How to Do Simple Machine Quilting


One great thing about the cold winter weather in Wisconsin–I’ve got plenty of time indoors to quilt!

I’ve finished piecing my “Bungle Jungle” rail fence quilt top and decided to machine quilt it on my domestic machine in straight diagonal lines to echo the straight lines of the piecing…aren’t the animal prints in Moda’s line adorable?

First, I put the backing on the floor (wrong side up), then the batting (I like a low-loft cotton batting like Hobbs Heirloom 80/20), and finally the pieced top.


Then I get on the floor and start pinning it together with safety pins.  I’ve got a pair of gardening knee pads–they really help when crawling around on the hard wood floor!  (ouch).

The safety pins only need to be placed every 9 inches or so.  I usually start pinning at the center and smooth the top as I go, working my way out to the edges.

Then it’s time to quilt…


I set my machine up with Aurifil cotton thread and walking foot, with the stitch slightly longer than normal.  Then I line up my stitching going diagonally from one block corner to the next and hit the petal to the metal!  If you’re not confident about keeping your lines relatively straight, you could use a straight edge or piece of painter’s tape to follow, or pre-mark the lines with a washable chalk marker and your ruler to keep you on the straight and narrow.  Then I start another row of stitches starting at the corner of the next block, and work my way from the center to the outside of the quilt, then turn it around the do the same on the opposite side.

These machine quilted lines were about 4″ apart.


After those rows were done, I felt it needed more–so I attached the quilting bar to my walking foot (you can see it in the photo above to the right of the needle) and figured out the halfway point between the rows (which was about 2″) and lined the bar  to a line of my previous stitching and machine quilted a row–down the center of each pair of previous rows.

And…TA DA! It’s done…


Happy Quilting!


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