Nancy Zieman, TV's Sewing With Nancy, shows how to stipple quilts

The creative process of quilting is quite rewarding, but how should you finish your work? On Sewing With Nancy the online video features part two of Fearless Quilting Finishes, and I’ll show you three different ways to tackle the quilting steps: stitching in the ditch, decorative “tie” stitching, and stippling.

The stippling-style quilting I’ll show you is easy to photograph, but it is much more effective if you watch the quilting process in motion. What better way to illustrate the technique than to have you click here and watch online. You can find all the details written in the book that accompanies the three-part series, Fearless Quilting Finishes.

Nancy Zieman, TV's Sewing With Nancy, shows how to stipple quilts

Stippling Review

Setting up your sewing machine is the first step in learning how to stipple.

  • Lower the feed dogs.
  • Attach a quilting foot.
  • Set the machine for a straight stitch.
  • Choose a thread that matches the background, or use a variegated thread as featured in the quilted project.
  • Use a needle compatible with the thread. With the thicker variegated thread, I suggest a topstitching needle—the large eye accommodates the thread.

Helpful notions

  • With the feed dogs lowered, you’ll be guiding and moving the quilt layers underneath the needle area. This is the motion or process that makes many people leery! Consider using a Supreme Slider on the bed of the machine. I use it since it helps the fabric move effortlessly under the needle. The Supreme Slider has a Teflon top, and it has a tacky underside that sticks to the machine.

Nancy Zieman, Sewing With Nancy, shows how to stipple quilts.

  • Use a Quilt Halo to help control the fabricit’s comparable to the steering wheel on a car. Position the halo on top of the basted quilt and slide it under the foot of the machine. Then, hold the sides of the notion using gentle pressure. The tacky underside of the Quilt Halo grips the fabric while giving you a sense of control.

Nancy Zieman, Sewing With Nancy, shows how to stipple quilts.Begin by stippling a small project

Choose a small quilting project for your first stippling adventure, such as a placemat or small wall hanging. Then, move the fabric under the needle to create medium to large “puzzle-end” shapes. Big shapes are okay, in fact that’s the best way to learn. Just be consistent in size.

Nancy Zieman, Sewing With Nancy, shows how to stipple quilts.

Or, stipple following the shape of the design as featured in the petals and leaves of the coneflower. It’s best to watch the process online!

Nancy Zieman, Sewing With Nancy, shows how to stipple quilts.

Here’s a reference to have close at hand

All the information shown in the 3-part series is written and illustrated in my book, Fearless Quilting Finishes. Plus, the DVD features all three parts of the series. The Sewing With Nancy staff makes certain that all of the steps are carefully written and illustrated. Presenting sewing and quilting techniques is a team effort!

Nancy Zieman's Giveaway

For a chance to win a copy of Fearless Quilting Finishes, please let me know your favorite quilt border technique. The random winner will be announced on March 5.

Fearless Quilting Techniques Nancy Zieman

Nancy Zieman's Giveaway Winner

From Mary Mulari’s guest blog, the random winner of her book, Applique—Large & Small, is Ilana. She said, I love fusible applique. The pattern sheet in Mary’s book includes 25+ appliqué designs and two alphabets.

Mary Mulari Applique Large and Small as seen on sewing With Nancy

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Bye for now,

Nancy Zieman The Blog

Nancy Zieman—author, pattern designer, businesswoman, producer, and national sewing authority—is the host of the popular show Sewing With Nancy®, which appears exclusively on public television stations across the United States and Canada. Follow Nancy’s blog at and sign up to receive Nancy’s E-News for the latest news in sewing, quilting, and creating.
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