Christa’s Quilt Along 1.5 – Machine Quilting

This week’s post is the one I’ve been waiting for. I think machine quilting is the best part of making a quilt, so I couldn’t wait to get my Vintage Modern jelly roll quilt top finished and basted so I could start the fun! I quilted it using a serpentine stitch with my walking foot.

Machine Quilting 2" ApartBefore I started quilting, I tried out a few of my machine’s decorative stitches to see how they would look.  All of these can be done using a walking foot with the feed dogs engaged.

Stitch SamplesI used a 40 weight high-sheen polyester thread with a size 90 needle and used the same thread for both the top and bobbin.

This gives better results than using different colored threads.

Step 1 – Decorative Ditch Quilting

Quilting 4" ApartBe sure your needle plate has a wide enough opening to accommodate your decorative stitch and test it out first so you avoid broken needles.

Quilt along the seam lines in one direction in between your blocks, about 4 inches apart. The first pass took me 30 minutes.

This will secure the quilt and you can remove the pins as you go.

Next, make second pass in between each line of quilting. Now your quilting is about 2 inches apart and the quilt is starting to get some texture! I quilted parallel lines across the quilt. I did not mark any of these lines – I just used the seams as a guide and eyeballed it across the fabric where there was no seam to guide me. This is both liberating and fun!

Quilting Parallel Wavy LinesThis second pass took another 30 minutes so I’m just at 1 hour total quilting time. Not bad! At this point, this is enough quilting to hold your quilt together. However, I want more…

Step 2 – Adding More Quilting

Quilting 1 Inch ApartMy motto is that you can never add too much quilting to a quilt!

So I added another line of quilting in between each of the rows above. This was my 3rd pass and now the quilting lines are about 1 inch apart.

This took only another 30 minutes and I can’t believe how fast this is going!

There is still enough room to add another row of quilting and do a fourth pass, so I decided, what the heck?

The fourth pass took 1 1/2 hours because I had now doubled the amount of quilting on the quilt, but I loved every minute of it!

Half Inch Quilting Lines

I ended up with quilting lines about 1/2 inch apart over the surface of the quilt. Total quilting time was 3 hours and I used up a full 500 yard spool of Superior Highlights thread.

Textured QuiltingSuperior Threads Tri-Lobal Polyster

I love all the texture on the back!

Pieced Backing with Quilting

So next week, we will finish our quilts, can you believe it? We will trim them up and bind to finish. I really can’t wait to see how everyone’s quilting turns out. Be sure to email me pictures of your progress, no matter where you are,  so I can share with everyone else.


Here is the complete Jolly Jelly Roll Quilt-Along Schedule:

Week 1 – Supply ListJolly Jelly Roll Quilt

Week 2 – Sewing the Blocks

Week 3 – Completing the Top

Week 4 – Backing and Basting

Week 5 – Machine Quilting

Week 6 – Machine Binding to Finish