Starting in the Center or at the Sides: What’s the Scoop?

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I was always taught to start quilting in the center of my quilt and work my way out and down, then return to the center of the quilt and repeat in the other in direction. Lately, I’ve come across many ideas that seem to start on the side or mention stabilizing the quilt at key points and then doing what I want, where I want to do it. What’s the scoop?

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NQC Answer


The reason most teach to start quilting at the center and work your way out is to help eliminate the possibility of puckers or bunching of your quilt top or backing fabric as you work your way through quilting. Depending on the size of the quilt and/or your experience level, you may find that, with the right amount of basting pins in place, you are able to keep everything flat no matter where you start.

Another method some choose to use in order to be able to start quilting anywhere on their work is basting using a basting spray. This adheres the backing fabric to the batting making it much easier to make sure no puckers or bunching forms while quilting.

No matter what basting method you choose to use, I would still recommend either starting at the middle and working out, starting at one side and working across, or simply working in small sections at a time. What I would try to avoid is starting at the outsides and working towards the middle, as this is the largest probability of puckers happening at the center.

Hope all this helps!


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7 Responses to “Starting in the Center or at the Sides: What’s the Scoop?”

  1. Robin

    I usually stitch in the ditch or crosshatch when quilting my work. Would you also recommend starting in the middle of the quilt or the side? Thank you.

  2. Christine

    Any suggestions for the best way to layer the quilt using basting spray? After layering it on my design wall, I find that I have to smooth out wrinkles in the fabric on a flat surface

  3. Regina Blackburn

    Help I want to learn how to quilt

  4. birdellia

    <strong>Ok.. I put the binding on first b 4 quilting the top... ugh guess I wanted to be finished . Help don’t want to take it off., queen size... what to do?!

  5. Roberta

    I washed my 100% cotton sheet for my backing and would like to know if pressing it is necessary? A pressing would make it smoother....but so will the stretching it on the quilt frames.

  6. Rosemarie

    long arm quilt machine - Babylock Coronet = does where you start to quilt make a difference ?

  7. gail

    I just watched Heathers video on the leather quilt. can you advise what type of glue she used - is it regular or cement glue