3 Ways To Get More Texture In Quilting


Using texture on texture can enhance your quilts.  We discuss 3 ways to get more texture in quilting.

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3 Ways To Get More Texture In Quilting

Amp up your quilting with specialty feet, fancy stabilizers, and non-traditional fabrics.

3 Ways To Get More Texture In Quilting


Heavy fabrics, while not ideal for traditional piecing, can definitely benefit from the added texture of quilting stitches. Spend an extra moment planning your quilting to consider loft and fixing stitches when quilting with thicker fabrics.



In this example, we are quilting with "polar fleece." Design considerations are to center the quilting inside an applique style motif, rather than all over quilting. Also, keeping quilting lines 3"-4" apart respects the loft of the fleece while showcasing the quilting motif.


Try specialty feet and stitches for quilting on non-traditional fabrics. Likely, you won't need batting in your heavy fabric project. Visualize quilting as exclusively decorative rather than functional. Use a tear away stabilizer to anchor and even-out fancy stitches. "Reverse" isn't always an option with special stitches. Remember to "fix" at the start and end of stitching lines if your machine has that option. Otherwise, a touch of Fray-Check on the bobbin side is a good idea.


In this project, the Marking Foot gives loft to stitches instead of dragging them into the pile. BTW, a smaller stitch width (2.0) provided the most loft on this no-pill fleece. Also, outlining the shape first enabled accurate quilting lines. In terms of stitch order, thicker fabrics are more forgiving than a quilt sandwich, so you don't necessarily need to start stitching in the center.



Add even more texture to your quilting with trapunto or fancy interfacings. Floriani's Heat-N-Shrink or Inspira's Fabric Magic, from the stabilizer aisle, can be used on heavy fabrics too. Quilt over a swatch of shrinking interfacing, then cut away negative spaces before shrinking. In this example, inside of the A and B were cut-out with applique scissors after quilting but before steaming.


When working with shrinkables, remember to size your block extra large. A good rule of thumb is only 2" larger for heavy fabric, while quilt cottons will easily shrink 4". Super lightweights like lining or organza will shrink even more! If you are short on fabric, or if you don't enjoy on-the-fly adjustments, then take time to make a 7" square test swatch with quilting distances similar to your planned project.


Special Note:

Is your planned quilting shape rectangular? It will shrink more on the Y-Axis. In this example, we wanted a 16" block/side for our pouf. A test showed that our letters had more vertical area than width, and therefore shrunk more along their y-axis, so we cut 18" x 17" patches (stitching 12" high letters over Fabric Magic) and they shrunk to nearly perfect 16" square, easily matching the 16" pink setting blocks on top and bottom of the pouf.



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Attaching individual pieces of fabric to a background to form a design.

Same As: Appliqué

See Also: Freezer Paper Applique, Needleturn Applique, Machine Applique, Reverse Applique, Shadow Applique
The layer in the middle of a quilt sandwich between the Top and Backing layers consisting of wool, polyester, blends, silk, or cotton.

Same As: Stuffing, Filling, Wadding, Filler
The basic unit of a quilt top, usually square but can be rectangular or other shapes. Blocks can be pieced, appliqued or plain.
A spool or reel that holds thread or yarn for spinning, weaving, knitting, sewing, or making lace.
Accessories that are available for sewing machines and are especially made for quilting.
The fabric on the back of a Quilt Sandwich (Top, Batting and Backing).

Same As: Backing
A descriptive term for the thickness, height and resilience of quilt batting. High loft batting is thicker and fluffier, usually polyester and used more often for tied quilts. Low loft batting is thinner and shows off the quilting stitches.
A decorative applique design or figure, as of lace or velvet, used in trimming.
The process of assembling quilt blocks from pieces of fabric sewn along their edges to form a whole.

See Also: English Paper Piecing, Assembly Piecing, Machine Piecing, Chain Piecing, Paper Piecing, Hand Piecing
Traditional description of a quilt: a sandwich consisting of a Quilt Top, Batting (filling), and a Backing.
A raised, dimensional surface created by putting additional batting or stuffing into areas to sculpt the surface.
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