Hand Technique-Small Designs

I want to pass along a great tip to help you quilt smaller details and designs.

When you are free motion quilting you generally have both of your hands on the quilt, elbows out and parallel with the machine and you are applying tension to the quilt sandwich to keep it flat.

When you quilt this way you are using your "Big Girl" muscles in your shoulders and arms.  This is just what you want to do when tensioning the quilt sandwich.

When you are quilting small details such as backgrounds, little feathers, etc., it is very difficult to do those using your Big Girl muscles.  You need more flexibility.

I highly recommend that you drop your right elbow.  This releases those larger muscles.  

Once the right elbow is dropped, lightly rest your left hand on the quilt sandwich and quilt with the fingertips of your right hand only.  Now you are using your "Little Girl" muscles.

You will be amazed at the ease that you will be able to quilt those little details and designs!


Cindy :)

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  • I’ve started using a tilt table under my sewing machine — it truly alleviates a lot of neck strain.

    TheQuiltedDog on

  • Should I assume that a left handed quilter should drop her left elbow? And quilt with left fingers only?

    Jo on

  • I have been standing at my machine for years as a result of a Sciatic problem. I agree it is a great idea and so much better for many parts of the boady.

    carolyn kuri on

  • I raised my Koala quilting table on bed risers under all the rollers, I did not want to purchase a standing table since I had a quilting table already. It allows me to sit at a bar stool or just lean against it. I often stand and quilt on my Bernina as it has a button to start and stop where I don’t have to use the foot pedal. I can be at the machine for longer periods of time and without my back aching getting up from a sitting position. If you are embroidering, it is excellent as well as you can start the pattern and leave and come back to change colors as needed.

    Cheryl on

  • I’m re-designing my sewing room. I’m considering getting a standup table for my machine, I get so tight between the shoulder blades. Any body else tried this?

    Patricia Kamp on

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