The Free Motion Quilting Project: Expand Your Quilting Skills

Monday, January 18, 2016

Expand Your Quilting Skills

Machine quilting all over style
Get a quilt top basted and learn how to quilt it with one design!
Have you finished your first block for the Machine Quilting Block Party? Are you interested in expanding your quilting skills a bit further?

What do you think about quilting a small quilt together?

Recently I asked quilters how many quilt tops you have on hand, and I was quite surprised by the huge numbers - 50 - 100 tops for some people! These tops will never be finished unless you pull them out, get them basted, and actually start quilting.

Today I'm going to share a few older videos from past quilt along projects to showcase how to quilt a design all over one quilt. Our focus filler design this month was Sharp Stippling, and this design is a great choice for this style of quilting because you can easily expand the shapes, the design doesn't require any travel stitching, and it's fairly easy to memories how to quilt it.

Here are the benefits of All Over style machine quilting:
  • Quickly fills a quilt with a design on a large scale
  • Minimal thread breaks
  • No tedious stitching in the ditch
  • Excellent practice for that design!
All Over Quilting is the style most longarmers will use to quilt your quilts because it's so quick and easy. But this style absolutely works on a home sewing machine too! Learn how to get started quilting a small quilt All Over style in this video:

You can find the rest of the videos in this series right here.

In the video I was quilting with Lollipop Chain, but this exact same process works for Sharp Stippling too. Start in the center of the quilt and break it into four quadrants with rows of Sharp Stippling quilted on a large scale.

Are you worried about quilting Sharp Stippling on a larger scale? Try quilting it on a practice sandwich first to get the hang of the design:

Does this make sense? Chances are it feels a bit fuzzy in your brain. The best way to understand how this machine quilting technique works is to actually try it.

Pull out an unfinished quilt top, baste it up, grab one color of thread, and quilt Sharp Stippling all over the quilt top. In the beginning your stitches may feel shaky and your stitch length will likely fluctuate from very big to very small - this is perfectly normal!

As you quilt more of the design, you'll gradually see improvement. You'll figure out how and where to place your hands for more control. You'll get to know the design better and begin feeling more confident the more you quilt.

But here's one thing I can promise - you will not see these improvements if you don't try it! Get on your machine today and give this style of quilting a try!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

1 comment:

  1. Leah - Thanks for the videos and the emphasis on Sharp Stippling this month. I am a fairly experienced FMQ'er but I have to tell you how much I have learned from watching your videos and stitching out the designs. One of the things that surprises me constantly is how much I love stitching some of the designs that I initially thought were sort of 'ho hum'. Not that it is ho hum at all, but I LOVE sharp stippling!


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