There’s More Than One Way to Quilt a Quilt

Sometimes I think that quilters hesitate to quilt their beautiful quilt tops because they are waiting for the “right” way to quilt them. When it comes to picking out quilting designs, there is no one perfect answer. There are a lot of great answers. Today, I am sharing two quilts, both made with the same pattern but quilted differently. My hope is that it will give you some things to think about when quilting your own quilts.

Mini Giggles by Julie Herman

Mini Giggles by Julie Herman

I quilted both of these quilts for Julie Herman of Jaybird Quilts and I loved getting to try different designs on the same design.

For the first quilt, I used the quilting to combine blocks to create the illusion of rows.

how to quilt mini giggles
This creates a secondary pattern to the quilting and also helps the process go a little quicker.

machine quilting blocks

-First, I decided which blocks I would quilt in rows. Then, I quilted a straight line that echoed the tops of each of the blocks, quilting my way across the quilt. You can use a ruler with your longarm or a walking foot with your sewing machine, whatever you prefer. My favorite ruler to use is the Straight Edge Ruler.

-Secondly, I traveled along the edge of the quilt then echoed the bottoms of the blocks working my way back across the quilt.

-Lastly, I filled in between the lines with a wishbone design. You could use any free-motion quilting design, or just add more lines.

continuous curve quilting designs

In the rest of the blocks, I alternated between continuous curve lines and dot to dot designs. Highlighting certain blocks is an easy way to show off the ones that you pieced perfectly, while downplaying ones that might not have matching points.

dot to dot quilting

The second Mini Giggles quilt shows what happens when you combine geometric lines with a dense back and forth filler. For this quilt, I quilted all the white blocks with the same quilting design. I just loved how they made the blue and green blocks sparkle.

quilting straight lines

The geometric dot to dot quilting in the white blocks started at the top left corner to the block and ended in the top right corner. That allowed me to move across the blocks without starting and stopping…..I just love efficient quilting!

quilting how to

Starting in the upper left corner, quilt a diagonal line to the bottom corner and then up to the upper right corner. Echo the lines until you return where you started. Then, quilt a dense back and forth line horizontal between the diagonal line and the edge of the block. Work your way to the bottom corner and then on up to the upper corner. Of course, you can use a different filler or spread the lines out if you don’t like to quilt it death like I do!


For the rest of the blocks in the quilt, I used the same continuous curve and dot to dot designs as I did in the prior quilt. The placement, however, was slightly different. Highlighting blocks of the same color is a great way to show off your favorite print, or solid, in your quilt. This is especially something I’d do if I finally cut into some of my precious out-of-print fabric. I would definitely want to show it off!

So the next time you are trying to decide how to quilt your quilts, try combining several blocks or highlighting your favorite prints!

Shape By Shape 2

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, chances are that you have already seen that my newest book is finally out! Shape By Shape 2 is the same format as the prior book, with all new content and even more features. I am immensely proud of it and I feel as though I have finally got this “writing thing” figured out. If you’d like to get you hands on a signed copy, check out my online store.