Thread Talk from my Sewing Machine #20


Reader Patti wrote with the following question:

My “struggle” at this time is with echo quilting around shapes. Do you have any ideas on how to keep an even space? I’ve gotten much better results after forcing myself to SLOW down ….. one of your suggestions and thank you. But I still can’t maintain an even echo with any consistancy. Any suggestions would be very much appreciated…

My two cents:

1. Yes, definitely slow down with your stitching. I cannot emphasize enough how much that has helped the quality of my stitches. I know some of you still prefer to stitch fast – that’s okay. Just remember, you won’t get a ticket for stitching too slowly like you would perhaps in driving.


2. Stitch your echoes as close as you can possibly manage. The narrow distances between echoes will in themselves present an optical illusion – even if the echoes aren’t exactly spaced apart, one can’t really tell when the echoes are close together. In the picture below, the echoes are slightly narrower than or about 1/8″ apart. Most probably won’t quilt their echoes that closely together – just find a comfortable distance for you. Remember, echoing a background effect – it’s okay when the echoes aren’t exactly spaced apart.


3. The ol’ pencil and paper approach. See if you could draw your echoes to your satisfaction on paper before trying it on your quilt sandwich. I have had my students actually draw the echoes on the quilt sandwich to start out until they get in the “groove” with a way of moving their quilt sandwiches that works the best for them.


4. This is almost a universal truth: don’t give up that easily. Keep at it!


I hope this helps! :)

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11 thoughts on “Thread Talk from my Sewing Machine #20

  1. I totally get stitching slower but my stitches just aren’t even when I do . I don’t have a fancy long arm so its not as good as the better ones but its what I could afford. I am going to give it another shot and adjust the stitch length etc, but I don’t think it will make a difference I’m just not good at machine quilting ! I love yours and so love reading your blog!

  2. I’m teaching myself free motion quilting and i couldn’t agree with you more. I find echo quilting pretty difficult but find feathers and other patterns easier. I’m going to try again and slow down! Love reading your blog – keep up the great work.

  3. It’s gorgeous quilting (once again!) and a great explanation and review. I’m totally inspired by your quilting, Wendy. All credit for what I’m trying to do with my own quilting goes to you. My aspiration is to be able to free motion quilt, without marking, just as you do. Someday…

  4. Oh, so beautiful!! Yes, please more Feathers, more Feathers and more of them. Thank you so much for your Inspiration! You made my day. Thank you Wendy.

  5. Pingback: Thread Talk from My Sewing Machine #46 | Ivory Spring

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