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Learn How to Quilt Stippling

Stippling the #1 most popular design for free motion quilting, and typically the first design any beginner learns to quilt. The rule behind this design is very simple: stitch a wiggling, meandering line that doesn't cross itself.

Stippling has a very unique texture that appears to flatten or recede into the background of a quilt. It's definitely a great design to learn and it certainly should have its place in your quilts. Knowing how to create this filler design is much like knowing how to piece a 9 patch block - it's a necessary step to becoming an experienced quilter.

First, let's learn how to quilt a large scale stipple that can easily fill the whole surface of your quilt:

(This was one of my very first free motion quilting videos, so forgive the bad quality)
Stippling Quilting Design
free motion quilting | stippling

Once you get the hang of quilting Stippling on a large scale over your whole quilt in All Over Style Quilting, you can then try shrinking the design down to create Microstippling. This tiny version of Stippling is perfect for quilting in tight, complex areas of your quilt like around tiny appliques or quilting motifs.

Now let's learn how to quilt Microstippling:

Stippling is one of the most popular free motion quilting designs and because of that, most beginning quilters want to learn how to quilt this design first.

But this design is actually pretty tricky, because the rules of the design are so vague. Basically you want to stitch a wiggly line around your quilting space that doesn't cross itself.

This can be challenging to get the hang of, so I advise beginners to think of cartoony letter shapes as they try to stitch Stippling:

stippling quilting design | free motion quilting

Can you see the letter E, L, H, F, M, C, and U? These are all great letters to think about as you try to stitch Stippling and might make it easier for you to form the design.

Of course you don't want to MicroStipple across the whole surface of a bed quilt! That would result in a quilt the consistency of cardboard with the comfort quality of a concrete floor.

Microstippling is best used in specific areas to flatten the quilt surface and draw attention to other quilting motifs, appliques, or design elements. This is especially effective around areas of Trapunto where the quilted motifs are raised with two layers of batting and the surrounding areas are flattened with very dense quilting.

Once you learn Stippling and Microstippling, you'll be ready to learn a whole host of new designs! Stippling is the mother of all Independent Designs so once you learn this design, you might want to try other designs in this same family.

All of these designs wiggle around independently of everything around them. Hence the name Independent Designs! They're all very easy to stitch and look great when quilted on a large or small scale over your quilts.

Here's a few Independent designs you might want to get started with first:

sharp stippling | free motion quilting design
Sharp Stippling
circuit board quilting design | free motion quilting
Circuit Board
frog eggs quilting design | free motion quilting
Frog Eggs
wandering clover quilting design | free motion quilting
Wandering Clover
pumpkin patch quilting design | free motion quilting
Pumpkin Patch

Even if you can't quilt Stippling perfectly, try these designs and see if they work better for you! Always play to your strengths when free motion quilting as a beginner. Work first to find a design that makes sense to you and is a natural movement for your body to make, then quilt that single design on everything!


Learn how to quilt the 4 most popular quilting designs! Click on the links below:
stippling quilting design | free motion quilting
mctavishing quilting design | free motion quilting
pebbling qulting design | free motion quilting
paisley quilting design | free motion quilting