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Machine Quilting


Free Motion Machine Quilting


Set up a practice sample of fabric with wadding and backing.
Attach a darning foot to your machine, consult the machine manual if you haven’t done this before.

Drop or cover the feed dogs and release the presser foot if necessary.

Adjust the stitch length to zero.

Adjust the top tension of your sewing machine down 1 or 2 numbers. If the normal top tension is 5, try 3 for free-motion stitching. If you can see the bobbin thread coming trough to the top, further reduce the top tension until it disappears. (If you have reduced the top tension to zero and you can still see the bobbin thread coming through to the top, then you need to tighten the bobbin case underneath).

Needles & threads

Use a new needle for your quilting project, preferably topstitch needles (these needles have a larger eye). Use cotton quilting thread (e.g. Aurifil ne.28). For bobbin thread you can use a special thread which is thinner than a normal thread (e.g. Brother bobbin thread # 60).


Place your sample piece under the darning foot and lower the foot.

Lower the needle into the work and lift it again, pull your bobbin thread to the front of your work. Stitch 2 or 3 stitches in place and gently press on the foot pedal while steadily moving the fabric. Cut of the threads on the top of your work.

Just think of the needle as a pencil that is fixed into position, and you are moving the paper underneath it to draw a pattern.

Press the needle down button on your machine. When you stop, always stitch 2 stitches in place before you move again (otherwise you get a very large first stitch).

Down below you see quilt videos on how to machine quilt. Try to follow the instructions and dare to try something new. If you have never done this before, don’t expect to do it perfectly straight away. It takes a lot of hours, patience and kilometers of thread before you are confident with machine quilting.

Be warned though: it is fun to do and you get addicted quickly!

Products in our webshop that are useful for machine quilting: quiltingthread, needles, wadding, books.


Quilting patterns for Beginners

Basic Spiral   

Hardwood Floors  

Alien Fingers     

Angle Turns     

Bamboo Forest         

Loose Weave         


Quilt patterns for intermediate quiltsters

Spiral of Spirals       

Double Pebble    

Bubble Path Spiral   

Triangle Mosaic           


Quilt patterns for advanced quiltsters


Globe of Matrix      

Complex Feather          

Fossil Snail