As quilters, one of the most creative and interesting parts of quilt making is the actual quilting process.
However, sometimes it’s challenging to figure out what type of quilting you want to do.
Do you want straight lines?
An all-over design?
The possibilities are endless, and today, we’re going to look at a neat way to quilt using an embroidery machine.
You may not have thought of this before, but quilting embroidery designs are a fantastic way to embellish your quilts.
Why Are Machine Embroidery Design Patterns Useful?
There are many reasons why using an embroidery machine to add quilting designs to your quilts is a great idea. For starters, it’s a great way to add intricate designs that may be too difficult to do using your quilting machine.
Yes, you could use digitized software with a longarm quilting machine, but those machines cost thousands of dollars and take hours upon hours to learn. Using an embroidery machine takes a lot of hours of learning time and (usually) costs less than a longarm machine.
Another reason machine embroidery is so useful for quilting is its accessibility. There are thousands of embroidery files for sale on Etsy and other sites where you can purchase machine embroidery quilt patterns as downloadable files.
Most embroidery machines can easily upload a file and create a beautiful design on a quilt.
Also, you can mix and match embroidery files to make a unique and custom quilting design on your quilts. This is especially appealing when you are making a quilt for someone special. It’s a lot of fun to create something truly one-of-a-kind for them.
How Do You Quilt with Machine Embroidery Designs?
It may sound a bit far-fetched at first, but quilting with an embroidery machine is definitely possible. There are even embroidery designers who create files specifically for quilters.
Usually, these designs are made to fit perfectly in a square (you’ll see what I mean later on in this post.)
Let me explain the steps you will take to quilt with machine embroidery designs. Keep in mind these steps may vary slightly depending on your embroidery machine.
- Step One: Create your quilt top and assemble your quilt sandwich (quilt top, batting, and backing fabric)
- Step Two: Choose the embroidery file(s) you want to use on your quilt.
- Step Three: Upload the chosen file into your embroidery machine’s software.
- Step Four: Make any adjustments to the file size and thread color in the software.
- Step Five: Place your quilt sandwich in the hoop like any other fabric. It may be a bit awkward initially, figuring out how to place the quilt into the hoop and then into the embroidery machine, but you can do it! You also want to ensure the block you are quilting is centered in the hoop so the design is centered.
- Step Six: Press “Start” and let the embroidery machine work magic! It’s pretty satisfying watching an embroidery machine stitch a design, and using those intricate designs on a quilt is an excellent use of the machine.
19 Stunning Machine Embroidery Designs for Quilting
Now that you know about the process of using an embroidery machine for quilting, let’s check out some gorgeous quilt designs for an embroidery machine.
This collection of designs is just the tip of the iceberg for what’s possible in this unique quilting style.
These beautiful poppy flowers are the perfect modern floral option for any quilter. You could use this poppy design in just a few blocks for fun added embellishment or add it to a thick border for a bold design. The design measures approximately 7” x 8 ¾”.
Most embroidery machines have built-in designs that you can use to decorate your quilts. You can even combine different preloaded designs to make something custom and unique for your quilt projects. You may have free quilting designs for an embroidery machine already available on your machine.
How cute is this bee and honeycomb design? This embroidery design comes in a bunch of different sizes and layout options. You can use it in a single square block, or you can line up the stitches and create an all-over design on your quilt.
This quirky swirl design is perfect for adding a fun, whimsical design to a quilt. As you can see in the image above, it comes in 20 sizes ranging from a 3” square to a 12” square. This design would be great to combine with other designs to make a unique quilting pattern.
Stippling, aka “meandering” quilting, is a popular free-motion pattern used by quilters of all skill levels. With this file, you won’t have to do any free motion work. Just hoop the quilt and let your embroidery machine do the work for you!
6. Night Sky
This beautiful design is another pattern that can be used in a single block or as an all-over quilting design. What kid wouldn’t love this on a quilt? This file comes with sizes ranging from 3” to 12” and in several formats that will work in most embroidery machines.
7. Rope Border
I don’t know about you, but sometimes deciding what kind of quilting you want to do in a border can be tricky. This rope border design will add a fun texture and design element to a quilt. The design comes in 21 sizes and can be used in most embroidery machines.
This simple yet beautiful design can add the perfect design element to a seemingly blank quilt block square. When purchasing this design, you can use it in 21 sizes, and it comes in the most common embroidery file formats. This design will look gorgeous on any quilt project.
Here is the perfect embroidery machine design for quilters. This adorable design can be used on many quilting projects and will add a fun embellishment. It comes in 24 sizes, and you can use it as an all-over design or in a single block. The versatility of these designs is a huge bonus.
I may need to purchase this for my next quilt; it is SO beautiful! If you have a quilt with several “blank” square blocks, this design would add the perfect decoration to them. It comes in 21 sizes, starting as small as a 2” square and up to a 12” square.
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11. Holly Berries
We quilters love creating beautiful quilts for Christmas, but deciding on the quilting can be tricky. With this holly embroidery machine file, you can sit back and watch your embroidery machine create this beautiful design. It comes in 25 sizes and will be perfect for your Christmas quilting projects.
12. Feather Spiral
If you are new to free-motion quilting (FMQ), doing a design like the above image might seem daunting. Feathers are a staple quilting motif but can be tricky to master. This file can be used in a 6” or 8” quilt block and adds the perfect texture.
13. Fish Scales
Over the years, fish (mermaid) scales have become an increasingly popular quilting design but can be challenging and highly time-consuming. With this embroidery file, you can set up your machine, press “Start,” and walk away! It comes in 21 sizes and a multitude of formats to work with most embroidery machines.
14. Cathedral Window
The cathedral window quilt block is a classic block, and with this embroidery machine design, you can create it on any quilt block. This design comes in 39 sizes, from 2 ½”x 2 ½” to 12” x 12”, so it should work for most quilt patterns. You can mix and match this design with other designs or only use this one for a modern classic look.
15. Fancy Birdhouses
With this file, you will get ten birdhouse embroidery machine designs. Each design comes in two sizes and can be used on several projects, including quilts. Mixing and matching the designs in quilt blocks will make a beautiful and whimsical design.
16. Leaf Border
Here is another excellent choice for a border embroidery design. This design features a swirl and leaf motif that flows beautifully in a quilt border. There are 19 sizes included in this file and the most common embroidery file formats.
You can use this fun circular design on a single quilt block or all over the quilt. Circles add an interesting texture to a quilt, and I love how this design has multiple circle sizes to add even more texture and interest.
The design comes in several sizes and can be used in hoops up to 8” x 8”.
18. Modern Grid
This beautiful quilting design features small cathedral windows in a grid formation. You will receive 19 size options and multiple formats for this design with your embroidery machine. You can use it in a single block or for an all-over design.
Can you imagine trying to free-motion quilt this intricate bubble design on your own?
It would take hours just to do this small 10” square, but with this embroidery design file, you can quilt it in half the time, and it will look perfect. It has four sizes in multiple formats, so it should work with most embroidery machines.
How fantastic is this collection of quilting designs for embroidery machines? These files will not only save you the headache of trying to learn how to do a specific FMQ design, but also the time you can spend making more quilts. It’s a win-win situation!