Modern quiltingModern Quilting Blog

Whether you are new to quilting or an advanced quilter, there are several different quilting techniques that you can try and benefits to each. Some different techniques require the assistance of a sewing machine, while others require other tools to help stabilize your fabric and hold your designs together. Let’s take a look at some of the different quilting techniques.

Hand Quilting 

Hand quilting involves sewing the layers of the quilt using a needle and thread. The quilter will use a hoop or frame to hold the layers together while they quilt. The quilter can make designs that are either a straight line or decorative. The size, length, and detail of the stitches are determined by the quilter’s skill. Some elaborate designs of hand quilting can use different shapes. Some of the benefits of hand quilting include being a relaxing and meditative practice and you don’t have to be near the sewing machine. 

Free Motion Quilting

When you do free motion quilting, you use a sewing machine to quilt the different layers without the machine’s feed dogs. The stitching is determined by the quilter’s hand movements and the speed of the machine. You can either use a stencil, a drawn line, or improv to make the different designs on your quilt.

There are some benefits to free motion quilting that you might find enticing. These include: 

● More elaborate designs, because the quilt can be turned with your hands in any direction. This can give you the ability to create unique curves and shapes when you are working with your quilt.

● You can work more efficiently with elaborate designs because you are using a sewing machine rather than stitching them by hand. 

Walking Foot Quilting

Walking foot quilting is a unique technique that can be implemented with the aid of the sewing machine. When you do walking foot quilting, you are sewing all the layers of the quilt together in a manner that emphasizes the shape you are currently working on. This can be done to give the shape a more 3-dimensional look. Another walking foot technique involves quilting straight lines across the quilt. This can add more texture to your quilt, when you quilt straight lines parallel to the edge of the quilt or at a 45-degree angle diagonally across the quilt. 


The trapunto method makes the quilt look “stuffed.” It can add texture to the quilt and make shapes stand out more dominantly. Quilters used to stuff stitched areas to raise them up, but more modern usages of trapunto involve an extra layer of material applied to the quilt back before the top layer is done. Trapunto can add a zest of texture to your quilt designs and can be done with both hand sewing and a sewing machine.

Longarm Quilting

Longarm quilting is accomplished with a longarm sewing machine. These magnificent sewing machines load the different layers of the quilt into a metal frame and sew all three layers at once. Longarm quilting machines are typically expensive, but many quilters will send their designs to someone that owns a longarm sewing machine for completion.

Hand-Tie Quilting 

Hand-tie quilting involves stitching a heavy thread through the different layers of the quilt and it secures the layers of the quilt together. If you have many elaborate designs throughout the quilt that you have created, a hand-tie may help make the quilt more secure, it is a quick, utilitarian way to keep a quilt together.

Also, you can mix two different quilting techniques in one quilt, as for example, walking foot quilting and free motion quilting, or hand quilting and walking foot quilting, to create a new layer of interest, texture and color in your quilts, next month I will be teaching for the last time this year my Online Live Workshop “MIXUP QUILTING, walking foot quilting + hand quilting”. Where you will learn different designs to quilt your own quilts !