Stipple Quilting with Jan T
What Is Stipple Quilting?
Let renowned Australian quilt tutor, Jan T Urquhart Baillie, show you her best tips for getting great results when free machine quilting. It's not hard at all.
After you have done all the blocks, assembled them into a quilt top, the next stage in making a quilt is the quilting.
Free machine quilting is very sculptural, and makes a quilt truly beautiful.
Here's what you do:
Relax and then start …
What on Earth Does Stipple Mean?
Let's Ask the Thesaurus:
stipple: bespeckle, besprinkle, dapple, dot, fleck, freckle, mottle, pepper, speck, sprinkle
In fact, most of the referances for stipple either refer to blood spots, or spotty effects on skin (making a stippled effect), or they talk about the paint effect technique of using a flat topped brush to dab (stipple) paint on a wall or surface for a textured (stippled) or spattered, look.
Spatter Your Quilt?
Are You Mad?
Why would you want to spatter your beautiful quilt?
Well I wouldn't spatter it with paint, but I might want to 'spatter' the quilt with heavy stitchery to create beautiful texture on the surface.
Stipple quilting is a term that has been coined to describe a particular form of quilting.
Texturising the background areas with stitching is called "stippling".
Background infill stitching causes the background of a quilt to be flattened, making the design part raised.
The picture is the back of a quilt which I heavily machine quilted for a friend, Lorna. Notice the parts with no quilting? They are the embroidered areas on the front. I needed them to be raised, and so I didn't quilt them.
What Is Stippling On A Quilt?
Stippling on a quilt is any background infill stitchery that flattens the background area to emphasise the main design.
Quilt by hand or machine?
Stippling is Not Meander Stitch
That's too difficult
The quilt police will tell you that stippling looks like the diagram at right.
Actually, that's a traditional stitch called meander stitch. Similar in design to cornelli work used to embellish collars and epaulettes in the 1920s.
The stitch is supposed to be curved and not cross itself. No angles.
Meander stitch is too hard for a beginner.— Jan T Urquhart Baillie
Here's an Easier Stitch to Try
Garnet or Granite Stitch
Garnet stitch is much easier for you to learn. You will experience no frustration and many variations are possible.
- You can cross
- You can do points
- You can do big
- You can do small
How To Do the Stitching: The Mechanics
You will need:
- two pieces of A4 paper
- a pencil or pen
Take the pen or pencil in the fist of your working hand, and hold it on one sheet of the paper, at right angles to the paper, in the top right hand corner.
Draw the 'squiggles' of garnet stitch over the entire sheet of paper, without lifting the pen or pencil off the paper.
It is important to be flowing, not straight lines, and remember, you can cross the previous lines.
This is so you can get the pattern into your mind so it's instinctive when you are working on a quilt.
On the other sheet of paper, repeat Step 1.
This time, move the paper while keeping the pencil or pen still.
Hard isn't it?
This is completely the opposite of how you have drawn with a pen or pencil since you first learned!
Why did I ask you to do that?
Below are some pictures showing variations on garnet stitch
Once you get it, you can try all sorts of variations.
Here's the thing: The machine is the pencil,
and the quilt is the paper.
Now you know why it's hard to do at first.— Jan T Urquhart Baillie
A few ideas for stippling your next quiltClick thumbnail to view full-size
Practice makes perfect, well, nearly.
If at first...
you know the rest.— Jan T Urquhart Baillie
Doodling with the machine. Go on, try it!
Fun Stippling Pattern
After watching Grande Finale by Ricky Timms, which has so much information about machine quilting,
I have watched and watched and learned so much. Love this guy's approach, his sense of humour, but mostly his skill.
I began to sew what he calls Ricky Doodles. He does say that they are not something he invented, but an old pattern, so I can share it with you.
You follow the diagram at right, and I urge you to practise on paper first.
Doodling At Close Range
Detail of the front of Lorna's quilt - stippled feathers
The feathered heart quilting was inspired by the embroidered heart designs that Lorna had worked on her quilt top. If you look at the quilt picture at the top of the page, there are heart designs in the four corners of the centre.
4 Steps to Stipple Your Quilt
1. Prepare to machine quilt
2. Baste the layers together
3. Ditch stitch to stabilise the layers
4. Start to stipple!
© 2009 Jan T Urquhart Baillie