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Next Steps in Machine Quilting—Free-Motion & Walking-Foot Designs: Professional Results on Your Home Machine

Next Steps in Machine Quilting—Free-Motion & Walking-Foot Designs: Professional Results on Your Home Machine

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Next Steps in Machine Quilting—Free-Motion & Walking-Foot Designs: Professional Results on Your Home Machine

5/5 (1 valutazione)
288 pagine
58 minuti
Dec 1, 2015


Natalia Bonner is back with 50 new modern, sophisticated designs that encourage free-motion quilters of all skill levels to stretch their skills on a home sewing machine.
Dec 1, 2015

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Next Steps in Machine Quilting—Free-Motion & Walking-Foot Designs - Natalia Bonner



I love machine quilting. Even more, I love free-motion quilting. Ever since I wrote my first book, Beginner’s Guide to Free-Motion Quilting, I’ve wanted to write a second book on machine quilting. I’ve just been waiting for it to feel right.

Over the last few years, I’ve spent a lot of time writing books about piecing. Modern One-Block Quilts and Cabin Fever: 20 Modern Log Cabin Quilts were born in this time. After finishing Cabin Fever, I just felt like it was time to move back to my roots, machine quilting.

In Beginner’s Guide to Free-Motion Quilting, I taught every basic that I wish I had known when I began machine quilting. I talked about thread, batting, needles, fabric, and where to start.

Now I want to take the skills that I shared in that book and help you move out of your comfort zone, break away from the basics, and add some excitement to your quilts.

In this book I will teach you how to free-motion quilt 50 designs to give your quilts the wow factor that they deserve.

Machine Quilting


Many people are intimidated by the idea of machine quilting. But if you give it a try and take some time to practice, you’ll find that it’s actually easy to do.

My hope is to show you step by step how to machine quilt 50 patterns that will elevate your machine quilting skills.

My previous book, Beginner’s Guide to Free-Motion Quilting (see Resources), covered the basics—threads, needles, machine feet, sewing machines, gloves, and basting. In this book, I will briefly review some of those tools so we can quickly move on to the exciting section, the machine quilting designs.


Machine quilting can be done successfully on almost any conventional home sewing machine, as long as the machine has a free-motion foot and the ability to drop the feed dogs. I currently have a Bernina Aurora 450. It is most helpful if your machine has a large table; this accessory creates a large working area that can make it easier to maneuver your quilt under the needle.


For straight-line quilting, I recommend a walking foot. This foot helps move the fabric from the top. In connection with your machine’s feed dogs (the little teeth that move the fabric from underneath), the walking foot helps the quilt move smoothly under the needle and gives you enough control to stitch precise lines.

For free-motion quilting, you lower the machine’s feed dogs and use a free-motion foot that lets you move the quilt layers freely under the needle. Free-motion feet for different machines vary (they are made in assorted shapes and can be metal or clear plastic) and can be called by different names, such as a darning foot or a hopping foot. A foot with a clear plastic sole is ideal because it provides improved visibility.


Multiple types of needles can be used for machine quilting on a home sewing machine. The quilting needle, embroidery needle, and topstitch needle are the most popular. Each has advantages. A quilting needle has a slim, tapered point and slightly stronger shaft for stitching through fabric layers and across intersecting seams. Embroidery needles are made with a larger eye and a slightly rounded point. Because they are made for heavy stitching, they are also great for detailed machine quilting. However, most machine quilting can be done using a topstitching needle, which has an extra-sharp point and eye and a larger groove to accommodate heavier threads.

I prefer to use a titanium-coated topstitching needle. Titanium-coated needles last up to five times longer than regular needles. I prefer the needles made by Superior Threads, but you can choose from the many others that are available.

It is very important that you have the correct size of topstitching needle for your thread. I recommend three sizes for quilting: the #80/12 for machine quilting with fine thread, the #90/14 for machine quilting with medium-weight thread, and the #100/16 for machine quilting with heavyweight thread.


Choosing the correct thread for machine quilting is very important. The most common types of thread are cotton, polyester, and polyester-wrapped cotton.

Natalia’s Tip

Never use hand-quilting thread for machine quilting. Hand-quilting thread has a waxy coating that is not compatible with sewing machines.

I always use lightweight threads from Superior Threads—So Fine! for the top and Bottom Line for the bobbin. But you can certainly try various threads and brands to determine what look you prefer.

When choosing thread colors, I recommend using the same color on top and in the bobbin, especially when you are first learning to quilt. As you experiment with the correct tension for your machine, the bobbin thread could occasionally pull through to the top of your quilt. If the threads are the same color, no one will notice. As you gain confidence in your machine and your quilting, you can try different threads for special effects.

Natalia’s Tip

I have stitched the patterns in this book in contrasting thread color, just to show off the quilting. Generally I recommend using a thread color that blends well. My favorite thread colors are 401, a soft white, and 402, an eggshell color, by So Fine! by Superior Threads.


Good thread tension means that your stitching looks good on both sides of the quilt, with an equal amount of thread on the top and bottom and no loops. Loopy threads mean that the tension is too loose; puckered and pulled threads mean it is too tight.

Adjusting the tension can be very tricky because you may have to adjust both the top and the bobbin tension. Most newer machines have a recommended tension setting for piecing, but it may need to be adjusted for free-motion quilting.

You can easily

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