Thursday, January 9, 2014


This tutorial shows you some of my 
machine kwilting techniques and tips

Well call it what you will...kwilting can be fun.
Remember, everyone has an opinion !!



Kwilting gloves will help you control the kwilt  movement during any type of kwilting.  
My favorite glove is Machingers...light weight and comfy.
(not being paid for this endorsement...I just like em)


 I pin baste to the carpet, sticking the large safety pin thru all 3 layers 
and into the carpeting.  Keeping all three layers taught!  
Very hard on my knees and I hate this part. 

Small curved pins for basting, placing them about a fist-distance apart.  
Don't be stingy with those pins!
I use a grapefruit spoon (with those little jagged teeth) 
to close the pins and save my fingers.

During the kwilting,  I remove the pins and toss them to the container
 sitting on the floor beside my sewing table. 
My lightning fast sewing speed causes the container to jiggle if on my table ...
THEN boom - pins everywhere !

 Toss the pins in open and ready for the next quilt.
(see the little grapefruit spoon)

  • Stitch regulator foot if you have one or a regular FMQ foot
  • New needle
  • Needle down position - if your machine has that option
  • Feed dogs lowered
  • I don't always use the same thread on top and bottom and have been known to mix types of threads as well (cotton, rayon, metallic) 
  • Have a practice sandwich of muslin and the type of batting you are using  - Practice FMQ before you put that quilt under the needle.  Check your thread tensions and make any adjustments as needed
  • Begin FMQ meandering in the middle of the kwilt, 
  • Work out to the sides, turning the quilt as needed.
  • Keep you eye on the kwilt space and where you need to go...NOT on the needle!  It knows exactly where it is.  

  SCRUNCHING - your kwilt...not your shoulders
Keep the entire kwilt on the top of my sewing surface by scrunching / bunching it up. This eliminates DRAG and makes moving your kwilt easier.  If you have a small space use an ironing board surface set up by your sewing table, at same height to help hold the kwilt weight.

Using "gloved" fingertips will help you 
to control the movement of the kwilt top.
Relax those shoulders!!!  wrists!!!  fingers!!!
 I know you are scrunching just reading this!


FMQ an easy back and forth line design, soft curves ahead.  
This it works great in  small areas or border/sashing sections. 

 This baby kwilt has both FMQ lines and meandering.

 A view of the kwilted top.

A white backing really shows off the kwilting.

A close up look

If you choose to spray baste PLEASE don't buy the cheap stuff!
You will be sorry and your machine will hate you!
I use 505 Brand found in most kwilt shops and on line

NOTE:  My Bernina Stitch Regulator (BSR) foot
She gets mad as hell , skips stitches and causes cursing!
If I kwilt without the regulator foot, use the walking foot 
or other feet, then no problems.


The beauty with "organic" straight line kwilting is 
your kwilting does not have to be perfect. 
A little wave in the "straight" line or 
varying spacing between the straight lines called  = creative license

Here is how I setup my Bernina

  • Machine straight stitch is 4.00
  • Walking foot on
  • Presser foot at a medium pressure (28 on my Bernina) (I have a knob on my machine to adjust this.  Most high end machines should have this function (look in your manual).  The higher the number on the pressure knob, the looser the area under the pressure foot allowing feed to go more smoothly.
  • Needle down
  • Feed dogs dropped
  • I use LARGE OFFICE CLIPS to hold my kwilt in place as I stitch the lines. 
  • FOLD (don't roll) the kwilt in from each side and clip it.

  • A walking foot provides a nice even feed for SLQ
  • I use a "seam" as my first row of kwilting or you can use blue painters tape, sew along side it - then remove it
  • From that first stitched row, begin to alternate sides as you kwilt the rows - helps eliminate puckers
  • Turn or flip the kwilt around (from one end to the other) for each row you stitch - helps eliminate puckers
  • Use the side of the walking foot for spacing between lines
  • Shift the needle position to make the spacing between lines bigger or smaller and continue to use the side of the walking foot as your stitch guide

 Even with clips on the kwilt to hold the sides in...
I keep it bunched up on my sewing surface to avoid drag.

 And that's the Kwilty Pleasure's spin and tips on kwilting a kwilt.  
Hope you found something useful here.  

Just put this on my Tutuorial Page...
check out my other tutes if you have time.  


  1. You have some great tips here!

  2. Great Kwilty tips Kathy. Thank you for shareing them.

  3. thank you thank you thank you, I have 2 (my first 2 ) quilts not pinned but tacked and ready to quilt but so so frightened but your article had given me hope. I do have a bernina and a walking foot so no excuse really just need the courage to get going.

  4. I love my Machingers too! They really reduce the stress in my arms - especially if the quilt is fairly large!

  5. I just used the BSR on my mom's machine to quilt a couple quilts. I wondered why it kept skipping stitches. When I turned off the BSR function, no skipped stitches. It must be my basting spray! Good to know, thanks!

  6. Great tips! Do you every have wrinkles from pulling all the layers too tight when pinning to the floor? I had that problem because the bottom ended up being tighter than the top once.

  7. Great tips, I love my machingers gloves too.

  8. Great tips! I recently started pinning some of my tops again and will try a grapefruit spoon for sure next time.

  9. Thanks for sharing such great pictures of all your "kwilty" yumminess! That's good to know about the basting spray and BSR

  10. Thank you so much for the info. Yah for machingers!!

  11. Thanks for all the great tips,I need to get a pair of those gloves.

  12. Great tips! I bought a can of basting spray but never used it. Thanks for sharing.
    Freemotion by the River Linky Party Tuesday

  13. Great helpful hints, Kathy! I love Machingers as well, and I use a slider too to help eliminate drag. Your quilting is lovely, and it does show up beautifully on that white backing!

    Thanks so much for sharing at Needle and Thread Thursday!

    :) Kelly @ My Quilt Infatuation

  14. Great tips! I have heard many good things about those gloves, maybe I will try them this year. Best wishes to you in 2014!

  15. I really appreciate your helpful post. I have some of this fabric, I have yet to use. :) It's nice to see it made up into a quilt. Have a good week.


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