I encourage you to think about the quilting at all stages in the quilt making process. Below are some things you can consider when making your quilt.

Busy fabrics vs. plain fabrics

  • Quilting usually does not show clearly on busy or heavily printed fabrics. If you are planning to make quilting a feature on your quilt, incorporate some plain, or tone on tone fabrics, usually in large pieces like setting triangles or borders so that the quilting can shine.


  • Take the thread colour(s) you plan to use into consideration when choosing your backing fabric
  • Variegated thread on a plain back can be very interesting, especially for a child's quilt.
  • If you plan to have the quilt professionally machine quilted, bear in mind that pieced backings are difficult to centre.
  • If you plan to use the quilt to snuggle under, remember this is the side of the quilt that will be closest to you, so choose something you like the feel of.


  • Can change the colour or tone of a quilt, or add a whole new colour to quilt
  • Can lighten a dull quilt
  • Variegated thread can give a lot of interest

Straight lines vs. curvy lines

  • Straight lines can add interest, draw the eye, and create the appearance of additional piecing
  • As most quilts are pieced with straight lines, curved quilting lines can offer a contrast and add softness and texture

Density of Quilting

  • Dense quilting in one area will make other un-quilted areas of the quilt appear to pop up - or be more prominent.
  • Using differing density in quilting can create interesting texture or effects, however care needs to be taken that there is still balance in the quilting over the entire quilt.
  • Quilting can be used to emphasise appliqué by outlining, or by densely quilting around the appliqué to make it stand out.

What is the quilt to be used for?

  • The more heavily quilted, the stiffer the quilt becomes, and the less warm
  • If the quilt is to be used to snuggle under, then more open quilting will give a softer feel


  • Choose a batting that you like the look and feel of
  • Consider what the quilt is going to be used for when selecting your batting
  • Consider how is the quilt to be quilted, as some battings are more suitable for hand or machine quilting
  • Different battings have different density of quilting requirements