What Is Echo Quilting?

Hey Everyone, welcome back to Free Motion Friday.

So the other day on Technique Tuesday I made a little quilt with no binding. Today I decided I should probably quilt that little quilt and share it here on Free Motion Friday.

I thought about how I should quilt it and because of the pansy appliqué design in the middle of it I figured that echo quilting would look the best. Pretty much any shape will work for echo quilting some are just more of a challenge than others depending how many corners, angles and curves they have.

Echo quilting is when you follow the shape of the appliqué design. It can be done with a free motion foot or a walking foot. The walking foot gives you just a little bit more control but there is a lot more pivoting and turning involved of the quilt. The free motion foot makes it much easier to go around the design without having to stop and pivot every few inches.

Echo quilting can be done any distance from the design. I tend to use a ¼″  – 1″ distance depending on how big the area is that needs to be quilted and how big the appliqué design is. This one was small so I picked a ¼″ to start from the design and follow around. Each subsequent stitching line around the design is a ¼″ from the previous stitching line. On this piece I went from the design completely out to the corners filling the background but I could have stopped any distance along the way.

I do not draw any lines on the piece to guide me. Lines could easily be drawn on with either a Clover Chaco Liner or the Clover Trace ‘n Mark Air Erasable Pen. The Chaco Liner lines would be gone with the stitching where as the lines from the Trace ‘n Mark Pen would take time to disappear.

(I reviewed the Chaco Liners on a Cool Tool Thursday post in March and the Trace ‘n Mark Pens in May.)

For this piece I used a Robison-Anton rayon thread which has a bit of a shine to it. I also used a colour that was fairly close to the colour of the background fabric. I didn’t want it to show up too much but yet still wanted to see the stitching a bit to give the echo effect. I think it has worked very well.

I very well could have used purple thread to match the pansy and did all of the echo quilting with it. The look would have been completely different than the created with the green thread. I also could have used a cotton thread – single colour or variegated. The variegated thread would certainly give another look to the quilting motif.

The one drawback to this type of quilting is that there is a lot of stop and start with each round you make as the stitching lines are not connected in any way shape or form. The effect though is worth it.

How do I deal with those thread ends with every stop and go – well I’ll leave that for another post.

Now I am thinking that the pansy is looking a bit plain and needs some free motion stitching to perk it up a bit. What do you think?

Happy Quilting!

Jen Transparent Signature






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I shared this on TGIFF, The Free Motion Quilting Project and Richard and Tanya Quilts