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Beginner Quilt Series - How to Machine Quilt

This is another video in our learn to quilt series. This tutorial shows how to machine quilt a simple baby quilt made with 5" squares for this quilt basics series.

To see all of the other videos in this series, scroll down to the bottom of the page where the links can be found.Beginner Quilt Series - How to Machine Quilt -fb

This video will show how to machine quilt a quilt. Quilting the top attaches all of the quilt layers together - the top, the batting and the backing.

There are many methods of quilting, which is a fun step in making a quilt.  Quilting can be done by hand or with a machine. Take a peek at our hand quilting page to learn more about that traditional technique!

Long-arm quilting machines are large and expensive, but the quilting done on these machines is beautiful.

Some quilters send their quilts to a person who owns a long-arm quilting machine and quilts as a business.

It can be costly to have someone else do the quilting, but for larger quilts it may be the only option for some quilters.

Can you quilt on a regular sewing machine?

It is possible to quilt on the regular sewing machine that you already own.  It is necessary to have the correct supplies and tools, but with these, quilting a smaller size quilt on a home machine is possible.

There are several ways to quilt using a regular sewing machine.  Using a walking foot, straight lines can easily be sewn to make a quick and simple quilting design.

A more complex technique would be to outline features on the fabric or "stitch in the ditch" which is machine quilting very close to the piecing seams.

A free motion quilting foot allows the quilter to make any design, such as mottling, waves, serpentine, etc.  For more ideas on quilting designs, check out our quilting motif page.

Free motion quilting takes practice, as it is important to move the fabric at the correct speed to keep the stitches uniform.

A simple quilting method for beginners is straight line machine quilting.  With this technique, sewing is done with straight lines across the quilt.

Learn to Quilt - Quilting the TopThey can be sewn between each block, at spaced intervals across the quilt, or even diagonally.

For this simple baby quilt in the beginner quilt series, diagonal lines are quilted across the blocks in each direction, forming an "X" in each square, as can be seen in the photo above.

For the tutorial to learn how to machine quilt the beginner's quilt, watch the video or scroll down for written instructions.



COMPLETE VIDEO TUTORIAL AVAILABLE! The video below is a preview with no audio, to watch the whole video tutorial, click the link Beginner Quilt Series - How to Machine Quilt to watch in Youtube.


Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. We make a small commission on sales through the affiliate links, at no extra cost to you. Thank you in advance for your purchase and your support! Please see our full Affiliate Statement for more information.

What you will need to machine quilt a simple baby quilt:

  • Pin basted quilt top, batting, and backing
  • Quilters' ruler
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread to match the quilt top
  • Bobbin threaded to match the quilt bottom (we used variegated thread for both the top and bottom)
  • Walking foot
  • Quilting or dressmaking marking pencil

instructions for machine quilting a simple baby quilt

step 1: Mark first sewing line with a marking pencil

To make sure straight lines are sewn across the quilt, it's recommended to mark a line that can be followed while sewing. When quilting, it is important to begin sewing in the middle of the quilt and work outward.

To begin marking the sewing lines on the quilt top, gather the long quilters' ruler and the quilting or dressmaking marking pencil.

The marking pencil will make a colored line as a sewing guide and will wash away upon the first washing of the simple baby quilt.

Beginner Machine Quilting Line Up Ruler

To mark the first line, start near the middle of the quilt and line up the edge of the long quilters' ruler from corner to corner in the small blocks.

Beginner Machine Quilting Mark Line

Use the marking pencil to mark a light line on the quilt. Before marking, remove any pins that are in the way.

It may be necessary to move the ruler across the quilt. Just move the ruler, and line up the ruler with the next set of corners and mark.

step 2: quilt the first line

After the first line has been drawn, take the quilt to the sewing machine. Roll one half of the quilt towards the center line so it will fit through the area of the machine.

Because larger quilts will make a larger roll that the machine may not be able to accommodate, the larger quilts are often taken to be quilted by someone who has a long-arm quilting machine.

Setup the sewing machine with the quilting thread in the top and bobbin. For this quilt, a variegated cotton thread was used for both the top and the bottom. Set the machine for a straight stitch and make the stitch length a little longer than normal length.

For this demo, an open toe foot was used for quilting. A walking foot can also be used when quilting a quilt top. The walking foot can get a better grip on the top and bottom of the quilt top layers to make sure it feeds evenly through the machine.

Check out our page of quilting tips and tricks to learn more!

Beginner Machine Quilting Sew Line

To sew the lines, start off the edge of the quilt in the batting and then sew onto the quilt along the light sewing line from one corner to the other, sewing onto the batting.

Beginner Machine Quilting Closeup

There is no need to back tack because the edges will be cut off and later the binding will be added. The binding will hold the stitches in place.

step 3: Mark the second sewing line

It is time to mark the second line for quilting. Because the diagonal row of orange fabric is close to the middle of the quilt, it will be the next line to mark.

Beginner Machine Quilting Next Line To Quilt

Once again, remove the pins in the way and line up the quilters' ruler from corner to corner on this next row of fabric.  

Beginner Machine Quilting Line Up Ruler On Next Line

Mark with the marking pencil lightly along the edge of the ruler.  As with the first stitch line, it may be necessary to move the ruler and continue.

Beginner Machine Quilting Mark Next Line

Take the quilt to the sewing machine and sew along the second line that was drawn.

step 4: continue marking and sewing the lines

The marking and sewing of each successive line will be done the same as the first two lines.

Continue to the next line and work across the quilt. Do one line at a time and remove only the pins for the line that is being worked on. 

Beginner Machine Quilting Close Up of Quilting

After marking and sewing from the center to one corner, go back to the center and work from the center to the other side.

Beginner Machine Quilting Lines Finished One Direction

Now one set of diagonal lines has been sewn across the entire quilt top.

step 5: marking and sewing the cross lines

To make the 'X' on each block, lines need to be stitched in the opposite direction across the blocks.

Using the same method as before, start from the middle and mark the lines and sew.

Beginner Quilt Series - Quilting the Layers - Marking the top

Remember to start in the center and work out to one side. Next, work from the center to the other side of the quilt.

Beginner Machine Quilting Lines Finished Both Directions

When the sewing is finished, there should be "Xs" in each small square.

Beginner Machine Quilting Close Up Completed Quilting

Once all of the lines are sewn in both directions, you have finished quilting the quilt! Now there are only two more steps and the quilt will be complete.

We hope you enjoyed this tutorial on how to machine quilt a baby quilt!  Scroll down to see all of the tutorials in our Beginning Quilter series.  

Happy quilting!

QUESTIONS?

If you have any questions about this project, contact us through the YouTube Video comments or our Contact Us page. We respond to questions in e-mails and YouTube comments regularly.

LEARN TO QUILT SERIES

OTHER QUILTING TECHNIQUES

Half Square Triangles: How to make Half Square Triangles
Paper Piecing: How to Paper Piece a Quilt Block
Binding A Quilt: How to Add Binding to A Quilt (No Hand Sewing)
String Piecing: Learn String Piecing on Foundation Paper
Tying A Quilt: Learn How to Hand Tie A Quilt

Supporting Products and links: Some of the links below may be affiliate links. We make a small commission on sales through the affiliate links, at no extra cost to you. Thank you in advance for your purchase and your support! Please see our full Affiliate Statement for more information.

Clover Chaco Liner Pen

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Clover Pen Style Chaco Liner

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Clover Water Soluble Pencil Assortment, 3EA

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Marking Pencils Affiliate Link to Amazon.com

DAFA Quilting Ruler

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Fiskars 6x24 Inch Acrylic Ruler

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Ideal for cutting fabric strips or squares. The rulers 30, 45 and 60 degree line indicators make it easy to cut at perfect angles. Affiliate Link to Amazon.com

Omnigrid 15x15 Grid mat, 15" x 15", Clear

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Omnigrid Ruler 3 1/2 x 24 inches

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3 1/2 x 24-inch ruler is used to cut strips, shapes and bias pieces when quilting. This ruler has 30 degree, 45 degree and 60 degree angles lines marked for easy alignment of fabric. Affiliate Link to Create for Less

Omnigrip Non-slip Quilter's Ruller

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A clear background and neon lines make this ruler easy-to-use, measures 6" by 24" Affiliate Link to Amazon.com

Variegated Quilting Cotton Thread

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Here are some options for variegated thread for quilting. Affiliate Link to Joann






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