Hi old friends, and welcome new ones! I’m happy to be participating in Amy Smart’s Quick Quilting Tips Tour – Round 2. Amy has gathered together several bloggers to offer some of their favorite tips for faster and better quilting. (Click here to read all of the tips shared in Round 1.)
Machine quilting is one of my great passions so I thought I would share some of my favorite tips for faster quilting on your home machine.
Tip #1 – Use Basting Spray
I am a recent convert to using basting spray and I don’t know if I will ever go back to using safety pins. While it takes me the same amount of time to spray baste as it does to pin, I save a ton of time not having to stop and remove pins while quilting.
Tip #2 – Embrace No-Mark Quilting
When I jumped on the modern bandwagon (after considering myself a traditionalist for so many years), the best thing I embraced was letting go of perfectionism and symmetry. This meant I didn’t have to mark all of my quilting lines anymore, or use stencils to quilt perfectly aligned motifs. What freedom!
There’s nothing quite like a good random stipple to add texture to your quilts. Herringbone, shown above is one of my fastest finishes to date!
My quilting has improved because I can just doodle with my needle and thread while enjoying the improvisational nature of quilting random free-motion shapes and textures.
None of the quilting was marked in String of Pearls – I just eyeballed the FMQ and used the edge of my foot as a guide for the straight lines.
Tip #3 – Try Quilting Designs from Edge to Edge
I love quilting lines which can start on one edge of the quilt and end on the other side. This is a huge time saver because there’s no need to bury threads when you start and stop. I quilted the uneven lines of Modern X starting on one side of the quilt, pivoting to follow the design, and then back off the other side.
(Bonus tip – since I use Aurifil 50 wt cotton for both piecing and quilting, I use up any partial bobbins on my next piecing project!)
Tip #4 – Use the Same Color Thread in Top and Bobbin
This is a huge time saver because I don’t have to hassle with my machine’s tension to keep tiny pindots of thread from poking through the top or bottom of the quilt. When I want a super-fast finish, I prefer to quilt with one blending thread color over the entire surface of the quilt so that I don’t have to stop and change threads.
This recent test block from Modern Logs shows how a thin neutral thread blends in to many different fabrics. It’s such a time-saver when you don’t have to switch thread colors. (I also quilted this quilt using an edge to edge design and it went so fast!)
Tip #5 – Wind Plenty of Bobbins Ahead of Time
It’s much quicker to wind a bunch of bobbins at the start of a project rather than having to stop mid-quilt for more winding. I recently upgraded to a new Bernina 710 sewing machine. One of my favorite features is the huge bobbin capacity, compared to the older machines. So if you get a ever chance to use a machine with a bigger bobbin, I highly recommend it.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my tips for faster machine quilting! Be sure to check out the other stops on the Quick Quilt Tips Tour. You just may learn something new.