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Embroidery Tips & Techniques

Who has the Most Quilt Tops?

I really hit a nerve last week when I asked if you had any quilt tops that need to be quilted.  Most readers admitted having more than three tops ready to be quilted from over 200 (and counting) responses. Not that it was a competition, but wow, we all seem to have quilt tops that need to be finished!

Blog reader Eileen Gorzelic summed it up when she wrote, Wow! Seems like a lot of us are in the same boat. Honestly I am not sure how many I have to quilt. I really enjoy the piecing part and when I get to the quilting part I become paralyzed and anxious. For some reason I have a problem with making small pieces and end up with twins, queens, and kings and the cost of having someone quilt it has become so expensive that I end up dragging my feet and end up start a new project…….Thanks for giving us an avenue to completion!

On January 31, Nataly Poire shared, “I have 3 boxes of tops that need to be quilt because I don’t like the quilting part…have to try your method.”

I know exactly how Nataly feels. I’ll share a little of my quilting journey (it’s taken 20 years so I won’t bore you with all of the details). When I first started quilting, I didn’t know a thing about precise piecing skills so instead of focusing on learning how to be precise and consistent, I took another path. I just came up with my own ways, like wider seam allowances, raw edge applique, fabrics that hid mistakes and more.  Then in 2014, I invented the shortE, the embroidery short arm with a long reach. It’s a frame that holds a quilt above the machine bed so you can quilt with an embroidery machine.

At first, I used cheater panels and whole cloth quilts to learn the ‘machining’ part.  The ‘machining’ part is the actual quilting of the quilt.

After a while, I got good at the ‘machining’ part and I fell in love with the end result – quilts that I wanted to wrap myself (or a loved one) in.  They were not only soft and supple; they were also interesting to look at. The stitching was beautiful and the texture was what I had always longed for. They were finally like the samples in the quilt shops that you just want to pull off the wall and lie under. They were, well, real quilts! 

The end result made me want to create beautiful tops so I finally paid attention to the piecing.  Believe me, I’m years away from entering a top notch quilt show but I’ve found I enjoy the quilt top making process so much more because I know the ‘machining’ part is doable  – the machining is not going to ‘ruin’ all of my piecing efforts. And isn’t that what we’re all afraid of? Ruining our beautiful quilt tops with the quilting (machining) process?  Well, fear no more – help is here! 

Quilt with an Embroidery Machine in 8 Easy Lessons breaks all of the ‘machining’ down into manageable steps.  I feel like I’ve made (and overcome!) every challenge that you could encounter in quilting with an embroidery machine.  I’ve learned an awful lot on this journey and I’m happy to share it with you in Quilt with an Embroidery Machine in 8 Easy Lessons.  Remember, you can watch it on Sewing with Nancy at or check your local TV listings to watch on PBS.

Last week’s lucky winner is Joanna Cook!

Want to be winner this week? Just tell me the size of your largest hoop (and machine model) and you could win a pack of Print & Stick Target Template paper – that’s a $19.99 value




  • Linda

    200 X 300 mm, Baby Lock EMP….maybe those stickers would help me to use it more :/

  • Sharon Blaylock

    9×13 Brother Dream 2

  • Nancy Berglund

    Monster snap hoop, baby lock elisimo gold 2

  • Cynthia Wentwoth

    7.9″ x 11″ Janome 500E.

  • Sandy

    Maxi hoop (210mm x 400mm) Bernina 780

  • Debbie Dowling

    Destiny II with a 9 x 14 hoop

  • Belinda Germain

    Babylock BMP9, six needle with 8×12 hoop. I have used a few quilt designs to make quilted totes. Haven’t tried a quilt yet.

  • Francine Meyer-Drasutis

    I have babylock 10 needle. 14 x14.

  • QuiltShop Gal

    Bernina 830e Jumbo Hoop 40x21cm (15 3/4″ x 10 1/4″).


  • Catherine Stiele

    Berinia 730′ jumbo hoop, really need to get busy and use this technique!

  • Catherine Stiele

    Bernina 730, great machine, all hoops small to jumbo.

  • Carol Steanson

    Husqvarna Viking Epic. 260mm x 300 hoop or even 350x 350,

  • Pamela

    8″ sq — Janome 11000
    It seems every design that I’m currently in love with take a bigger hoop 🙁 So disappointing!

  • Deana Guardado

    Ricoma 1501, largest hoop is, I think, 14″x22″ 🙂

  • Mary O'Donnell

    Husqvarna Diamond Mega Hoop

  • Ellen Perry

    7×12 elissamo

  • Karen Poole

    I have a Brother Duetta NV4500 and the largest hoop is 12 x 7. I absolutely love it! I also have a smaller Brother PE 400D with the largest hoop 4 x 4.

  • Michelle Hall

    Brother Duetta N4500 with the 12″ x 7″ hoop

  • Marylee Maury

    Viking Husqvarna Epic with the 360X260 hoop

  • Janet Rettig

    Brother 10 needle 14 x 14

  • Debi Patrick

    Babylock ELLISIMO Gold II. 8×12

  • Lynn

    Brother Dream Machine 2 9 x 14 hoop

    • Ann

      Babylock Destiny, 9 x 14 hoop

  • Vicky

    Brother Persona

  • Terri

    Babylock Ellisimo Gold II — 8×12

  • Linda A

    Bernina 880 with the Jumbo Hoop
    260mm x 400mm
    (approximately 10.3” x 15.8”)

  • Melissa Dunn

    Maxi hoop (210mm x 400mm) Bernina 750 QE

  • Diane Cockman

    Brother Dream Machine 9×14
    Janome 12000 9×12

  • Jan Sprague

    Dream Machine with 9″x14″. My ‘dream’ is to make my own quilt for a king size bed.

  • Laurie Borysewicz

    I have a 6 needle baby lock 8×12

  • [email protected]

    I work on a Singer Futura CE-150, the largest hoop being a 5″x7″. Great machine, which can use just about any pattern extension.- she is very touchy-with a mind of her own sometimes, but we’ve come to an agreement and I love her anyway! Thank you, Susan

  • Susan Spiers

    I work on a Singer Futura CE-150, the largest hoop being a 5″x7″. Great machine, which can use just about any pattern extension.- she is very touchy-with a mind of her own sometimes, but we’ve come to an agreement and I love her anyway! Thank you, Susan

  • Casie W

    HV Designer Diamond Deluxe with a 360 x 360 hoop

  • Theresa Cobb

    300 X 200 Brother Quattro2. Love your Blogs.

  • Teresa Boi

    Brother 10 needle, jumbo hoop!

    I am happy to quilt for others, no added fees, quick turnaround, 100″s of satisfied customers.

  • Cathy

    Brother PR-600 – 300 mm x 200 mm. I enjoy reading your blogs and always learn something.

  • Debbie Smith

    200 x 280 mm is the largest capacity hoop my Elna 9500 machine will accept. Thanks for the “freebie” and good luck to all.

  • Martine Postuma

    Husqvarna Ruby Biggest hoop 200×360 mm.

  • Judie Sparling

    Husqvarna Viking Epic. Largest non turnable hoop is 260×360. thanks for the opportunity……..

  • Renelle Burger

    Oh I wish I had a larger hoop. Mine is a Brother PE770 with a 5×7 hoop. I have yet to try quilting and re-hooping to use it on a quilt.

  • Anna Gornall

    Bernina 830, 260mm x 440mm and the Monster Snap Hoop

  • Nancy Stansbury

    Viking Epic and 360mm x 360 mm. Also Brother Enterpreneur and 360mm x 340 mm

  • Francine

    Brother DreamMaker – 7 x 12

  • Deb

    230x300cm Janome 15000

  • Marilyn Koestler

    Brother Innovis 4000D with 7 x 12 hoop. I have used some Brother quilting patterns but have not tried to tie designs together.

  • maria blecha

    I have a Viking D1 ( a little old but wonderful machine) and my largest hoop is the Mega hoop, 360 by 150.

  • Kelly Sasman

    7×12 Monster Snap Hoop for my Babylock Ellisimo Gold 2 (8×12 Babylock hoop)

  • Teresa Niwinska

    5×7 Brother PE700II

  • Pat in Colorado

    Pfaff Creative Dream Hoop, 360×350 mm. (It sews half, rotates 180 and sews the other half with 30 mm overlap.)

  • faith king

    I have a single needle Husqvarna Viking Designer Deluxe sewing/embroidery machine with the hula hoop sized Designer Majestic hoop. It’s 360mm x 350mm with a sewing area of 14.2″ x 13.8″. I love it for machine embroidering my quilts but so far have only used the stipple design.

  • Rosalie sharps

    Viking Diamond Mega Hoop 360×150

  • Rosalie sharps

    Viking Diamond Endless hoop

  • Donna Stein

    Love your products! PFAFF Creative sensation Pro 360mm x 200mm. Use your target sticker all the time.

  • Sharon

    Brother Dream2 13×9

  • beth

    have an Elna Xquisite II embroidery/sewing machine. biggest size hoop is 5″ x 7″.

  • carol

    Bernina 880e Jumbo Hoop 40x21cm -15 3/4″ x 10 1/4″.

  • Marti Morgan

    Brother Dream Machine 2 with the 9 x 13 hoop.

  • sophia jane moffitt

    brother 10 needle love my machine then I have a single needle Viking designer 1


    Husqvarna Viking Diamond Deluxe, Designer Majestic Hoop 360 x 350 mm

  • Karen W

    Viking Diamond Deluxe machine with the Mega Hoop, 360mm x 150mm. LOVE the bigger hoops & I regularly use the Print & Stick target paper — especially for precise embroidery placement.

    • Karen W

      Sorry, that should have been the Majestic Hoop. I also have the Viking Designer SE with the Mega Hoop!

      • Karen W

        Oops – that should be 360mm x 200mm. Just took a class with that hoop to learn Edge-To-Edge quilting. Now to get working on those quilts! Thanks you for the great article about quilting on the embroidery machine. It truly does open up a whole new world! One of the ladies in our hand-quilting group has about 30 quilt tops ready to go!! We never have to worry if she’s ready for her turn — sometimes she even lets us choose which one!

  • Vickie

    I have a Baby lock Ellure-largest hoop 5 X 7 and a Baby lock Adventura-largest hoop 6 X 10

  • Linda Severs

    I JUST bought a Pfaff Creative Sensation Pro II and brought home the massive 360-by-350 mm Grand Dream Hoop. It was definitely a dream to buy a machine which had the arm length to handle a big, big, big hoop! I’ll be learning to use it tomorrow!

  • Barb

    I have a Husqvarna Topaz 30. I just finished quilting my first quilt on it! I have really wanted to try quilting with my embroidery machine, glad I tried it. The largest hoop I have is 200X360.

  • DeWitt Donna

    Brother Dream Machine 9X13

  • [email protected]

    I have a Janome MC 15000; my largest hoop is 9.1 x 11.8″, I think. I have not actually ever used that hoop. Just too intimidated, I guess.

  • June G

    Janome 500e – 7.9×11

  • Maribel Rosa Guardiola

    Bernina 580, my biggest frame is 5,75×10″. I would love to win, as I tried to buy it, I am from Spain, but I do not have the option to buy. thank you very much.

  • Jennie

    14 x 14 hoop for Babylock Enterprise

  • Jean Mateychuk

    I haven’t used the snap hoop in a while but that is going to change this week. I like using it to quilt blocks and then attach them your way, one block at a time. So thanks for that info.

    I have the Innov-is 6000D. Hoop 8′ x 12′

    SNAP HOOP MONSTER 7’x 12′ & snap hoop reg. 7 x 12

  • Diana Vincent

    360 x 350 majestic hoop
    Designer Diamond de luxe

  • Joan Shriver

    I have Brother Dreamweaver with an 8X12 hoop, then upgraded to the 8×8 and the bigger hoop. However, I hand quilt at my church. Have only “embroider quilted” for small in the hope designs. Loved it!

  • Margaret Smith

    Brother Dream Machine 9 x 14.

  • Karen Poole

    I have a Brother Duetta and my largest hoop is 8 x12.
    I also wanted to comment about one of the sponsor products on the blog page, the hoop guard. I bought these a little over a year ago and wasn’t sure how often I would really use it, after all I haven’t had issues with my fabric getting in the way. Well, was I ever wrong!! I LOVE this tool!! I find I am so much more relaxed when embroidering a large object! I hadn’t realized how stressed I was sitting at the machine and watching to make sure the excess fabric fell in the way! Now I use the hoop guard any time my fabric overflows outside the hooped area! I would recommend the hoop guard to anyone who embroiders!!

    • eileenroche

      I’m so glad you like the Hoop Guard, Karen! It has been a lifesaver for me too. Just gives me peace of mind when it’s keeping the excess fabric out of the sewing field.

  • Jackie Branscum

    Brother Dream Machine with 9 1/2″ X 14″ hoop

  • Mona Scott

    Bernina 750 Quilting Edition Embroidery Machine; Jumbo Hoop 40 x 26 cm

  • Linda Thomas

    I have a Babylock Aventura with a 6×10 frame. It is amazing the difference in a 5×7! Love it!!

  • Sandra Maes

    Recently purchased Brother Dream 2 machine (9-1/2 x 14) and still exploring all the different features.

  • Joyce Heath

    I have a brother PE770 The largest is frame 5 x 7. I’m new to machine embroidery

  • Bruce

    Bernina 730 this is great machine.


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  • Hannah

    Brother Duetta N4500 with the 12″ x 7″ hoop. I would love to win Print & Stick Target Template paper.