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The Beginner’s Guide to Quilting with a Machine

When deciding you want to begin machine quilting for the first time, it isn't always as easy as just picking up the machine and getting going. Quilting requires a great deal of practice and patience. This guide is full of tips and tricks for showing you how to make a patchwork quilt.

Our top tips and tricks for making a quilt with a machine

Start small

The key thing to remember is that starting small doesn't mean your quilt won't be as fantastic as you hope, it means you can save yourself the frustration down the line with copious amounts of fabric you struggle to manage. We suggest that a good size is between 36-50 inches of fabric as the best size for starting out. 

Safety pins will be your best friend

Even the simplicity of laying everything flat ironed, and over-pinned can make a huge difference when flattening out the layers of fabric and will help give you more visibility when sewing with the machine. 

Stay simple

Keeping a simple pattern will help you keep your quilt neater as when starting out, it's not out of the ordinary to cross over the lines frequently. When mixing a lack of experience with a complex pattern, you could find yourself confused and mixed up.

Sew in the same direction

As well as starting in the centre and working outwards, we also recommend sewing in the same direction each time to avoid unwanted texture and pulling, which can cause a great deal of tension across all the quilt.


Remind yourself that trial and error is perfectly ok. Before you get going, it's good to create some test pieces to familiarise yourself with the processes required without having to worry about messing up on your first proper quilt attempt.

Go Slow

Sewing is as much a test of patience as skill. Slamming your foot down and getting it done as quickly as possible will result in the fabric puckering and becoming very untidy. A good thing to remember is that slow and steady wins the race when it comes to sewing.

Remember to have fun

It can be intimidating when getting started on a quilting project, especially not knowing all the tips and tricks. However, it is important to remember that practice makes perfect, and skill will develop over time. To kickstart your skill development in quilting, check out our lessons page to learn more about quilting and many other sewing skills. 

Get Started with Making Your Patchwork Quilt with Sewing Direct

We have a wide range of machines perfect for quilting, especially our Bernina S-570qe or the Bernina S-590 along with many other options suitable for your needs.

Be sure to check out our Patchwork & Quilting products to enhance your hobby further.

Sewing Direct Beeston
133 High Road, Beeston, Nottingham, NG9 2LL
Email: -Info@sewingdirect.co.uk
Sewing Direct Mansfield aka Sally Twinkle
1-5 Handley Arcade, Mansfield, NG18 1NQ
Email: -shop@sallytwinkle.co.uk
Are both a trading name of Sewing Direct Midlands Limited
Registered in England & Wales, Company number: 14625487
Registered Office 133 High Road, Beeston, Nottingham NG9 2LL
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