Six Ways to Ruin a Quilt with Machine Quilting


Six Ways to Ruin A Quilt, Lori KennedyGood Morning, Quilters!

Today we begin a new weekly series…

Let’s face it…the number one reason quilters hand their quilt tops over to professional long-armers is FEAR.

We fear we’ll ruin our quilts with our quilting.

For some reason, we are never afraid that a professional will ruin our quilts with their quilting. They are professionals–we are amateurs!

Hmmm….how did the professionals become professionals? They practiced!

Now I’m not opposed to professional quilting.  

I recommend professional quilting:

  • For deadline quilts
  • For group quilts
  • For very large quilts
  • Or if you find quilting too physically demandingPoor Quality Quilting, Tension Issues

What I am against, is avoiding machine quilting out of FEAR of ruining a quilt.

Let’s look at the best ways to ruin a quilt with machine quilting…

6. Improper tension– A perfectly stitched motif will look awful if the tension is wrong.  Learn how to adjust your machine tension and make samples–every time you begin quilting.

Poor Quality Quilting, Tension Issues
5. Wrong thread-Every thread is designed to do a job.  Some thread is for construction, other thread is decorative.  Some thread creates texture, other thread shows off the design.  Use decorative threads for best results when quilting.


4. Unbalanced quilt density-The density of the quilting should be balanced throughout the quilt.  Some areas of the quilt may be less quilted than others, as long as it is evenly spaced throughout the quilt–otherwise the quilt may become distorted and the composition will be less pleasant.

Machine Quilting, Flowers, Lori Kennedy

3. Wrong Scale-Once you’ve chosen a motif, it is important to doodle and stitch samples to test the look of a motif.  Try a sample of the motif with echo stitching which improves the look of most motifs.

Machine Quilting, Flowers, Lori Kennedy

2. Allover Meandering or Stippling-I know that many of you will disagree with me, but whenever I see a quilt with all over meandering, I want to send them a link to The Tuesday Tutorials.    I’ve written about meandering and stippling many times including HERE .  We will re-visit my opinion of meandering and I will offer easier alternatives in the next few weeks…

Stipple, Meander


1. Allowing the quilt top to languish (neatly folded) in a Sterlite box in the basement…out of fear of “ruining” it.

A quilt top will never be a quilt without overcoming the fear…

Basket Quilt, Lori Kennedy

Unprison those quilt tops!!!

We will discuss each of the quilt “ruin-ators” in more depth over the next six weeks.

Stay tuned!


PS…Woo HOO!!!!  My Craftsy video got a TEN STAR review–out of a possible five stars!  (50% Off my Classes HERE)

Craftsy Review of Lori Kennedy's Class

Craftsy Title Card

PS…All tutorials, images and information are the property of Lori Kennedy at The Inbox Jaunt and are intended for personal use only.  Feel free to re-blog, pin or share with attribution to The Inbox Jaunt.  For all other purposes, please contact me at  Thanks!