9 Quilting Techniques That Make Quilts So Much Fun

This article is about 9 Quilting Techniques That Make Quilts So Much Fun. Some of the techniques are top-down appliqué, bargello, knitting, backstitch embroidery, French knots and more. I hope you enjoy the article!

Where to begin with making a quilt these days?
It’s so easy to get started, or to start from scratch. All the supplies are on the market, and you can make a wonderful project for your own bed at home. Or you can donate your quilt to charity, give it as a gift or sell it online as an auction item.

The only challenge is deciding what to make first.

Here are a few techniques that make quiltmaking so much fun!

The techniques listed here include:

Top-Down Appliqué.

I adore appliqué, and I’ve seen the top-down method included in several books now. The beauty of the top-down method is that you don’t have to worry about sewing through your layers of quilt, or trying not to show your stitches on the front side.

There are at least two top-down methods:

a. Lap Quilt (click on photo for a tutorial click here) One layer of the quilt is sewn together, then another similar layer is added to the quilt, with batting between. This allows you to stitch a border around the top-edge of your quilt, which gives it a polished look. The borders are usually machine stitched, and sometimes hand appliqued.

b. French Knots. French knots are tied by hand, and are a wonderful way to finish your quilt. They can be done in any color on any side of the quilt, so they’re great for appliqué and bargello techniques too!

READ: 10 Things You Need to Know Before Buying a Quilt Kit


Bargello is a quilting technique that uses square units (called bars) to achieve patchwork-like effects in a full-size quilt or small pieces of fabric for sewing projects like baby blankets and pillows. Sometimes the pieces are stitched together and sometimes they are separate.

What’s great about bargello is that you can use stitch-and-turn methods or free motion stitching to complete the quilting pattern. If you’re a machine quilter, that should be easy for you!

Back Stitch Embroidery for Quilts and Clothing.

Back stitch embroidery is my favorite technique for quilts! I’ve used it for borders, appliqué and even for writing words on the quilt itself.

When backstitching, you sew two or three stitches in a row, then go forward one stitch (or more) and go back over the same area 2 or 3 times. When you’re done, take your needle out of the fabric and continue sewing forward one stitch at a time.

For example, you’ll sew three stitches in a row, then go back over them again, to create an outlined stitch.

From this point on, you’ll sew forward one stitch at a time until you’ve created your outline. The spaces between the outlines give the illusion of a sewn line. You can use this technique to make embroidery designs (think appliqué) or for words and/or letters on quilts. There are so many possibilities!

Surface Appliqué.

Can you use the appliqué technique to “fill” in your quilt? Why yes, you can! Surface appliqué is accomplished by picking up the fabric and stitching a line of stitching over, but right under your stitches on the previous rows. For this reason, surface appliqué is often called back stitch stitching in books.

Patchwork Quilting.

Quilters typically use very developed designs and patterns when they’re patching together a quilt. The more time you take in designing your quilt, the more beautiful the result.

handmade patchwork quilt

The quilt above is a fantastic example of patchwork quilting. The quilter used a technique called “stitched-in-the-ditch” to create a floral design that follows the quilting pattern, but doesn’t interfere with it. The whole point of stitched-in-the-ditch is to add interest and/or another design element to your quilting pattern.

There are lots of patches you can use in patchwork quilting. I like to create a grid, adding to it as I go. For example, if I’m stitching 1 square of the border, I’ll put the next block in place (which will be a 1/4″ further along), then the next block in place again etc.

Creating Stripes with Basting Stitches.

Stripes are so much fun to make in a quilt!

I use this method often and I love it. (I’ve also used it on fabric to create draping strips.)

You’ll use a basting stitch on the right side of your fabric, and you’ll use a running stitch to attach the strip in place. The basting stitches keep the strip in place while you sew on your running stitched.

Border Stitches.

I love the look of borders, and I love the back-stitch technique for stitching them! Borders are usually small strips, but you can stitch them on scraps of fabric too! (Using the border stitch will give you a finished edge.) For example, I have a block of fabric that I use on all my quilts. You can see how it gives the quilt a nice finished edge:

Applique Techniques.

Applique techniques are wonderful for finishing!

You’ll use these techniques to finish a top-down appliqué quilt, or you can use them to appliqué on the quilt front. Applique is a wonderful way to add texture and personality to your handmade quilts and other projects. (If you’re using appliqué technique for quilts, you’ll need to choose fabrics that coordinate.)

Sewing Techniques.

You may not think of sewing as a quilt making technique, but it can be! Sewing techniques can be used to sew appliqué or patchwork designs. If you’re sewing with cotton fabric, you’ll want to use a heavier thread, and a larger needle. You can also use thick thread for quilting.

Here are just a few of the quilting techniques available:

Factory Quilting: You’ll stitch multiple layers, like a sandwich, then add batting between the layers of fabric.

Block Quilting: You’ll stitch multiple layers of fabrics together, then cover over the seams with batting.

Bargello: This is a type of piecing; you’ll quilt with squares or rectangles, but sometimes use patches of fabric in between to “fill” in your quilt.

Warm and Cold Quilting: You’ll stitch one layer of fabric side by side, then quilt it with a different color thread at the top (Warm) or bottom (Cold).

I hope you enjoyed this article about 8 Quilting Techniques That Make Quilts So Much Fun! Check back soon for even more great articles from us. If you have questions or would like to share some of your tips, please leave a comment below.

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