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Echo Quilting

Echoes add drama and movement to an applique background. To keep the quilt square, use low-loft batting and finish all in-the-ditch quilting before beginning the echo. Remove any basting pins or plastic tacks that might interfere before you begin each stitching line.

Whatever size your darning foot happens to be, use it as a guide for spacing the free-motion quilting lines. Most standard machines have darning feet measuring between 3/16" and 1/2" from the needle to the edge of the foot; a Big Foot®, for machines that accept generic feet, measures 5/8".

The first stitching line outlines the applique shape. Keep the edge of the darning foot against the edge of the shape as you sew, or later, against the previous row of stitches. In the quilt shown below, you can see that points and curves become less defined in successive rows of quilting.

Start on a smooth edge of the shape and quilt around it to where you began. Lock your stitches, but don't clip the threads.Move out to the next echo. Offset the starting point for each row so the locked stitches will be less noticeable. Clip threads when all quilting is complete.

Quilting lines may eventually touch between shapes, forming a space called a pool. Quilt the pool last, working inward to each pool's center. To fill pools around the sides of the quilt, start and finish at the raw edges of the fabric.

Echo quilting.



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