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Stippling and Meandering

Both stippling and meandering, shown below, are free-motion techniques used for filling areas with squiggly lines of quilting. Though similar, stippling lines are much closer together, about 1/8" to 1/4" apart. Meander quilting is good for large areas or for covering the entire quilt top. Use low-loft batting for both styles and plan a quilting scheme that is evenly balanced overall to ensure a quilt that lies flat.

With no lines or motifs to follow, your imagination will be your guide as you quilt. To get stitches consistent in spacing and scale, practice on a test sandwich until the speed of your moving hands and the pressure of your foot on the pedal remain steady. Then you are ready to start quilting "for real" on your quilt.

Begin in a corner, preferably on a previously stitched line, to disguise your starting point. Slowly move the quilt to form curvy lines and shapes like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. Without crossing the stitching lines, vary the direction and the shapes.

Avoid quilting yourself into a corner. Visualize the area as small sections to be filled in. Before you finish a section, look ahead to decide where to quilt next and how best to get there without stopping. Then quilt in that direction.

Stippling is shown at left, meandering at right.



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