Want To Learn Edge-to-Edge Quilting? Here’s An Easy Tutorial Plus Designs

When it comes to quilting, the possibilities are endless with what you can do with your sewing machine and some thread.

Whether you like the look of straight-line quilting, edge-to-edge quilting designs, free motion designs, or complex custom quilting, no two quilts will look exactly the same.

In this post, let’s take an in-depth look at the category of edge-to-edge quilting

I’ll share a simple tutorial and some downloadable designs.

You can use the designs with an embroidery machine or as inspiration to do with your sewing machine using free-motion techniques.

What Is Edge-to-Edge Quilting?

Also known as all-over quilting designs, edge-to-edge is a quilting style that involves repeating one quilting pattern over the entire quilt top — usually in vertical or horizontal rows. You choose a quilting pattern and repeat it over the whole project.

Straight-line quilting can be categorized as edge-to-edge quilting. You can also use free motion quilting to create an edge-to-edge (or all-over quilting) design.

I love geometric shapes for edge-to-edge quilting. It gives the quilt a modern look, and you can find a ton of inspiration for geometric shapes everywhere you look. 

For example, go to your local home improvement store and look at the tile section. Notice all the shapes that are available: hexagons, chevron, straight lines, circles, etc. 

How Do You Do Edge-to-Edge Quilting?

Now that we have a good idea of what edge-to-edge quilting is, we can discuss how to do it. First, you’ll need to choose your design. As I mentioned before, you’ll find inspiration for different patterns all around you — all you need to do is look for it.

The internet is another excellent resource for inspiration. Conduct a simple search for edge-to-edge quilting, and hundreds of examples will pop up for you.

Another tip I have for you is to doodle. Sometimes it’s best to develop your own design, so start drawing lines and see where your pen takes you. This free-form drawing can be a lot of fun and will help you broaden your creative mind even further.

Once you’ve chosen your design, then it’s time to execute. I always like to do a little practice before I start stitching on my actual quilt project. After you’re confident you have the design figured out and practiced a bit, it’s time to do the real thing.

Without further ado, let’s jump into the simple tutorial for beginner edge-to-edge quilting.

Edge to Edge Quilting Tutorial

No matter how complex or straightforward your chosen design, I always recommend doing a little practice. You can practice either on a quilt sandwich or even with just a pen and paper. Keep in mind when setting up your quilting, you only need to focus on one row at a time.

Step 1: Choose your design.

When I was looking up edge-to-edge quilting patterns for this tutorial, I wanted to make sure I chose something that would be doable for beginners and still be fun for someone who may be more advanced. I found my design in a book titled Quilting Patterns by Linda Macho. The design I chose is under the “Filling Patterns” section. I selected the bottom left corner design.

filling patterns

As you can see, the design is many squares the same size overlapping each other in each row. It makes a beautiful pattern and is relatively simple to replicate.

Step 2: Practice your design.

To get a feel for where to place my squares and make sure everything lines up well, I made a 12”x14” mini quilt sandwich.

step 2

Step 3: Draw your design on your quilt project.

This step is optional. If you feel you need to draw a design template on your fabric (with either a water-soluble marker or a Hera marker), then by all means, do it. I like to use a Hera marker for this type of project, so I have a guide. Then I don’t need to worry about the ink washing out after I finish.

For my design, it is hugely beneficial to draw on my squares with my Hera marker, so I know exactly where to go with my needle.

step 3

Step 4: Stitch your first row.

Once you have your guidelines drawn and are confident in your design, begin stitching your design onto your quilt project. When you’re first starting, take it slow and make sure your stitch lengths are uniform if you are doing FMQ.

step 4

Continue stitching until you have the entire first row complete.

step 4

Tip: I would recommend taking a step back from your quilt and looking at it from a distance to ensure that the first row you quilted is perfectly straight. This step will help you to make sure the rest of your rows are straight and uniform. 

If it is not straight, the best thing to do is get your trusty seam ripper and pull out all those stitches. I know it’s painful, but it will be MUCH LESS painful to remove just one row of quilting than to finish the project and realize everything is wonky.

Step 5: Stitch the rest of your rows.

Once you have that first row finished, you can more clearly see how the rest of the project will look. Continue on quilting row by row until you have entirely quilted your quilt.

step 5

5 Edge-to-Edge Quilting Designs for Embroidery Machine

1. Stippling Design

Stippling is a type of Free Motion Quilting. With this free embroidery machine design, you can add stippling to your quilt projects without doing any FMQ! Pretty cool, right?

Use this all over your next quilt and create your own edge-to-edge quilted project with the touch of a button on your embroidery machine.


2. Tulip Pattern

Isn’t this gorgeous? Imagine this all over a quilt top. Stunning! This downloadable pattern would be an excellent addition to a spring or summer quilt pattern.


3. Night Sky Pattern

This fun pattern mixes stars and swirls to make a whimsical design for a quilt. This design would be a lovely choice for a baby quilt or a gift for someone who loves to stargaze.


4. Circles Pattern

These mesmerizing circles are a fantastic choice for a wide variety of different quilt projects and will make you look like a free motion pro! This pattern is one of my favorite circle designs that I have seen for embroidery machines.


5. Lantern Pattern

This lantern pattern is trending right now, and for good reason. The lanterns are a beautiful mid-century modern design that will make your quilt pop. This pattern is a perfect example of an embroidery machine design that you can translate into an edge-to-edge quilting project.


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Ready to begin your edge-to-edge quilting project?

Edge-to-edge quilting is a fantastic option for those of us who may not have a long arm quilting machine but still want to make a gorgeous quilting pattern on our projects. With so many possibilities for different skill levels, the sky truly is the limit.

So before you send your quilt off to have it quilted by a longarm quilter, take a step back and think to yourself, “Is there an edge-to-edge design I could do myself?” Trust me — it is gratifying knowing you did your own quilting, and it turned out great.

Do you prefer straight-line, edge-to-edge, free motion, or complex custom quilting designs? Learn more from this edge-to-edge quilting tutorial.


About the author: 
Miriam Ronne is a lover of all things quilting and sewing. She is a self-taught quilter and is constantly learning and broadening her skill set to create one-of-a-kind quilts! When she's not behind her sewing machine you can find her playing with her fur babies or trying her hand at other crafty things.

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