I know. You look at that mass of quilt and you look at the space under the arm of your sewing machine and you think, “No way!”

You’d be wrong.

You can totally quilt a big quilt on a regular sewing machine.

I’ve actually quilted king size quilts on my machine – though in this video I’m demonstrating on a twin size.

First, watch this video showing the basics of machine quilting. That video uses a little doll quilt as a sample – easy to see and get a feel for the process – but it doesn’t answer the question you really have about doing the same thing with a bed quilt. That’s what I tackle in this video. So watch it now.

Important! See that little black bit behind the presser foot on my machine? That’s my walking foot. I forgot to mention it in the video – but it’s pretty critical. You really can’t machine quilt without one – it’ll end up all puckery and you’ll be sad. :-(

And what if you want to quilt lines that don’t follow the seams of the quilt?

Tape – my friends. Painters tape.

Using Tape as a Quilting Guide

On the Flower Beds Quilt I wanted to quilt a diagonal grid over the whole surface. I laid down a strip of masking tape to guide my first line. See how the edge of the tape intersects the corners of the blocks? (That’s what those red circles are showing.) That helps me get a perfectly straight line. Quilt right along the edge of the tape.

Using Masking Tape as a Quilting Guide - detail

Then remove the tape.

You only need to do this for the first row of stitching. After that each row serves as the guide for the next.

I usually just eyeball the distance between rows, but in case you want a little more precision – check back next Tuesday. I’ll have a new video showing you a nifty little gizmo to help you stitch perfectly parallel lines.

Happy quilting!

applique wendi