Saturday, February 12, 2011

How to Quilt It: Stippling

One of the best methods of quilting to practice your freemotion quilting with, is stippling. It is a "pattern" that is very malleable - you can fit it into pretty much any spot! More importantly, it does not require as much "thought" as a template or set pattern. This allows you to focus more on the aspects you need to practice with freemotion when starting out.

Things you need to try and focus on while quilting:
  • Keep your shoulders down, it's very common for quilters to draw their shoulders up to their ears. This will result on back and neck strain - you don't want that, or you'll need recovery time before you can quilt again!
  • Your needle speed versus your speed moving the quilt around. You need to find a happy balance of how fast your machine is going, versus how fast you are. If your stitches are very long, you are moving too fast or your machine is not stitching fast enough. If you're stitches are tiny and close together, nearly perforating your fabric, it's likely that you are sewing faster than you are moving your quilt around under the needle. Of course you may see a combination of both issues, some long, some short - it's really a matter of slowing yourself down and practicing the feeling of moving the quilt around.
Here is a movie example of how to stipple. I show medium, near micro, and large stippling:

Here are some samples of different quilts I have done using stippling:


  1. Do you quilt with a Baby Lock? I need to buy a free-motion foot and would love to do it online, but where do you buy accessories, if so? Thanks! Great video, I posted about it briefly on my blog Jennifer S.

  2. Jennifer - I actually quilt with a Bernina 1260 that I purchased a little over a year ago - used at a place here in Minnesota. My mother orders the parts I need for my Bernina usually. :)

    I miss the sound of rain too! :) (Okay..I should specify that I do NOT miss the sound of freezing rain! lol)

  3. Steph, the video clip is a great teaching tool for this blog! I'm sure folks will enjoy it.

  4. Love the free flow of strippling...did I spell tha right? Sandra

  5. Close Sandra - just drop the "r" - stippling. :)