Machine Quilting Tips and Techniques

Membership Options

National Quilters Circle Membership with automatic renewal

Please select from the available subscriptions above

  • Choose Annual or Monthly Plan
  • All-Access Video Pass
  • New Videos Every Week
  • View on Computer or Mobile

Select your membership plan and get our best quilting videos, projects and patterns with 24/7 access to tips and techniques from our quilting experts, automatic renewal and our ‘cancel anytime’ policy.


Learn More

Knowing where to start when learning how to machine quilt can be difficult. ZJ Humbach shares several different machine quilting tips to get you started learning how to quilt and to also help you improve upon some of the basic quilting movements.


Before sharing her machine quilting tips, ZJ explains why learning how to machine quilt on a long arm quilting machine is much different than learning to quilt on a regular sewing machine. She explains the difference is in the movements because one way has you moving the fabric under the machine and another way has you moving the machine over the fabric. ZJ then shares her machine quilting tip of using paper and pen to practice quilting. She explains how the movements are similar and gives suggestions on what to practice writing first.


After you have practiced writing several names, words and the alphabet you can move on to basic machine quilting designs. ZJ shows how to improve your machine quilting by again using pen and paper and drawing designs. She starts with a common design known as a meander and explains why you should practice drawing it in several sizes and what the different sizes are referred to as.

She then moves on to showing how to practice loops, stars, hearts and a combination of all. Once you have practiced your designs on paper you can then move on to practicing them on a quilt sandwich. ZJ shares more tips and techniques for doing that including explaining what kind of fabric you should and shouldn’t practice on and why. She then shows an example of a practice quilt and explains why quilting inside small grid squares is a good idea and can help your overall quilting by imagining each small square is an entire quilt.

Tags: how to machine quilt, machine quilting tips, machine quilting videos, Premium Videos, quilting videos, ZJ Humbach