stitches.
  • Stipple Quilting: Stitching in a random pattern. Specific shapes, such as flowers or stars, can be added into a stipple design.

Stipple quilting is most appealing to me, as it seems like the most “artistic” approach to quilting. I know many of the quilts I have admired have been stipple quilted. Of course, it also seems like the most challenging quilt design, as there’s no safe straight lines to rely on. Since this tote isn’t for me, I think I’ll resist my urge to experiment with stipple quilting and stick with outline quilting. With a patchwork design, it should be fairly easy to outline the squares.

Helpful Basic Quilting Links

One thought on “Machine Quilting: Some Basics

  1. Thanks for the tips Shannon : )

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