How To Quilt On Home Sewing Machine

Quilting is a popular hobby that involves carefully piecing together fabric pieces to create a beautiful and intricate pattern. While many people think quilting needs to be done on a large, expensive quilting machine, the truth is that quilting can be done on a home sewing machine. In this article, we will go over the basics of quilting on a home sewing machine and provide several tips for getting started.

To begin, it helps to have the right sewing machine set up. When you’re quilting, you’re dealing with several layers of fabric and thread and this means you need a machine that can handle the load. An ideal quilting machine should have an extra-large sewing area and be able to stitch through multiple layers easily. You’ll also need a quality walking or even-feed foot that can keep the layers of fabric in place as you stitch.

Once you have the right machine set up, the next step is to prepare your fabric. It’s important to use the right type of fabric for your project. Quilting fabric typically is made from 100% cotton and should be either unwashed or pre-washed. This will help ensure that the fabric doesn’t shrink after piecing. You’ll also want to cut the fabric into the correct size and shape for your project.

Next, you’ll need to baste your pieces of fabric together. Basting is when you stitch two pieces of fabric together with a very long stitch length. This will help keep all the layers together while you finish quilting and helps prevent shifting. When you baste by hand, use a long stitch length as this will make it easier to remove the basting stitches later. You can also use a machine for basting; just make sure to use a stitch length between 4-5mm.

When you’re ready to quilt, you’ll need to decide what type of quilting pattern you want to use. Quilting patterns can range from simple grid patterns to intricate designs. The type of quilting pattern you choose will depend on the type of quilt you’re making, as well as your skill level. Once you’ve selected a pattern, you can begin quilting by stitching your pattern on the top of the quilt.

Finally, you’ll need to bind your quilt. Binding is the process of stitching the edges of the quilt together to secure the layers and give the quilt a finished look. You can use a variety of binding techniques, such as hand-stitching, machine-stitching, or even purchasing pre-made bindings from a fabric store. Either way, binding will help ensure your quilt will last for years to come.

Types of Quilt Patterns

One of the best ways to create a stunning quilt is to choose the right quilt pattern. The type of pattern you choose can make a big difference in the look and feel of your quilt. For instance, if you’re creating a baby quilt, a classic nine-patch pattern might be an ideal choice. Or, if you want to create a bold statement, a disappearing nine-patch pattern could be an ideal option.

There are also more intricate patterns like log cabin, clamshell and herringbone. Usually, these patterns require more skill and time, but the results can be stunning. Log cabin quilts, for example, have a unique, rustic look that can really stand out. Whichever pattern you choose, make sure it’s one that you’re comfortable with, and that you think you can execute properly.

You can also find hundreds of quilting patterns online, and many of these patterns come with step-by-step instructions and diagrams. So, even if you’ve never quilted before, you can find a pattern and try it out.

Once you familiarize yourself with the basics of quilting, it’s time to start looking for the right quilt pattern. Look online, check out quilting books and magazines, or browse your local craft store for inspiration. Remember, the right quilt pattern can make all the difference in the success of your quilt.

Quilting Tips and Techniques

Once you’ve chosen a quilting pattern and cut and basted your fabric, it’s time to start quilting. When it comes to quilting, the key to success is practice and patience. In the beginning, it’s important to take your time and pay attention to detail. Here are some tips to follow that can help make your quilting process easier:

  • Start with a basic quilting pattern. Once you have mastered the basics, you can start experimenting with more complicated patterns.
  • Choose the right type of thread for your project. You can choose from a variety of threads, including cotton and polyester. The type of thread you choose will depend on the type of quilt you are making.
  • Always use the proper tension settings on your machine. Improper tension settings can lead to puckers and uneven stitching, which can ruin your project.
  • Select the right stitch length for the quilt you are making. A longer stitch length is preferable for quilts with many layers and a shorter stitch length is better for quilts with fewer layers.
  • Be sure to backstitch when you start and stop stitching. This will help ensure that your stitches are secure and stay in place.
  • Make sure to quilt slowly and carefully. Taking your time and doing it right will help ensure success.

Quilting Tools And Supplies

In addition to a good sewing machine and quality sewing supplies, there are some tools and supplies that can make your quilting process easier. Here are some of the must-have quilting tools and supplies you should have:

  • Rotary cutter – A rotary cutter is a great tool for cutting fabric quickly and accurately.
  • Ruler – A ruler will help ensure you cut your fabric pieces in straight lines.
  • Quilting gloves – Quilting gloves will help you keep a better grip on the fabric while you quilt.
  • Quilting thread – Quilting thread is more heavy duty than regular thread, so it’s better for quilting.
  • Pins – Pins will help keep your fabric pieces in place while you quilt.
  • Scissors – You’ll need a pair of scissors to cut threads and remove basting stitches.
  • Sewing machine needles – Make sure to use the right size needle for the type of fabric you are using.

Quilting Techniques For Beginners

When it comes to quilting, there are several techniques you can use to create a one-of-a-kind quilt. Here are some quilting techniques that can help you make beautiful quilts, even if you’re a beginner:

  • Piecing – Piecing is the process of joining fabric pieces together to form a design or pattern. When you’re piecing, make sure to use a very small seam allowance and press your seams as you go.
  • Appliqué – Appliqué is the process of attaching fabric pieces to a foundation fabric. This is a great way to add interest and shape to your quilt.
  • Stippling – Stippling is when you use small stitches to create a textured pattern. This is a great way to add depth to your quilt.
  • Patchwork – Patchwork involves piecing together small fabric pieces to create a larger design. This is a great way to use up scraps of fabric and add interest to your quilt.
  • Basting – Basting is when you use a long stitch length to join fabric pieces together. This is an important step when it comes to keeping your quilt layers together.
  • Quilting – Quilting is when you stitch together the top, middle, and bottom layers of the quilt to create a finished piece. This is usually done on a sewing machine, but can also be done by hand.

Finishing The Quilt

Once you have completed all the quilting steps, it’s time to finish your quilt. Finishing involves sandwiching the quilt layers together and stitching around the edges of the quilt. Once this is done, you can trim off any excess fabric and bind the edges of the quilt. This is the final step in completing your quilt and will help ensure your quilt looks and lasts for years to come.

By following these quilting tips and techniques, you should be able to create beautiful quilts on your home sewing machine. Quilting can be a very rewarding hobby and it’s an activity that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and skill levels. All you need is the right machine set up and the right supplies, and you can create a one-of-a-kind quilt that you will cherish for years to come.

Choosing A Quilt Pattern

Choosing a quilt pattern can definitely be a challenge. There are a variety of patterns available to choose from, so it’s important to take your time and explore your options. A good place to start is by looking at quilt books and magazines or searching online for quilt patterns. Also, take some time to explore different quilt designers and look for inspiration in the quilts other people have made.

Remember, the right quilt pattern can really help make your quilt stand out. So, take your time and explore all the different options available until you find a pattern that fits your quilt project. Also, don’t be afraid to experiment and try something new. Quilting can be a lot of fun and a great way to express your creativity. So, go ahead and explore all the possibilities and make something truly unique.


Quilting is a great way to express your creativity and make something truly unique. With the right machine setup, supplies and techniques, you can create a quilt that will last for years to come. So, take your time and enjoy the process. Most importantly, don’t forget to have fun!

Geoffrey Kirby is an experienced author and sewist who has been creating sewn projects for over 20 years. He has a passion for teaching beginners and inspiring more advanced sewists both online and through his writings. Outside of writing about sewing, Geoffrey loves to explore new techniques and styles of sewing that incorporate upcycling fabric remnants into sweet items with personality.

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