How to Free-motion Quilt Stars and Stripes

How to Free-motion Quilt Stars and Stripes

Forever bright, Stars and Stripes are a perfect quilting combination. Stitch a few spirals to add an even more festive flair to the duo and your quilts will sparkle!

I’m Lori Kennedy, author of 25 Days to Better Machine Quilting, back with another motif tutorial.  I have been stitching on BERNINA sewing machines since I was in high school and my current machines, the BERNINA 770 QE and the BERNINA Longarm Machine Q 20 make sewing and quilting pure joy.  I love the stitch quality, easy tension adjustments and foot pedal control system.

When stitching the Stars and Stripes pattern, use heavy weight thread on top, or add special effects with metallic or glow in the dark thread! When using specialty threads, try a Topstitch needle, stitch more slowly and use a thread lubricant for best results.

How to Free-motion Quilt Stars and Stripes - step one

Begin by drawing a straight line.  Stitch on the line, add a triangle and stitch along the horizontal line.

How to Free-motion Quilt Stars and Stripes - step two

Add a wide triangle on the right side.

How to Free-motion Quilt Stars and Stripes - Step three

Stitch a wide triangle, pointing upward.

How to Free-motion Quilt Stars and Stripes - Step four

Add a wide angle on the left side to close the star shape.

Free-motion Quilting tutorial stars and stripes - step five

Echo stitch the horizontal line of the start then add a spiral. Closely echo stitch the top of the star.

Free-motion Quilting tutorial stars and stripes - step six

Stitch along the horizontal line over the first star and begin the next star in the row.

Free-motion Quilting tutorial stars and stripes - step seven

Complete the second star as before.

Free-motion Quilting tutorial stars and stripes - step eight

Echo stitch around the star adding spirals to fill the open triangles.

Free-motion Quilting tutorial stars and stripes - step nine

Add stripes by stitching wavy horizontal lines with short vertical lines between the rows.

Stars and Stripes are a great way to fill borders or backgrounds in your summer quilts. They also are a great addition to Quilts of Valor!

To make your quilting easier, doodle first! Doodling is essential for developing muscle memory and creating smooth quilting lines.

Don’t worry if your stars aren’t perfect.  The hand-drawn look is charming!

For more quilt motifs, tips and tricks join the FREE Quilt-a-long at LoriKennedyQuilts.com!

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