Monday, August 14, 2017

Stitching Basics: Quilting Square Corners

Today we're going to revisit the quilting on the smaller Open Sesame quilt.

smaller Open Sesame quilting closeup

The modern, rectangular pantograph, Contempo, was stitched using a laser from the backside of the machine. No rulers, no computer. Just follow the red dot on the pattern, plain and simple.

But not so simple if the quilter hasn't learned the basic quilting skill of the hesitation or pause needed to achieve a square corner.

square corner quilting closeup

Let me explain, as this is an important skill for use on both domestic machines and longarms. 

When quilting, and the stitching changes direction either at a corner or a point, the quilter needs to pause or almost stop to allow the needle/machine to prepare for the change. It's the hesitation, or pause at that corner or point, that allows the needle to catch up, and slow down for the change. That little pause is the secret to having square corners and sharp points.

Here's a video of the square corners being stitched out by a longarm. There is no music so that you can hear the machine motor pausing at the corners. Be prepared to adjust the volume, as longarms can be noisy.

Stitching Basics:  Quilting Square Corners

Did you see and hear the pauses? That's the skill that a quilter needs develop in order to get square points and sharp points.

Take a look at this stitching again.

square corner quilting closeup

For the most part, the corners are square, not rounded as they would be if there were no pause. Now, if this was a show quilt, that needle would be coming to a full stop right at the corner to achieve a perfect right angle stitch line. That's the next level to achieve.

But for everyday quilting, working on the basic skill of pausing at corners or points will improve the looks your quilting immensely - just another helpful tip for the quilting toolbox!

Happy Quilting!

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  1. interesting quilt design - I like it much better than the loops and swirls so many use.

  2. Hi Susan. You're absolutely right! I discovered this about a year ago, but end up forgetting it! Thanks for the reminder.


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