Make a Display: Simple Machine-Quilting Ideas for Mini Quilts
Hi, I'm Lindsay from Quilts & More! We're so excited to see so many people joining in our Make a Display wall hanging series.
We wanted to share some info on quilting these wall hangings. They're not very big, so odds are you may be quilting this yourself on your home machine, even if you're used to sending larger quilts out to a longarm quilter. But there are some easy stitches on your domestic machine that can get great results on small quilts like this – and they're really easy to do!
You'll see in this fall quilt that the designer Allisen Jensen used a serpentine stitch across the quilt. This stitch comes standard on many machines. And while it looks more complicated than it really is, I promise it's easy. All you need to do is sew straight.
My favorite way to ensure I'm sewing straight across the quilt is to mark my quilt top with a Hera marker. A Hera marker leaves a little indent on your quilt when you press down and run it along your ruler. It's not a mark that you'll need to erase with water later on like some marking tools. If possible, I make my first mark along a straight seam. In the case of this wall quilt, you can use the inside of the border. Then from there, you can use that first marked line to mark lines across the rest of the quilt top evenly spaced, such as every 1" as in this quilt.
It's much easier to mark a quilt top with a Hera Marker before you've basted the layers together. So, once everything is marked, baste in your preferred method. Then to do a serpentine stitch, find the wavy line on your machine stitches. You might want to play around with the stitch length and width on a scrap piece of fabric to find the look you like. I'm setting my stitch to 5mm wide and 1mm long.
Then stitch across the quilt, making sure the center of your machine foot follows the marked lines.
You can use this same technique for a straight stitch, too. You'll see in this spring wall hanging, the designer did grid quilting across the quilt top. You can mark your quilt with a Hera marker in the same way and use a straight stitch to quilt on the lines.
Small quilts are also ideal for hand-quilting or adding big-stitch accents to. Here are some examples of big-stitch quilting found in these quilts. The pumpkin has lines in the pumpkin as well as inside the white background. The flowers have petal quilting. And the sailboat has little wind lines coming off the sail. These stitches are running stitches and they add a little homemade charm to the quilts. You can mark the lines you want to follow with your hand-stitching using an air-soluble marking tool or a Hera marker if you don't feel confident enough to freehand them.
I hope these tips help you feel confident conquering some basic quilting on your domestic sewing machine. These techniques give really professional and polished results on your quilts.