How To Quilt

This is the next post in the “How To Make A Quilt” tutorial series.

Do you have your quilt all pieced together and basted?
All ready to quilt? 🙂

How To Quilt - {The Ribbon Retreat Blog}

I think this part is the scariest part.
I was scared to death the first time I machine quilted.

But, really, it’s not scary at all! 🙂

If you have never quilted before, I think it is best to start with straight lines.
Doing more than that certainly takes practice!

For straight line quilting, all you need is thread and your machine.
A walking foot is not necessary, but extremely helpful!
Also you will need a vanishing fabric marker if you are doing any sort of pattern.

The first thing you will want to do is practice.

I put together two pieces of scrap fabric with batting in between.
I basted it quickly and then traced my pattern on it.

Then using my walking foot, I stitched the pattern of the stars.

A walking foot is awesome because it has feed dogs to pull the top of the fabric. Your machine’s feed dogs only pull the bottom fabric. I really wish I had this when I quilted my first quilt.

You can buy these separately if your machine didn’t come with one. I bought mine online at Make sure that your walking foot will work with your brand of sewing machine. If you’re not sure, you can always send an email to the seller asking if it is compatible.

When you are sewing your lines, make sure to backstitch.
You can either backstitch, or to make it a little more neat,
stitch the same hole 3-4 times to secure the thread.

If you like how your scrap fabric is looking, then you’re ready for the real thing! 🙂

I made three different pattern shapes of stars for my quilt.
I placed them on my quilt and traced using my Vanishing Fabric Marker.

Tips about vanishing markers if you have never used one before: They really vanish! ha!
I did my tracing during nap time. The boys woke up before I could get quilting and my lines were barely there when I went to quilt the next day. 🙂

Now you’re ready to quilt!

Generally when you are quilting, you will want to do it on a table with lots of space on your left. Add a folding table if you need. If the quilt fabric is draping off the side, it will pull the fabric down, making it more difficult to keep a straight line. Baby quilts are small enough, you might not need the extra space.

Also you can roll your quilt so it will fit in the space between the machine and the needle.

Now just follow your lines.
If you can follow a line, you can do this! 🙂

I also stitched on both sides of the border.

And you’re done quilting!
See how easy it is! 🙂

How To Quilt - {The Ribbon Retreat Blog}

Once you’re done quilting, you can take out all the safety pins.
I don’t bother closing them, it makes for more work the next time you quilt. 🙂

Some more tips:

Generally, you will want to buy thread that matches the back of your quilt.
If you go to the fabric store, there will be thread that is specifically for machine quilting.
I’ve used that and the multi purpose thread and didn’t see TOO much of a difference.
And of course you can use our Superior Threads from The Ribbon Retreat!

Another way to quilt is using a Free Motion Foot.
This can be lots of fun too! I will show you how to do that on the next quilt.

Now I have only made 4 quilts this way, so I am in no way a genius, but I hope I’ve laid things out simply for you. If you are an amazing quilter and have some tips to share, please leave a comment! If you have any questions, leave a comment or email me.
We’d love to hear from you. 🙂

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  1. Carolyn
    Posted November 6, 2011 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

    This was really helpful! I have always done just straight lines, but this has helped me to venture out into the world of shapes for my quilting on small things (at least for now until I get used to it). Thank you for the tip about the vanishing marker! Awesome!

  2. Posted November 29, 2011 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    Can’t wait for your tutorial on binding! I’m having a girl and this is my first attempt at quilt making – so I’m making a quilted carseat blanket and sticking with small sizes until I’m more comfortable… but your tutorials are excellently written, and I have had no problem with them whatsoever (I’m a super beginner sewer, BTW)… so Kudos… and Can’t Wait!

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