15 Easy-To-Tackle Machine Quilting Designs For Beginners

When you are a beginner quilter, the actual quilting process can be quite an overwhelming step.

Hunting around online, you find so many gorgeous, complex machine quilting patterns, but where are the simple quilting designs?

I’m here to tell you, “don’t stress it!” Yes, quilting is a critical step, but it shouldn’t be scary or overwhelming.

This post shows you 11 machine quilting designs that are perfect for beginners and will make your next quilt come together beautifully and become a project you can truly be proud of.

11 Machine Quilting Designs for Beginners 

This list is just the tip of the iceberg for designs you can create with your sewing machine. As a beginner, keep in mind that it takes some practice to figure these designs out, but once you have practiced enough and feel confident in your abilities, the possibilities are limitless. 

1. Curved Lines

curved lines

This design is unique because you can make it using a walking foot or FMQ. The overlapping lines give added movement to your project and can be as large or small as you desire.

I love this type of design because it is not uniform. Each project you create with this design will look a little different.

2. Pebbles


The FMQ pebble design is a staple “filler” design quilters should learn and add to their quilting design arsenal. If you have a blank space on your quilt and you’re unsure what to do to connect it to the rest of the quilt, consider using the pebble design.

It gives a beautiful texture to the quilt top and visually is stunning in large and small applications.

3. Loopy Meander

loopy meander

The loopy meander design is the perfect beginner FMQ all-over quilting design. Once you get some practice in for the movements of the meandering and the loops, you should be able to quilt an entire quilt quickly, and it’ll look amazing. It’s a fun design for any occasion. 

4. Orange Peel

orange peel

You have probably seen the orange peel block if you have done some research into traditional quilt blocks. With this quilting design, you can have the look and feel of orange peels, but without actually piecing the blocks.

This example also features a straight line through the center of the orange peels to mimic a leaf.

5. Classic Meander

classic meander

The classic FMQ meander is a fun design to try out as a beginner. It will take a little practice to get the feel of moving your quilt sandwich under your sewing machine needle, but once you are comfortable with the movements, it becomes a fun and relaxing design to create. 

6. Straight Line Squares

straight line squares

You can accomplish this modern straight line quilting design by stitching diagonal straight lines across both sides of a quilt. The quilt in this image is a baby quilt I made for a client recently, and they wanted something modern and sweet. This quilting design was perfect for this project. 

7. Straight Lines

straight line

Vertical straight line quilting is a popular design in modern quilting. It gives a nice, soft texture to a quilt and has a minimalist feel to the design.

Straight line quilting is easiest to accomplished using a walking foot since it will help move the entire quilt sandwich under your needle. You can have the lines as close or as far apart as you like, making a wonderfully versatile choice.

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8. Square Meander

square meander

The square meander is one of my favorite FMQ designs to do on quilts. It feels great to the touch and is a quirky, modern pattern that adds a unique texture to my projects. It’s fun because you can’t go wrong with the size of the squares you make, and it makes me think of the paths of a maze.

9. Swirls


Another FMQ design, the swirl is an exciting choice for either an all-over design or a filler for those small spaces you aren’t sure what to do with. The versatility of the swirl makes it perfect for many applications and can be made with large or small swirls.

10. Circles


How cute is this quilting design? Look at that gorgeous quilting crinkle the designer achieved after washing the quilt! You can make circles using either FMQ or a walking foot, so they are quite versatile depending on your comfort level with either quilting style. 

11. Echo Quilting

echo quilting

As you can see in the image above, echo quilting is when the quilting “echos” the design of the quilt pattern. In this example, the stitches gently echo the shape of the flower petals and leaves.

Echo quilting is an excellent option if you want close, tight quilting done around applique pieces or if you want to accentuate a design on the fabric of your quilt top.

FAQs about Machine Quilting Designs

Before we jump into the examples of the different quilting designs for beginners, I would like to go over some FAQs about machine quilting and shed some light on questions you may have.

These are definitely some questions I had when I first started quilting.

With all these beautiful examples, it is easy to see that there are limitless possibilities for making a uniquely quilted project. All of the designs in this list are excellent options for beginners to start diving into the fun, exciting world of machine quilting.

Yes, it does take some practice to get a feel for moving your quilt through your machine, and you may need to pull out your trusty seam ripper a few times, but trust me, it is always worth it to be able to do beautiful quilting using your sewing machine. 

2 thoughts on “15 Easy-To-Tackle Machine Quilting Designs For Beginners”

  1. Do you have a way to quilt each hlock individually then somehow put the blocks together? I have never quilted before. Nervous about it!!!

  2. Hey, Teresa! If you want to do a “quilt as you go” type of quilt project I would suggest trying out a super simple project like this table runner I made a tutorial for: https://quiltdom.com/qayg-table-runner/. You can also search online for other “quilt as you go” projects. That should point you in the right direction if you are wanting to do something like that.

    I know when you’re first starting out quilting can seem a bit overwhelming, but if you focus on each step individually, you can do it! Best wishes! Let me know if you have any other questions!

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