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Home Beth Said Sew Using Your Sewing Machine to Quilt is Easy!

Using Your Sewing Machine to Quilt is Easy!

by Beth Cooper

I get asked all the time, “Can I quilt using my sewing machine?” And the answer is always an absolute, “YES!” You can quilt on your sewing machine! Some refer to this as quilting on their domestic sewing machine or at-home sewing machine. It’s all the same thing. That cute little workhorse that you pieced an entire quilt with? Use it to quilt too and save yourself some longarm fees!

I will say that if you are a beginner, I would start out with a small quilt, like a baby quilt, miniature quilt, or even a table runner. Take it from me: do not start out with a king-sized monster of a quilt that will be hard to navigate through your machine and one that you have invested a lot of money for the fabric already in it. Start small, friends. Start small.

You’ve Got Options!

Next up, decide which method of quilting you want to use on your quilt. You’ve got options when it comes to technique! The first one is free-motion quilting. I like to refer to this as “quilt doodling,” because you’re basically just doodling (with thread of course, not a pen) all over your quilt. In order to free-motion quilt, you will need to be able to lower the feed dogs on your sewing machine. Most sewing machines have this feature. Check your owner’s manual if you’re not sure how to do that.

Free-Motion Quilting

Free-motion quilting is continuous quilting all over your quilt, in a design of your choice. The best way to practice free-motion quilting is to actually doodle on paper (using a pen this time, not thread. lol). Your brain will remember the way you did it and form what is referred to as “muscle memory.” The next time you sit down at your machine and are ready to free-motion quilt, your brain will remember how you did it on paper. Free-motion quilting is fun and turns out so cute!

Straight-Line Quilting

The next technique for quilting on your sewing machine at home is straight-line quilting. You will not lower your feed dogs for straight-line quilting. Depending on the thickness of your quilt, you may need a walking foot on your machine. Straight-line stitching is basically just sewing straight lines all the way across your project, one right after the other. These lines can be evenly spaced or a little wonky. They can be perfectly straight or slightly wavy. It’s totally up to you and the look you are going for. Natalie from Missouri Star Quilt Co. has an amazing tutorial on straight-line quilting on your sewing machine.

Quilt-As-You-Go

Another common technique for quilting on your home sewing machine is Quilt-As-You-Go (commonly referred to as QAYG). QAYG allows you to quilt each block of your quilt as you make them. Each quilted block is then sewn together and voila! You have a quilt! This is a fantastic method and is so fun to make! Check out the tutorial below.

So honestly friends, you can totally learn to quilt your own quilt tops with your at-home domestic sewing machine! You can do it! Quilting with your sewing machine allows you to make the entire quilt from start to finish all by yourself! No need to send your quilt to a longarmer! Happy sewing! (And QUILTING!!)

You can find lots of Quilt-As-You-Go patterns, like this one, on Missouri Star Quilt Co. Just click here!
You can even buy pre-cut batting squares for your Quilt-As-You-Go projects! How cool is that?? They come in different sizes and even other shapes! Find them on Missouri Star Quilt Co. or click here!

‘Til next time,

Beth

Want to read more from Beth Said Sew? Click here!

Want to read more articles on quilting? Click here!

P.S. If you don’t want to quilt your own quilts, click here to learn about how you can send your quilts to Missouri Star Quilt Co. to have them professionally quilted!

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Joanne Jennings
Joanne Jennings
2 months ago

never heard of basting or quilting spray.

Teresa Hicks
Teresa Hicks
2 months ago

This whole site looks totally amazing. I look forward to using it. So many posts that are going to help me tremendously. Can’t wait

Donna R
Donna R
1 month ago

I have quilted several full-size quilts. I learned to use low-loft batting and place extra tables around my machine to support the weight of the quilt so it is not pulling or bunching up due to weight and bulk.