Easy & Elegant Echo Quilting

Machine quilting doesn’t need to be fussy, difficult, or complicated to be effective (Although over-the-top quilting can certainly be gorgeous!) One of my favorite techniques that is also super-easy and beginner-friendly is echo quilting.

Echo quilting is simply choosing a seam in a pieced quilt or the edge of an appliquéd shape and stitching parallel to that seam or around that shape, usually with a consistent seam allowance. I most often use a 1/4″ seam allowance, but you can go wider or narrower – whatever you think looks best.

Echo quilting inside a seam line or appliquéd shape can look similar to the classic hand quilting technique of stitching about 1/4″ inside each shape – the distance being just enough to avoid hand stitching through the bulk of the seam allowances.

 Trellis quilt pattern by Cluck, Cluck Sew, made by Beth Ann Williams
Paving Petals quilt pattern from Quilt to End ALZ, made by Beth Ann Williams

If you look closely at the two photos above, you’ll see that that there’s no rule about which seam lines you need to echo – I often skip short diagonal lines in favor of long straight lines that are easy to quilt with my walking foot. I also try to keep my stitching as continuous as possible instead of quilting inside each shape separately, as you might with hand quilting.

Echo quilting can also look great on more modern looking quilt patterns.

 Sugar Pop pattern from Suzy Quilts, made by Beth Ann Williams

Echo quilting isn’t just for straight lines – it looks great with curves, too! Straight lines or curved, there are no rules about how many lines you need to stitch – you can stitch just one line of echo quilting or as many as you like.

Spring Equinox pattern by Taralee Quiltery, made by Beth Ann Williams

It can also be fun to combine a bit of echo quilting with other machine quilting techniques. The Spring Equinox sample above shows a combination of free-motion and walking foot quilting techniques. For the quilt below, I combined appliqué-and-quilt in 1 step with channel quilting and echo quilting.

Orange Peel variation designed and made by Beth Ann Williams

And here’s an example where I’ve used a bit of echo quilting on either side of the outermost lines to complement a Celtic-style appliquéd design.

Celtic Blessings quilt designed and made by Beth Ann Williams

How do you (or would you) use echo quilting?

If you’d like to learn more, check out the most current listing of my Easy & Effective Machine Quilting with a Walking Foot online class in my online shop.

Happy Quilting!

Please follow and like us:

Beth Ann

When health challenges made hand-sewing (and hand appliqué and hand-quilting) no longer physically viable for her, Beth Ann’s first instinct was dismay and discouragement. But Grandma Baldwin gave her a loving (but stern!) “No pity parties – just figure out a different way.” So Beth Ann turned to her trusty sewing machine and began devising ways to achieve the fine quality appliqué look she craved faster and easier than she ever thought possible. And a career was born! Now Beth Ann enjoys sharing her accessible “invisible” machine appliqué and creative machine quilting techniques with other quilters and fiber artists around the world.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)

Follow by Email