Creating Echo Lines in a Quilt

Echo lines are a wonderful way to fill the empty spaces between the shapes on your quilt tops. Here, Andi Perejda (instructor of the online Bluprint class Hand-Quilting: Heirloom Design and Technique), demonstrates how to create these echo lines, and with it visual interest and depth.

Video transcript:

Hi, I’m Andi Perejda, hand-quilting instructor for I’m here to show you how to make echo lines between different objects on your quilt top.

Okay, so let’s just draw a potential quilting motif here on the paper. Let’s draw the edge of an oak leaf like so. And it continues off this way. Then we’ll put a little flower over here. And we’ll put another round shape over here. So how do we echo in between these different motifs?

Well, we start out echoing each one individually, like so. And you can see they continue off in another direction for each one of these. So it’s not a closed area in here. It’s an open area. And here. Okay? So we continue to do this as we approach the center. We have to make a few decisions about how to bring these lines together so that they look graceful.

Now, here we’re finding that this is getting pretty narrow. So instead of continuing this line, I’m going to stop it right now. And I’m going to bring in a line around this one, this shape. So now we have three lines, one two three, around each piece. And we see that we can’t really continue this line in here unless we reduce the spacing. So in order to keep the spacing about the same, we’re going to go like so. Now here again, it gets narrow again. So I’m going to reverse direction and go to here, and go to here, and go to here. And so forth, until I find that, really, the space is getting reduced so much, I’ll just end it like that. Then we can pick up and quilt here, and here, and maybe here, this small little area. And another here. And so that is how you fill an area between motifs that is open and continues on in other spaces.

So here’s an example on a real quilt. This is my breadfruit quilt. You can see in this area, we have the leaves of the breadfruit coming in, a breadfruit fruit, and more leaves, and how I’ve filled it in with my wuilting stitches. I’ve gone around each piece. It’s open out here to another area. And I’ve just continued to fill it one line at a time. And actually, the ending stitches don’t even touch this line, they actually stop right there.

So I hope you’ve found this tip for echo quilting helpful. For more great tips, visit my online class, Handquilting Heirloom Design and Technique, on We’ll see you there!

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