Learn Machine Quilting Designs: How to Stitch a Spiral

30 Jul 2014

When I think about it, I'm astounded by the variety of ways you can learn how to machine quilt these days.

Many of us learned straight machine quilting or free-motion quilting from a family member. Others took a class or followed machine quilting instructions from--yes--a book!

spiral quilt motif catherine redford
Spiral machine quilting motif by Catherine Redford,
from Quilting Arts TV Series 1400.

Now, with hand-held devices, YouTube, streaming videos, DVDs, online classes, webinars, and live events, you can learn machine quilting techniques anytime, anywhere.

I was thinking of this phenomenon while watching the Quilting Arts TV Season 14 taping. I learned so much by watching guests demonstrate their tutorials, plus I knew I could watch them over and over again, practicing along with the video.

For example, Catherine Redmond showed how to machine quilt a spiral motif on a quilted placement in Episode 1405. Here are her verbal tips and instructions:

1. I often use a 12-weight thread for extra definition. Change your needle for this thread.

2. I find it easier to sew the spiral if I have already stitched a grid onto the quilt sandwich. I also switch from a walking foot to an open-toed or darning foot, but you could use a walking foot if you like.

3. To make the spiral, start in the middle. Pull up your bottom thread and, holding on to your threads, take one stitch at a time. Use the edge of the presser foot as a stitching guide.

free motion stitching a spiral catherine redford
Here, Catherine Redford uses a walking foot to create her
spiral stitching. You can also use an open-toe or darning foot.

4. Gradually turn the quilt until the spiral starts forming. Continue until the spiral reaches the size you desire.

By watching her on video, you can see that Catherine literally makes one...stitch...at...a...time as she starts in the middle of the spiral. That slow and careful start--like Dorothy beginning her trip on the Yellow Brick Road--sets the entire spiral on it's way to a path.

When you're looking to learn or improve your machine quilting skills--or any quilting technique--you have many options, and Quilting Arts TV is just one.

You could also:

And those are just some of the online and live options! You can still read books and exchange knowledge with friends and family. 

The bottom line is, whether you want to learn to machine quilt in a social environment or alone in the privacy of your own home--there have never been more options. And I'm so pleased to have Quilting Arts TV Series 1400 as a vital part of the mix.

P.S. How do you learn to machine quilt? Share your experience below.


Related Posts
+ Add a comment