Tips & Tricks

Big Stitch Quilting Project

We like to keep current with trends and learning new skills, so when we picked up on ‘big stitch’ quilting at the AQS Charlotte show, studio time was needed. Here’s a quick 14″ x 18″ pillow using the Quilt Blocks French Cottage Block #7.

To test some stitching, the block was made and 2″ added to the top and bottom, then 4″ to the sides.  The batting is Hobbs Polydown. It has more loft than I would use for machine quilting, but the the perle cottons and 6-stand floss slipped through the siliconized fibers easily.


The Setting Kit includes the designers suggestions for quilting.  The designs were marked with pencil.

The block and batting were layered with a muslin backing, pinned, and stitched in the ditch around some of the pieces.  The polyester batting was poofy, so I used the even-feed foot and lengthened the stitch.  Much better.  With everything stablized, let’s quilt!

French_cottage_3 French_cottage_4_1

In the center square, the grid is stitched in DMC floss green #3347. Using all 6 strands, I just couldn’t get the needle threaded! Even with a fresh cut, brighter light, white background, folding the thread, wetting it, twisting it, putting on stronger reading glasses…. Plan B – a bigger needle.  A Chenille needle size 24 – large eye, sharp point, and less than 1 1/2″ is my secret weapon.



The dark red swirls and lines are Finca Presencia No. 16 stitched with an Embroidery size 8.  This perle cotton is so nice I couldn’t stop stitching, so added some extra lines in the square. More stitching -the vine & leaf on the sides are 3 strands of floss.


Bottom line – I’m looking forward to big-stitch quilting a larger quilt.  The polyester batting requires some stitching in the ditch, but then you’re free to big stitch anywhere.

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