Free Machine Quilting Tip #1:How To Use Scribble Quilting to Fill Open Space

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Hi I’m Cindy Needham. I am an online quilting instructor with, and I’ve got a great tip for you on a very easy filler technique that I call scribbling.

Stippling you do with little curved lines that you absolutely don’t cross. Scribbling you do cross your lines. When you do scribbling you want to do it at a high rate of speed. The first thing that I do with scribbling is I hand-tension my fabric a little bit, and I’m going to nail it down. If you watch, I’m going to make large, loopy lines and what this does is it stabilizes your fabric. You can see that I’m crossing my lines, and that’s OK. The quilting police are not going to get me.

Once I’ve got the area filled in where I want to scribble, I don’t need my hand tensioning anymore. So I lightly place my left hand on my machine and I’m only sewing with my fingertips. I call this my bat out of hell speed. The way I describe it to my students is you think about that mad blowfly that gets loose in your house and he’s constantly swirling and diving. He never flies a straight line because then you would be able to nab him. So you’re just swirling and you end up with a beautiful texture that really makes your designs pop. And you can make it as loose or as tight as you want. Let me show you the difference.

On this panel we have stippling and you can see how I did not cross my lines. I’m not getting much of a shadow, I’m not getting much of a pop which is what I like to have in my quilts. The other side of the panel, I have scribbling. And you can see, you can see how dense it is, see the beautiful shadow that you’re giving to your designs. I love sunshine and shadow in my quilts. The scribbling allows me to do that and is a wonderful technique to fill in any space.

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