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Quilting a Quilt

Quilting a Small Quilt

Part 4 of 7 How to Make a Small Quilt

Use the needle down function of your machine so the needle will stop in the down position every time you pause or stop stitching.

The Quarter Inch Foot

Please visit my tutorial about the quarter inch foot. I use it throughout all my quilting and construction. My quilting tutorials are based on this foot.

Notions

Thread

    Quilting thread - I use #40, 50, or 60 weight cotton thread. But use the same thread weight for all of the quilting. Although, I admit sometimes I use whatever I have in the color I need. Smiles

    Bobbin Thread - Use a bobbin thread color that matches the backing fabric and a top color that matches the fabric you will be sewing onto. In this quilt I use 4 different top threads - blue embroidery, and cream, blue, and orange cotton.

Presser feet

    For stitching in the ditch I prefer a 6mm open toe foot for the visibility.

    For  inch quilting I use the Quarter Inch Foot

Needle

    Use a quilting needle or topstitch needle. I use a size 10 or 12 top stitch needle because I know they will sew straight lines.

    I have quilting needles but end up not using them because the eye of the needle is smaller than a topstitch and wears on the thread harder. Universal needles sew between the fibers of the fabric so are no usually straight. Sharp needles like top stitch and microtex cut through the fibers giving a straight line of stitching.

 

Quilting

On these small quilts I generally quilt from the center of the quilt out to the edges.

To repeat - use the needle down feature of you sewing machine so the needle always stops in the down position when you stop or pause sewing.

To Start

Quilt around the embroidery design.

Using the same embroidery thread in the top as I did the embroidered border of this design, I sew next to it as closely as I can.

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On the corners I take 2-3 stitches instead of just the one

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On the right side it blends in with the embroidery.

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Two common types of machine quilting

I’ve used 2 common types of machine quilting on this quilt for the purpose of showing you both.

Stitch in the Ditch

Not my favorite method but one you should know about.

Presser feet

There is a presser foot with a center blade that rides along the seam line while stitching in the ditch. I have not been successful keeping my stitches in the ditch using this foot. I use my 6mm open toe foot.

Be sure to use the needle down feature of your machine. Always stop with the needle in the down position.

Start at a corner. Use the hand wheel of your machine to make one stitch to pull the bobbin thread up to the top with the top thread. This will prevent you from sewing all over the bobbin thread tail on the backside or trying to trim it on the backside. After you have sewn a few inches cut off the two thread tails.

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Use a straight stitch to sew in the well of the seam between two borders. Begin by taking 5-6 very short stitches to lock the stitching in place. To do this, I hold the fabric a bit to prevent it from going through the feed dogs for longer stitches. Then I turn loose and let the feed dogs feed it in at the set stitch length (2.5 mm).

As I sew into the well of the seam I gently pull apart the two borders to allow me to sew in the bottom of the well without sewing off on either side. Even so, I still catch a stitch or two off the side sometimes. Do I take those stitches out? Are you kidding?

Fantastic Tulips

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I start stitching between the center embroidery panel and the first border keeping the needle between the panel and the first border.

At the corners take 2 stitches

At the end sew 5-6 very short stitches to lock the stitching in place. Same as at the beginning.

Clip  top and bobbin thread tails.

Following this same procedure, sew in the seam between the first and second borders.

Repeat with the second and third border.




Outdoor Quilts

-Inch Stitching Outside the Seam

This is by far the easiest and fasted machine quilting when using the inch presser foot. And for me the most accurate.

Use the quarter inch foot.

Be sure to use the needle down feature of your machine. Always stop with the needle in the down position.

At the corners sew 2 stitches in place - just hold the fabric in place for a second stitch. Then let go so the feed dogs can feed it in according to the set stitch length (2.5mm).

This quilting shows on the top and back of the quilt. I don’t know about you but I like seeing the quilting. If you sew inch on either side of a border seam it makes the seam puff up like we are used to seeing quilting. I like the look.

Use the edge of the inch foot as a guide to sew inch away from the border seam line.

Find the inch mark on the foot that is behind the needle. Place this mark against the edge of the border above where you will begin sewing.  The two together are the location of the first stitch. It is inch from the top and the side. For more details and photos visit The Quarter Inch Foot tutorial.

Begin by taking 5-6 very short stitches to lock the stitching in place. To do this, I hold the fabric a bit to prevent it from going through the feed dogs for longer stitches. Then I turn loose and let the feed dogs feed it in at the set stitch length (2.5 mm).

QuiltTutorial_300_024_400

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Use the front inch mark on the presser foot to show you when to stop at a corner before pivoting to sew the next side of the border. This way you know when you pivot you have stopped inch away from the next border edge. And after pivoting you continue sewing the other side inch away from the seam.

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Again be sure to use the needle down feature of your machine to always stop with the needle down - you need this to pivot. This beats the old trial and error method of finding that inch spot away from the corner of the border before you can pivot to continue quilting the next side.

At the corners take 2 stitches

At the end sew 5-6 very short stitches to lock the stitching in place. Same as at the beginning.

Clip  top and bobbin thread tails.

Wing Needle Reverie

These photos show both of the above types of machine quilting - the frontside and the backside.

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Other Types of Machine Quilting

Additional quilting may be added as desired.

This can be some of the quiltering designs you have for your embroidery machine, echo quilting, quilting templates, draw your own, etc. If you don’t know what these are a quick Google search will bring up some images for you.

 

Continue with this tutorial in this order:

  1. How to Make a Quilt Label
  2. Quilt Sleeve
  3. Laura’s affordable Method of Hanging a Quilt

 

 

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Laura Waterfield

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