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Machine Quilting Spirals! Super Spiral Quilt Pattern Tutorial

Are you ready to start machine quilting spirals? In this quilting video we're learning a fun Super Spiral quilt pattern and how to machine quilt with two very different styles of quilting!

Jump ahead to find the part of this spiral quilt pattern tutorial you most need to see:

Machine Quilting Spirals with Walking Foot Quilting

Let's begin machine quilting spirals with walking foot quilting. This style of quilting is very easy for beginning quilters to master because the walking foot does most of the work for you.

A walking foot is specially designed for machine quilting on your home sewing machine. The base of the foot has a set of feed dogs to match the feed dogs on your sewing machine. The arm on the walking foot locks around your needle bar so the base of the foot moves as you make every stitch.

The result is smooth feeding of your quilt through your home sewing machine. That's why a walking foot is often called an Even Feed Foot!

Do you have a walking foot for your machine? If not, our Deluxe Quilting Foot Kit comes with a closed toe and open toe walking foot, in addition to several other awesome quilting feet. Click Here to check out the Deluxe Foot Set.

Walking Feet Included with Deluxe Quilting Foot Set

 

Start Turning Your Spiral Quilt Pattern in the Right Direction

The key to machine quilting spirals, especially giant spirals designed to cover your quilt with All Over Style Quilting is to get started turning in the right direction. The spiral pattern must turn clockwise - this is extremely important!

When the spiral is started clockwise, as you stitch around and around, you will end up with less and less of the quilt in the arm of your machine. You will be machine quilting on the outer edge of the spiral at all times.

If you accidently start stitching with the spiral turning counter-clock wise, however, you will end up with double the amount of quilt in the arm of your sewing machine. Super no fun!

This is why I included a spiral template in my book Explore Walking Foot Quilting to help you get started turning your spiral patterns in the right direction.

I can't count how many times I began quilting a spiral pattern only to realize I was turning in the wrong direction. So really I included this template in the book for myself so I can stop making that mistake!

All Over Machine Quilting Spirals on a Home Machine

To quilt a Super Spiral and turn it into al All Over Quilting Design, you only need to do one thing - keep quilting.

It really is that simple! 

If you start in the center of your quilt, or even if you start intentionally off-center to go for a modern quilting look, the only thing you have to do is keep quilting. The spiral pattern will continue to grow and grow the longer you stitch around and around.

Eventually... and yes, with walking foot quilting it can be a bit time consuming... but eventually you will run off the edges of your quilt. Stitch in the batting area a bit and break thread. Shift the quilt back and keep quilting curves consistent with the rest of the spiral to finish the quilting all the way to the corners.

I used Super Spiral to quilt the Jelly Town Baby Quilt shown above. It was the perfect way to quilt the bright strip-pieced quilt and so easy to stitch with walking foot quilting.

Modifying this Spiral Quilt Pattern for Longarm Quilting

Machine quilting spirals is pretty easy when you use the edge of your walking foot as a guide and steadily push the quilt through your sewing machine. For longarm quilting, this pattern can feel very different to quilt!

When quilting Super Spiral on a quilting frame, you won't be able to expand the design to cover an entire quilt, but you will be able to quilt it much faster. Rather than having to take one stitch at a time through the center, tightest section of the spiral, I was able to swing my longarm machine around super fast.

While it's definitely faster, I'll need a lot more practice in order to quilt spirals smoothly without wobbling. It's far from perfect so I threw more thread at it and quilted back into the center of the spiral to add more lines of quilting to the design. I think this turned out great! 

QUILTING VIDEO - Machine Quilting Spirals

Are you ready to machine quilt one of my all time favorite quilting designs? Here is the quilting video so you can see how I stitch this spiral quilt pattern on both my home machine and longarm machine.

Yes, this video was made a few years ago, so make sure to check below the video for updated links to the new quilting gear I'm using now! 

Quilting Machines, Tools and Supplies

Check out the quilting machines, quilting frames, and tools I'm using for quilting today:

Spiral Quilting Workshops and Digitized Designs!

Did you catch the quilt hanging on the wall in my longarm quilting studio? The Mega Star Quilt features a giant spiral in the center of the quilt, with additional designs in the background.

Mega Pinwheel Star Walking Foot Workshop

This fun quilt project is featured in the Mega Star Walking Foot Workshop, a great project if you are a beginning quilter looking for a skill-building project to make!

I also decided recently that quilting spirals on my longarm machine didn't need to be so difficult. So I digitized a batch of spiral quilting patterns and now we have 12 Super Spiral Designs to play with using computerized quilting.

Computerized Quilting Spiral Designs

This collection is created to work with most computerized quilting systems. I'm using Quilter's Creative Touch (QCT) and you can click here to see how I placed and stitched a Square Spiral pattern perfectly.

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

8 comments

Hi Terri – Great question! I don’t think it will work to pull your guide bar that far out from your foot. It might not hold very securely and wobble on you, which will not be helpful creating a smooth spiral. Of course, please test it to see for yourself.

My suggestion would be to look for another guide bar that’s longer or modify the one you have by maybe taping a second bar to the end. Again, it might not be the most secure option, but it should work in a pinch. Another suggestion would be to mark the spiral on your quilt. That will ensure it’s the size and shape you want and then all you have to do is quilt on the line!

Leah Day,

I’m going to do a super spiral on my quilt. I don’t want to quilt the lines too close to each other. It’s a twin size quilt and I want it to be soft. I want to do 2.75 distance apart. I’ve moved the needle over to the farthest distance away from the guide. The guide for my walking foot only goes out to 2 inches. Can I extend the guide by pulling it further out which would take the guide out of one of the slots that hold it in? Or do you have any ideas of how I can get more distance between my spirals?

Terri,

Hi Linda – I think using a bedsheet is perfectly fine! I know there are a lot of quilters out there that turn their noses up that this idea and claim it’s terrible and it will ruin your quilt, but honestly – why not?? If it’s 100% cotton fabric and it feels like it’s good quality fabric, then that should be perfectly fine. That’s just my opinion though! Test it out with a baby quilt, wash it 100 times, and let me know what happens!

Leah Day,

I have done 6 Mosaic blocks so far, really enjoying it. I have a question- when doing QAYG walking foot blocks, what would be your thoughts on using a bedsheet for backing material?

Linda,

Hi June – The template is on page 79 for the Jelly Town baby quilt. I didn’t mark the design on the longarm because honestly I forgot about that template! LOL! I had kept that one made in freezer paper, but completely forgot where it was so I just decided to free hand it. Often when I’m shooting videos on the longarm it’s a bit haphazard and always in a hurry because I never know when I’ll be interrupted in the house. Always an adventure!

Leah Day,

Found the template and directions for how to make it. Thank you.

June,

What page in the book is the information on the template? I have the ebook if that matters. Scrolling thru I can’t find it…. Thank you.

June,

This was interesting to see you do the design on the two different machines. Wondering though why you did not mark the design for the second one? Is it too difficult to mark or/and too difficult to follow lines? Thank you.

June,

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