How to Machine Quilt

While quilting itself has been around for centuries, in recent decades, the craft has been adopted more for amusement than necessity. 

Whether you’ve been on your quilting journey for one week, one year, or a decade, this article is packed with helpful tips and information for those who want to learn how to machine quilt. 

Continue reading to learn more about the art of machine quilting or to find your next machine quilt design. 

What Is Quilting By Machine? 

First things first, what is machine quilting, exactly? 

If you’re new to the wonderful world of machine quilting and you need to get your definitions straight, this section will help you understand what machine quilting actually is.

Traditionally, quilting was done by hand — a process which, while intricate and beautiful, was also extremely time consuming. A queen size quilt, for example, can take anywhere from 8 weeks to 1 year to hand sew. 

Machine quilting, on the other hand, is an expedited form of quilting that is done using a sewing machine. Quilts that are crafted using a machine have the potential to turn out every bit as beautiful as a traditional quilt while taking up far less time. 

How To Machine Quilt: 2 Types of Machine Quilting 

When it comes to machine quilting, the method you use may vary depending on whether or not you’re creating a straight or free motion quilting design. 

These methods of machine quilting are detailed further in the following two sections.

Straight Line Machine Quilting 

Straight line machine quilting is generally simple and used only for designs involving gradual curves or straight lines. 

For straight line machine quilting, you need a walking foot and a regular presser foot. 

Free Motion Machine Quilting 

This type of machine quilting allows quilters a greater range of motion and design flexibility. You have total control over a range of movement, speed, and stitch length while doing free motion machine quilting. 

You will need to get a specialty machine quilting foot or a darning foot in order to do free motion machine quilting. 

Machine Quilting Tips

If you’re looking for helpful machine quilting techniques as you’re starting out, here are eight handy tips for you to keep in mind as you begin a new project:

  1. Organize your crafting space before you start.
  2. Gather your quilting supplies.
  3. Make sure you have good lighting.
  4. If you’re doing an original design, make sure that you sketch it out beforehand.
  5. Practice — get used to using the walking foot and the way your work turns out.
  6. If you’re making a quilt that you want to be flat, use an iron to press the seams open before beginning.
  7. Follow each of your instructions’ steps carefully — don’t skip any steps!
  8. Persevere! Quilting doesn’t come naturally to anyone and like any craft it takes time to perfect.

 

Where To Get Machine Quilt Patterns

Here at Quilting Mayhem, we offer over 300 different quilting patterns so that we can help quilting enthusiasts create the perfect quilts for their spaces. 

Our patterns span a wide range of styles, so regardless of what your style is, we have something for you. 

Some of our quilting patterns include: 

 

To see our extensive list of patterns, click here or visit Quilting Mayhem in historic Snohomish. 

Supplies Needed for Machine Quilting

Quilting (and any sewing craft really) comes with a large amount of paraphernalia. While you may not need all of these tools for every quilting project, here are some helpful quilting tools that you can begin collecting:

  • Sewing machine 
  • Quilt support
  • Marking tool
  • Scissors & rotary cutter
  • Basting pins or basting spray 
  • Quilting gloves 
  • Thread 
  • Quarter-inch sewing machine foot
  • Walking foot or regular presser foot (for straight line quilting)
  • Machine quilting foot or darning foot (for free motion quilting)
  • Rulers (one square ruler and one two-foot ruler) 
  • Self-healing cutting mat 
  • Fabric

 

If you’re unsure what supplies you’ll need for an upcoming quilting project, get in touch with Quilting Mayhem today. At Quilting Mayhem, our quilting enthusiasts run a quilting supplies store and we’d be more than happy to help you figure out what kind of supplies you need for upcoming projects.

Machine Quilting Ideas

Inspiration isn’t always guaranteed to strike for creatives and quilting enthusiasts. If you’ve found yourself stumped recently and unable to decide on your next quilting design, here are a couple of easy ideas to get your creative energy flowing. 

Five beginner-friendly machine quilting ideas include: 

  1. Wavy-lined quilt design: these add texture and organicness to your quilt and are a great starting design for beginner quilters. Wavy lines are created by allowing your machine to gently guide the fabric — creating natural, gradual lines. 
  2. Star pattern quilt design: sew a straight line for two to three inches, and then use your machine to stitch a small star. To do this, stitch an X and then stitch a horizontal line through the X. Repeat your star pattern every couple of inches.  
  3. Swirl pattern quilt design: while this one is slightly more challenging than the other two, the main thing that you need to keep in mind in order to create a successful swirl patterned quilt square is to keep all of the line spacing as consistent as possible.  
  4. Cursive quilt design: stitching a cute or funny quote on your quilt is actually a relatively easy undertaking. Make sure that you know the word or phrase that you’re going to use and that you’ve sketched it out to make sure it will fit on your quilt before beginning. 
  5. Bargello quilt design: while resulting in a beautifully intricate quilt, creating a bargello design is incredibly simple and doesn’t require any matching points — making it an ideal choice for beginner quilters.

 

Where To Get Machine Quilting Classes 

If you are new to quilting and would like to do some quilting classes, get in touch with Quilting Mayhem. 

We offer a diverse range of classes to help beginners to this craft grow and become confident in their quilting capabilities. We’d be happy to see you at one of our weekly beginner quilter classes. 

In addition to beginner quilting classes, we also offer a range of other classes for crafters of all ages and from all different stages in their crafting journey. 

To learn more about our classes, get in touch with Quilting Mayhem today or view our online event calendar here

Helpful Machine Quilt Tutorials 

If you are a visual learner, there are numerous machine quilting tutorials available on YouTube. Regardless of what learning stage you are in, you will be able to find a machine quilting tutorial that can help you with whatever quilting issue you’re struggling with. 

Some helpful machine quilt tutorials include: 

 

Get in Touch With Quilting Mayhem Today 

Here at Quilting Mayhem, we have a team of quilting enthusiasts and experts who are waiting to discuss your next project with you. 

We offer quilting services, quilting classes, and quilting supplies in order to ensure that all quilters have access to the information and equipment that they need in order to create beautiful pieces of art. 

To learn more about upcoming classes or to inquire about our quilting services or products, please contact Quilting Mayhem today or visit our shop in Downtown Snohomish.

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