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Big Stitch Quilting – an Easy and Fun Hand Quilting Technique

Big Stitch Quilting - a video tutorial from Shiny Happy World

It’s finally here! The video showing you how I do big stitch quilting – a super easy and fun hand quilting technique!

Big stitch quilting is my new favorite way to hand quilt – I’m not sure I’ll ever go back to traditional hand quilting. It’s just so much fun! I love the chunkiness of the stitches – and the style really seems to demand the kind of slight irregularities and wonkiness I love so much.

I should note – I’m not trying to be irregular here. I find that if I try to stitch a perfectly straight line, going slowly and carefully, but not actually marking or measuring it in any way – I get just the amount of wonkiness and wobbliness that makes me happy. It looks like it was sewn by human hands. 🙂

Here’s the video. . .

And here’s some additional info for you. . .

I’ve also got this fun class that teaches several ways to use Big Stitch Quilting.

Big Stitches and Patchy Patchwork - an online video class from Shiny Happy World

I think you all are going to have so much fun with this big stitch quilting! Enjoy making those big chunky stitches!

Here are all my posts about layering and basting your quilt, and the final round of quilting.

Here are all my posts about hand quilting and Big Stitch quilting. I don’t use these techniques with fusible applique or Quilt As You Go, but I LOVE using Big Stitch Quilting with my cheater fabric.

Finished with this topic?

Return to the Let’s Make a Quilt main Table of Contents.

Move on to the lessons about binding and finishing your quilt.


  1. Dixie Shoup SAYS...

    As always, thank you fora very clear and easily understood tutorial. Dixie Shoup

  2. Sarah SAYS...

    Thanks Wendi! The video was real clear and I also liked seeing more of your controlled chaos quilt.

  3. Hazel Walker SAYS...

    As a first time quilter, I am now feeling confident and excited to have a turn quilting this way. Thank you as you where very concise and easy to follow. I have a Japanese style fabric and think this style of big stitch quilting will work well.

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  7. Deena Laux SAYS...

    Hi, I just found you here, and very excited! I have one question. What kind of batting do you use to do this technique on your quilt? Thanks so much!!

  8. Penny SAYS...

    Thank you… Thank you…. I just went thru all my fabric and placed same colors in totes and became overwhelmed with so many totes and some materials that had less than a yard …opened my email and there was you CONTROLLED CHAOS..we are now in the hot of the summer and this is my next quilt and will be using the material for the totes that just yesterday had me overwhelmed…and will be doing the big stitch to finish it…Love this quilt

  9. As a new quilter thank you-so many stitches to an inch was not for me
    again thank you I’ll stay with it you have shown me an art method with color and size and design

  10. Thanks so much for this fun and RELAXING method of Big Stitch quilting. I had tried it in the past, with the traditional rocking/loading stitches method writ large and it just was not enjoyable. Your method is easy and fun…and did I mention it’s relaxing?! LOL

  11. Clara SAYS...

    Thank you for a great explanation of this big stitch. I am a traditional quilter but I now will try your technique in big stitches. Happy Quilting!

  12. Donna SAYS...

    How many stitches to inch?

    • Most of my stitches fall between 5/16″ and 3/8″.

  13. Dana SAYS...

    The best large stitch quilting tutorial I’ve seen.Thanks!

  14. Sharon Corbin SAYS...

    I’m seeing this was posted in Feb 2016… I’m just now finding it — Oct 2017. I just have to say <3 <3 THANK YOU, WENDI <3 <3 for the great tutorial, videos, instructions, links, etc. I've machine quilted on my home sewing machine, but it was in the shop when this quilt came up ready to quilt and so I found the Shiny Happy website while looking for ideas for fast, easy hand quilting. I'm having SO much fun with this method!! Yes, sometimes my stitches look more like basting stitches, but I do see improvement. I am using my Q-Snap frame for the first time also, so win-win!!

  15. Louise SAYS...

    Would you recommend a pattern that would be good to learn hand stitching please.

  16. PaulaR SAYS...

    Wonderful seeing your technique! I’ve been trying the rocking method like i do for regular hand quilting…it’s painful with a longer needle, and the stitches are too small (i know, right?!) to look like decent big stitch. Your technique makes a lot of sense and i’m eager to try it. Also love that it appears that you have kitty ears…

  17. Cindy Paxton SAYS...

    Awesome! Thank you your video is really great. I’m just getting up the courage to get started on hand quilting and I’m super excited.
    Thank you again!

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  19. Sonia Lites SAYS...

    Thank you. I’m a beginner and always loved the way the big stitch looked. You’r tutorial was fantastic. I can’t wait to try it. I just have to start to make my first quilt. Still learning, but getting close to starting.

  20. Tootie SAYS...

    I started hand stitching in ditch for a quilt that has appliqué square blocks. After that can I big stitch the boarders and sashes?

  21. Wende Urbanski SAYS...

    I found this today in October 2019. I am so excited to try this. My quilt top (first ever) is a gift for Christmas. It is a struggle in my machine so I wanted to hand quilt some things on it. Having never done that before I found this 3 part tutorial and I love the 3rd video the best. It seems it will be easy for a beginner and I wasn’t especially worried about how my stitches would look. Just how my blocks look as the entire quilt for the exception of my middle row is made up of fat quarters. I was thinking of adding some cut outs of fabrics to the middles of a few of the blocks. And just stitching in and around them. I want it to hold together well. And I think this would be the best way to accomplish that.
    Thank you so much.
    Wende Urbanski

    “You won’t know if you can do it unless you try!”

  22. Catherine SAYS...

    Tell me about the quilt frame you are using. Is it from pvc pipe??

    • Yes – there’s a link in the post to more info. It’s called a Q-snap frame.

  23. Suzan SAYS...

    Just learning about Big Stitch. How would this work with using fleece as a backing?

  24. Are you doubling the thread for the big stitch quilting or just using single
    Thread. I’m using Peale # 10. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks

    • I don’t double the thread – it’s just a single strand of Sulky 12 wt. petites. Your #10 thread will be just a smidge thicker.

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  26. j Robertshaw SAYS...

    Thank you Wendy clear concise organised video. X jan

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