How to quilt the Feathered Christmas quilt

Since releasing the Feathered Christmas with Embroidered Appliqué collection , I’ve received a number of emails about the quilting on it. The quilting is free motion – done by me!

The biggest concern seems to be – I can’t quilt like you, so what do I do?

This is where the Transformation Quilting Collection comes to the rescue! Following is a tutorial on how to use one of the designs from this collection to quilt the background for this quilt – before doing the embroidered appliqué.

Let’s get started!

I used the design “01-06×12-Single” in the following diagrams. You could switch this out with nearly any of the designs, altering the markings to fit the design that you choose.

Click on any of the images below to see a larger version. I am assuming that you have already created the quilt top as in the instructions provided with the Feathered Christmas with Embroidered Appliqué design collection. The quilting design used for the top and bottom border of the quilt is 0.75″ wider than the border, so if you want to be able to see all of the quilting (versus cutting it off when you trim the quilt), add an extra 1″ to the width of the top and bottom borders.

Step 1: Mark the background

Start by drawing a vertical and horizontal center line as shown in pink. Be sure to use a marking pen or pencil that is guaranteed to remove from the background fabric.

Draw a vertical line 6″ on either side of the vertical center, shown in blue.

Draw a horizontal line 12″ on either side of the horizontal center, shown in orange. These two lines should be right on top of the seam lines, so it’s not actually necessary to draw them onto the background fabric.

Center the marked background onto a piece of batting that is cut to 28″ x 32″.

Stitch along all marked lines using a 5mm long stitch length. This serves two purposes: first to baste the background fabric to the batting; second to make the marking lines more secure.


For each hooping:

  1. Load a piece of medium weight tearaway stabilizer into your hoop. My favorite is OESD Ultra Clean and Tear.
  2. Load the design into your machine.
  3. Loosen the top tension on your embroidery machine by about 0.5. To minimize any tension problems, use the same thread in the bobbin as you use on the top. My favorite is AURIfil Cotton Mako 50 weight.
  4. Stitch color #1 directly onto the stabilizer.
  5. Align the background fabric with the markings now stitched onto the stabilizer  in the hoop. The 4 corners of the space you are going to quilt should align perfectly with the 4 corners of the placement line stitched onto the stabilizer.
  6. Hold the background fabric in place on the stabilizer using pins.
  7. Restitch color #1 to hold the background fabric firmly in place.
  8. Stitch color #2 – the actual quilting.
  9. Remove everything from the hoop and tear away the excess stabilizer from around the outside of the basting line stitched in step 7.
  10. When you’re done with all of the hoopings, remove all basting lines.

For each step below, stitch the first hooping, then turn the background 180 degrees and stitch the second hooping.

Step 2: Hoopings 1 and 2

Stitch the design 01-06×12-Single

Step 3: Hoopings 3 and 4

Mirror the design on the vertical axis in your machine and stitch again

Step 4: Hoopings 5 and 6

Mirror the design again on the vertical axis – it should now be as it was when you first loaded it. Stitch again.

Step 5: Hoopings 7 and 8

Mirror the design yet again on the vertical axis and stitch again.

Step 6: Hoopings 9 and 10

Stitch the design 01-06×12-Single-Split2.

You will need to rotate the background 90 degrees counter clockwise. The bulk of the quilt will be hanging off the right side of the hoop – under the throat of your machine. Roll it up to prevent it from getting caught in the stitching.

Step 7: Hoopings 11 and 12

Stitch the design 01-06×12-Single-Split2-Mirror

You will need to rotate the background 90 degrees clockwise. The bulk of the quilt will now be hanging off the left side of the hoop.

Now that your background is quilted, stitch the embroidered appliqué tree as in the instructions. When you’re all done with the embroidered appliqué, apply a false back to the quilt and bind.

I’d love to see photos of quilts that you create using this method!

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