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How to Stipple a Quilt

Learn how to quilt stipple from quilting expert Cathy Izzo in this Howcast video.


You've decided that you want to machine quilt your quilt, but you want to do something a little more exciting than straight lines. Free motion quilting is your answer. For free motion quilting, you will need a machine where you can put down or cover your feed dogs, which are these little tractor like things, and you need a darning foot, or a foot with a circle and a spring, so it moves up and down. Normally, you would start at the center. Put your foot down and take one stitch. Press your foot and bring the bobbin thread up to the top. Put down your foot.

Sew a few stitches to anchor it and trim your thread. With your feed dogs down, that means you're in control of how fast the fabric moves and how close the stitches are. As you move, your stitches will get bigger or smaller. You want to try for a nice even stitch. A stipple should look kind of like a jigsaw puzzle.

You just keep moving your fabric around. Some people don't like to let them cross, which is fine. When you come to a pin, you just want to stop it, take your pin out and continue sewing. What you want to aim for is an even amount of stippling all over the surface of your quilt. Sometimes, when you get fairly good at it, you can put in fancy shapes, like hearts, flowers or initials. It's a really fun technique, and it looks much more difficult than it is. It's a great tool to have in your quilting arsenal.

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