Monday, January 10, 2011

My First Quilt -- part 5 -- Quilt Sandwich and Machine Quilting

Quiltalong Series:

Here's where we last left off... 
Quilt top and backing complete.

Now time to make the quilt sandwich!
Cut a piece of batting that is approximately the size of your backing.

Lay your backing down, pretty side to the floor.  Smooth it out.
Then lay the batting on top of it.  Smooth it out as well.
I prefer to do this on my living room rug since it provides enough friction to keep things from shifting.  Another option is to use masking tape or blue tape to hold the bottom layer down.

all smooth?

Good.  Then lay the top on carefully.  
Be sure that the edges of the top are inside the edges of the batting and the backing.
Put safety pins through all 3 layers.  Be careful not to shift things around as you do so.
How many safety pins?  Well, that's up to you.  You can see my placement here. 

Now for the quilting part......
you'll need:

thread to match or compliment your quilt top in both your top thread and your bobbin.
It's a good idea to start with a full bobbin.  
To lower your feed dogs on your machine, there should be a lever of some sort.  You may need to consult your manual.  Here's another resource.
Also, at this point you need to put the free motion / embroidery / darning foot on. 
Here's what mine looks like.

I felt like I should explain free motion quilting with a video.  so here you go. 

Now, I really want to tell you... that quilting takes practice.  Lots of practice.
Before you start on your real quilt, make up some practice pieces like I had in the video and give it a try.

Really, it takes lots of practice.  If it doesn't go well the first time, cut yourself some slack.  

Once you're comfortable with it, then give it a try on the real thing!

Since I showed you 2 ways to quilt in the previous video, I'll show you one more here.
This one is my favorite method for smaller items.  I love the finished texture.

Quiltalong Series:


  1. Thanks SEW SEW much for the videos!! I'm new to machine quilting so this was very helpful. I've been a hand quilter for years but for the sake of speed I need to accept the fact that I must machine quilt if I'm going to get more than 1 quilt a year completed/
    Gmama Jane

  2. All I can say is that I need more practice! In an attempt to be brave, I posted embarrassing pictures of my first try at free-motion quilting on your flickr group. I hope it gives you as many laughs as it gave me!

    Here is another good tutorial:

  3. Thanks for the videos!! That is a huge help. I have never even tried to do those kinds of patterns because I figured you had to have a long arm.

  4. Thank you, thank you - - - your videos are wonderful. I was most interested in how the pebbles are done and NOW I know!