Quilt faster by using continuous line quilting designs. These designs also look great on your quilt! With a bit of practice, you can design your own continuous line designs.

October 13, 2016

Looking for more quilting design inspiration? See more here.


"Hi, I'm Jennifer Keltner, with American Patchwork & Quilting, and we're here in the sewing lab today with Vicki Hoth, education coordinator for Handi Quilter." "Hi, Jennifer, I'm glad to be here." "Excellent. Well, I'm looking forward to learning more about continuous line quilting designs. Vicki, can you tell us first of all what those are?" "Well, continuous line means you have an element, a design such as the kite, and then you use your lines to connect it. It's a connecting line, a travel path as we use in quilting." "Excellent, and why would quilters be interested in continuous line quilting designs?" "Well, I would rather have a continuous line than have a stop and knot it and then move over and knot it and start again. It strengthens the quilt." "Excellent, so when you're using the long arm HQ 16, continuous line design helps you to quilt faster and to not have to start and stop as often." "That's right. And it looks nice." "Great, well as we look at this sample here, the one that sticks out to me first of all is the cursive handwriting. That's really the ultimate continuous line design we all know, isn't it." "Yes, because we know how to sign our name, don't we." "That's right. So you never pick up your needle. You just continue from one to another. That's a great place to start to practice. But beyond that, can you share with me where some of these other designs might work?" "Well, some of the great elements in continuous line is to add loops to it. Now this would be an overall, edge-to-edge design rather than maybe a border, but you know, enlarge that so it does a full swipe of your machine." "So here the star is really the main element, and you're connecting it with the loops." "That's right. So I'll move up to here. We have flowers, but we can add leaves as part of the connecting element with the loops." "And then for the kite design, the kite was really the main element that you wanted for your quilting and you used the natural tail of the kite." "And I added a little tie to it to spice it up. And it moves from kite to kite." "And do all your kites have to face the same direction?" "They don't. They can be a little whimsical." "Alright. Now it's not always a looping design that you use. I'm noticing when I'm looking here that it might be waves for a sailboat that it could connect." "Or clouds for the sun and the moon. Add a star to it." "And sometimes your motifs might mimic what's in your fabric or what the theme of your quilt is." "That's right. If you've got a floral quilt, flowers would be a better design element than say maybe dragonflies or sailboats." "Excellent. Well, tell me about this design." "Well, this is a butterfly, and a butterfly if you look at it, it's a heart, but you kind of squish it out or lengthen it out. And you kind of do two hearts together, move on with your loop. The loops often soften it out. And then move on to your next butterfly." "So Vicki, before we start stitching on the machine, one thing I learned when I came to class was it's very important to practice on paper, is that right?" "That's correct. We want to develop that muscle memory, brain/hand/eye coordination. So we want to practice ten minutes or 15 minutes. If it takes an hour, it's worth it, rather than unpicking your quilt." "Absolutely, and it's very important to sort of get in your head before you start stitching that here's what my element's going to be and here's how I'm going to connect it." "That's right. And that drawing, get that stitch path as you go through your quilting, so then you move on to the machine and you're a lot happier that way." "Alright, I'd love to see you stitch it." "Alright, let's do it." "So, Vicki, we're ready to start stitching on the HQ 16, and what I like about it is there's 16" of throat space there, so you've got a nice wide path you can do your continuous line quilting design on." "That's right. We've got a lot of open property to work with." "Alright, let's see you stitch that butterfly out." "Alright, we talked about you're going to start with that heart. You know that heart we talked about. We're going to make that heart, repeat it on the other side to elongate that. Now we're ready for that travel path. A loop, flip those loops, on to the next heart." "And sometimes you're tracing over a line you've stitched before and that's ok?" "That's ok. And if you don' exactly hit that line, it's alright. This is a whimsical quilt. And the stitch regulator keeps the stitches the same stitch length. Alright, what do you think?" "Looks great." "You're welcome, but I think it's time for you to start quilting." "Alright, you start quilting, too."