Quilted Border Edge – Free Motion

Quilted Border Edge – Free Motion

Hello Dear Friends and Readers.  Today, thought I would discuss a topic I find a bit challenging at times, in relation to free motion quilting on the edges of a quilt.

For this discussion I am talking about free motion quilting on a domestic machine, just to ensure clarity.   In my experience, the starting of the quilting, can be a bit challenging especially on a large quilt.  Usually this means starting in the centre.  The sheer amount of fabric, seams and batting and the obvious weight of the quilt pulling can take some time and maneuvering.  Ideally it is important to get the quilting at the centre as flat as possible to ensure success as the rest of the quilt progresses. Having said that, I think that quilting up the edges of the quilt can also be a bit challenging.

As I approach the edge of the quilt, similar problems can be encountered as again the weight of the quilt can be problematic but this can be assisted by engaging some extra furniture to take some off the weight and taking some time to get up and physically adjust the quilt to remove tension.  That is really helpful.

The area I find challenging is that last few inches.  And you might well say, why not just sew down the edge before quilting, but that can also lead to pulling and some distortion of the quilt edge.  There are times I have just left it and not quilted it because of the potential problems.  That’s a fair solution too.

What I decided to do on this occasion, once I had completed the main body of the quilting, was to stitch in the ditch of the final border to stabilize the quilt,

Then I wanted to do a border design which needed to meet my criteria being;  Not to take too long, not to be overly complicated, fit the space in a meaningful way, work well as a progression on the border without having to stop too often, and obviously to have some visual appeal.

One important factor which I would like to mention, which I think really matters, is to have a design which has almost equal bidirectional design.  By that I mean, for each forward movement, there is a backward movement, for each clockwise movement, there is an anti clockwise movement and so on.

By free motion quilting with this in mind, it makes it so much easier to quilt too the edge of the quilt keeping the edges even and avoiding puckering.  Thus really stabilizing the quilt almost right to the edge which may translate into an easier binding experience too.

So I would like to show you the design I came up with, It is a variation, simplification and minaturization of the “Egg Flower” Free Motion Egg Flower Quilting design with an alternating tendril.  I used the Egg Flower for the main body of the quilt.

Quilted Border Edge Free Motion

This is the quilt I am working on.

Old Italian Block Progress and Setting

I have a new quilting foot too which my DH ordered for me from Singer Online.  For the moment I have fitted it to my Singer electric 201K C 1948.

Vintage Singer 201K and FMQ

Quilted Border Edge Free Motion

The border design is complementary to the Egg Flower design and I think works well for the border.  You  can see how I achieved the bidirectional movement making the design easy to quilt.  I’ve free motion quilted around the edges with relative ease (except for one corner I had to unpick!!!)  The fabric edge looks pretty straight and nice and flat.

Quilted Border Edge Free Motion


I cant wait to bind it!

Hope you find this helpful.  I would be most interested to hear your thoughts or strategies  on quilting to the edge.

If you enjoyed this post you may also like

Rolling Scroll and Daisy Chain Free Motion Quilting


Free Motion Lily of the Valley Treadle Quilting Tutorial

Happy sewing,

All the best,


© Susan Stuklis 2020

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