Machine Quilting

Last Saturday at our guild workshop, I offered to help Kathy with her machine quilting. I brought along some of my smaller quilts to demonstrate that there is a lot you can do to machine quilt your quilts with your domestic sewing machine (DSM) and your walking foot.

Kathy commented that she should be writing down the ideas. No need to make notes, these pictures are posted for you, Kathy.

This first quilt is a rail fence miniature. As long as the curves or arcs are gentle, they can be accomplished quite nicely with a walking foot and there is no need to drop the feed dogs and wrestle with controlling the stitch length and moving the quilt at a steady speed while stitching in free motion.

This quilt was marked with a blue marking pen using the edge of a glass to make the arcs across two strips.

This picture shows the closeup of the stitching on the blocks.

This is the back of the same quilt. The scallop design on the border was accomplished with a stencil. Again the curve is gentle and easily accomplished with the walking foot.

The secondary design was not intentional and has the appearance of the apple core block.

The alternate squares in this miniature nine patch were stitched to look like the nine patch blocks–simple straight lines.

I love it when a secondary design that wasn’t part of the original quilt plan emerges in my quilts. When I finished this log cabin quilt and showed it to my husband he declared that he could find the surprise in my quilt–the birds. This quilt was a simple two colour log cabin and there was no intention on my part to arrange the blocks to form four birds in the four corners of the quilt. Further to that, without realizing it, my quilting accentuated the bird image.

Simple parallel lines at an consistent angle finish off the border.

I believe they call the block in this quilt, Sister’s Choice.

This is my favorite technique for a narrow sashing or border–a serpentine stitch. This stitch is a modified zig zag type stitch on my Bernina.

The border quilting on this quilt is straight lines at a consistent angle spaced in alternating narrow and wide widths.

17 thoughts on “Machine Quilting

  1. What a wonderful machine quilting tutorial Norma. I know lots of readers will be thrilled with your instruction. You’ve done a great job showing how simple quilting done with a domestic machine can be stunning. It’s fun to see these things done either before your long arm arrived – or after, because they were too small to mess with pinning them on.

  2. Norma, I can’t even begin to thank you enough for your machine quilting tutorial. So many great ideas and ways to achieve great looks with a home domestic machine. I will definitely use these ideas. Again, thanks so much!!!

  3. Oh, I wish I had seen those curving lines before I tried to do that free motion stuff on Linda’s top. BUT you still gave me an idea for one that is in my stack.

    Well done, Norma! Lovely quilts and great ideas shared by you.

  4. Wow. Beautiful quilting and very inspiring! I’ve just started machine quilting (as of last week) so I’m in the dark about a lot of the basics. Are you supposed to use the walking foot and feed dogs or not? I’ve been trying to use a “quilting” clear walking foot minus feed dogs but the stitches come out so erratic. Practice? Try with the walking foot?
    Love your blog!

  5. Wow, that’s all I can say. WOW!! I’m loving all the quilts. Can’t even say which one is my favorite. I love them all. 🙂 I’m a machine quilter too. I wish I was like Monica and had these perfect little hand stitches…maybe someday. 🙂

  6. this is a catch up comment-sorry for the loss of King-what a very handsome dog he was-love how your wicked easy came out and what a great guild get together to make caring quilts. I do the same thing on my DSM with gentle curves…you did a fanatastic job with photos and descriptions…I am sure it will be so helpful for so many machine quilters, beginners or not.

  7. Hey, now that’s cool. I will try to not fear my walking foot – it’s so big and ominous looking *s* I think I could recreate your suggestions. Thanks for sharing.

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