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Continuous Embroidery Quilting Uncategorized

Why Did It Take So Long?

Why did it take 20 years to master the art of quilting with an embroidery machine? Well, 20 years ago, sewing fields were 4″ x 4″, machines had little or no rotation ability and there were no ‘quilting designs’ available for the home embroiderer. Machine embroidery has evolved beyond our wildest dreams (well, almost, I know some very creative people!).

Now, we can quilt king, queen, crib or lap quilts on our embroidery machines.  If you have a big hoop (larger than 6″ x 10″), then it’s a breeze. Many students ask if they can quilt with a 5″ x 7″ hoop.  My response is, “Yes, you can but it’s not the right tool for the job. It’s like painting a dining room with a 1” brush. You can do it, but it will take forever!”

So if you want to quilt with your embroidery machine, buy one with a large sewing field and while you’re looking for a machine, make sure there’s a compatible magnetic hoop available.  Why so?  Magnetic hoops simplify the rehooping process.  A large quilt will take 50 or 60 hoopings, imagine removing the entire hoop and quilt from the machine to rehoop – 50 times!  Too much effort. With a magnetic hoop, you just lift the top frame, advance the quilt, drop the frame in place and stitch.  It’s still 50 hoopings but what a time-saver.

And yes, I am very partial to magnetic hoops because I invented Snap Hoop Monster. Without it, I would have never written three quilting books, designed over a dozen quilting collections and quilted dozens and dozens of quilts.  In fact, I probably would have given up trying to quilt with my embroidery machine years ago.

But that’s not all that’s made the process easier.  I made this short video to show you a couple of other products that really streamline the process.  Take a look.


Leave a comment explaining what quilting project you’re working on right now.  One lucky winner will receive a copy of my latest book, Quilt with an Embroidery Machine in 8 Easy Lessons. It’s finally back in stock so I’m happy to give one away.  Happy Stitching!


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  • Patricia Phaiah

    I am quilting a snowman quilt. All the snowmen are machine embroidered in each square

  • Sylvia

    I am just finishing my very first quilt at tbe ripe age of 69! I actually did yhis one in a class on my serger! I havd amother in the works for anther class called a coin qut. I am learning infinite patience for the oeicing process. I have Destiny and am excited to combine my embroidery and new quting sills!

  • Belinda Germain

    I’ve quilted a baby quilt and panels for a quilted tote with my six needle, easy and turned out great. Bonus: embroidered quilt label info right on the quilt, no label to sew on!

  • Donna

    I am working on a log cabin cross wall hanging and labels for 2 quilts

  • Dona

    Too bad you don’t make the hoops for my machine!

  • Karin Callander

    People always give me a funny look when I tell them I’m using the embroidery module to do my quilting!! I just finished up a BOM wall hanging that was all different kinds of houses and trees, picket fences (yes, those were some TINY pieces), grass and sky filler blocks. I’ve used my new BabyLock Destiny to do the fill stitches in those oddball houses, and some purchased quilting runs to do the repeats in the borders. Oh, how I wished many times for a Monster Magnetic Hoop system! Now I’m working on another one – this one’s queen sized, and yes, I’m using purchased quilting runs to do the setting triangles. And, yes, rehooping is quite the pain you might think. I’m dreaming of the day a Magnetic Hoop gets added to my collection!! And crossing fingers & toes it comes sooner than later!!

  • Mary C

    I’m finishing a queen size indigo batik adaptation of Judy Martin’s Fabric of My Life quilt. It will be a wedding present for my son’s best friend.

  • Diane

    I primarily do custom sewing, but want very much to do machine quilting. I do a LOT of embroidery with my Bernina 780. We have 34 grandkids, and the first two graduate in May. My goal is to make a quilt for each of them as they graduate. The first two are pieced, but that’s where they stay…. I am trying to collect knowledge by looking at articles and videos. Your book would be very helpful!

  • Dot W.

    I’m quilting a glow in the dark monster quilt. Edge to edge embroidery quilting a great option.

  • Kathy Meyer

    Latest is a memory shirt quilt for a grandchild!
    This is number five.

  • Kathy Meyer

    Sorry, noticed that email was incorrect after I pushed the button! Tshirt quilt number five!

  • Michelle Hall

    I just finished my first baby quilt and am going to start a pieced table runner next.

  • Kay

    I am starting the border on the HoopSisters Jacobean Journey quilt. This is an embroidered in the hoop project. I am excited to get it finished as it is stunning in my purple, green and cream color scheme! I need to get this one finished as I am eyeing my next project which is going to be quilted on the short E and my Dream Machine and Monster hoop!

    • eileenroche

      Kay, the Jacobean Journey quilt is a beauty! I’ve seen many beautiful versions around the country.

  • Doris Nordbye

    I have made several Hoop Sisters quilts Dresdens and Doilies and Modern
    Baltimore. Where can I find more info on the weightless quilter. It looks like something that would be very useful

  • Marie Paxson

    66 hoopings on a quilt for my son and daughter in laws 10th anniversary. Has been a chore but fun. Snap Hoop sure would be nice.

  • Sara

    I have a small quilt for one granddaughter to quilt with 5 more to piece. I am planning to complete a vintage quilt top and quilt it. I need help.

  • Cathie Lanier

    I am currently working on a queen-size quilt and would like to continue quilting, but am faced, at retirement, with downsizing and moving to a house that will not accommodate my huge long-arm quilting machine. How nice it would be to learn to quilt with my 10 needle machine without having to allow room for so much machine space.

  • Ellen M

    I am working on finishing my UFO’s and quilting the first quilt top I made 5 years ago.

  • RoseMary Scott

    Am working on a Quilt of Valor for the vets in our county. Have 5 more to go, so could use all the help I can get for all these quilts.

    • eileenroche

      Wonderful projects, Rosemary!

  • Karen Poole

    I’m working on a couple of quilts riqht now, one is a small quilt with crayon colored parts from I class I took. I want to quilt it with really bright colored variegated threads. The second is a quilt that I bought the kit on Craftsy called Prism. It’s a beautiful paper pieced quilt. When it’s finished I do want to quilt that one with my embroidery machine!

  • Janet Rettig

    I am working on my first embroidery quilt I need this book to show me how.

  • Martine Postuma

    I am working on a couple of child’s quilts using embroidered squares – I frequently test stitch my designs on 6″ cotton squares and these make nice quilt blocks. Both my 4-needle and my sewing/embroidery machine allow 200×200 mm designs for the quilting, which is great.
    I started with a Brother Galaxy in 1992 – it did have a few line art designs that were OK for quilting, but you had to stipple around it to quilt a potholder, let alone a baby quilt!

  • Becky Thompson

    I picked up your Magna Hoop last Oct at the Nancy’s Notions in Wisconsin to use with my Baby Lock Ellegante 2. I have several panel quilts that need to be quilted and sent to my grandchildren.

  • Susan Spiers

    I’m finishing up a lap size Mystery quilt- that I started last year. Thank you, Susan

  • Nancy Weber

    I quilted the borders on a quilt for my husband 15 years ago and was never really happy with it. Since then I have discovered “endless” type designs for better alignment as well as good wash away stabilizer that I did not know about then. So I have not been brave enough to try another one.

    • eileenroche

      Jump back in, Nancy. Today’s machine features and products have made complicated tasks much easier.

  • Diane Cockman

    I would love to win your book. I have a quilt that I made 2 years ago and have not gotten the courage to quilt it yet. Your book would be so helpful.

  • Meghan M.

    I’m making a quilted roll-up knitting needle holder for my step dad. I really hope he likes it!

  • Susan T

    I always have more than one project going on at a time. I am sewing a knit top, embroidering St. Patrick’s Day decorations and using a walking foot to quilt my latest quilt. I would love to know about other ways to quilt.

  • Shari K.

    I’m working on a Bargello waterfall quilt. Long flowing lines with walking foot and FMQ in between.

  • Kim Fisher

    I am finishing a king size bed runner. And I agree that a large Monster Snap Hoop makes the hooping much easier

  • P Dixon

    I am just beginning to quilt and am interested in better ways to make it work easier and faster.

  • Lauri Winterfeldt

    I just completed a whole cloth quilt to practice quilting on my machine. I have two more lap quilts basted and ready to go.

  • Liz Ezell

    I am quilting a scrap quilt. It’s my first attempt at free motion quilting on my Bernina.

  • Treasa Palmer

    Just got started in quilting, still working on my first quilt. I’m hooked. My daughter n Mom just started as well, and there hooked. We’r three generations at quilt camp. (Exciting!)

    • eileenroche

      That’s awesome!

  • MoeWest

    I just finished a quilt called Elephant and I by Jennifer Sampou.

  • Amy

    I have a Viking Designer SE but I was lucky enough to find the original Magna Hoop for my machine. Now to take it out and try to learn how to use it! The multiple rehoopings are intimidating to me.

  • Deb Smith

    I completed my first quilt after a charity group in our church took the time to teach me the basic 9 patch quilt. My husband is thrilled with it. Utilizing my embroidery machine and special designs, I can incorporate those into our prayer squarer/prayer quilts for those in need in which our entire congregation passes the quilt to the next person in the services before presenting the prayer square/quilt to the person(s) in need.

  • Nancy

    I’m working on a scrap quilt. Want to learn to quilt with my machine. I NEED your book. Thanks for your most informative blog.


    I’m currently working on a baby quilt to give to the neonatal unit in our local hospital. It will fit over an incubator to keep out the light so the baby can sleep.

  • Judy

    I am working on a quilt for my granddaughter. I am very interested in the weightless quilter, but would like to try it before buying, do you have any dealers in Alberta??

  • stella

    I have a completed strip quilt and have the backing and batting basted together. I need to quilt it and have been exploring the idea of quilting it on my embroidery machine. This would be perfect for getting it done. I’m working on a kitchen wall hanging right now.

  • Joan Shriver

    I need this book! I’m giving a program on quilting on your embroidery machine in May at our Neighborhood Group for ASG. I may have to buy it!

  • Doreen Linehan

    I am working on a Sew So Easy Sun’s Up! placemat. Actually I’m just starting it. I have use a 10 degree ruler and cut all the pieces. I’m hoping I can figure it out. It’s a kit from a Sulky certification from 2013. I’m trying to finish my kits and UFO’s from years ago. I’ve actually finished a few things so far.

  • Peggy Vick

    Just completed two quilted totes, one featured embroidery on each. Had striped lining with space for autographs. Given to two special people retiring from work!!! Will miss them but they can carry all of us with them!!

  • Agneta Ekholm

    I totally agree with you, the magnetic hoop has revolutionized machine embroidery and like you I am now “into” quilting with the hoop attached. Fun! I actually did a queen sized quilt where I used my embroidery machine (with take-away hoop…) Took forever, but I really liked it!

  • Judi C

    I am attempting my 1st T-Shirt quilt, I have a magnetic hoop, just need your book, hope I win.

  • Sara Redner

    I’m working on a bow tie and also have pieces cut for a Dresden plate.

  • Shirley Thomas

    I just finished a baby quilt and I’m a beginner with my embroidery machine. I just bought a magnetic hoop so I want to try and quilt the baby quilt with my embroidery machine.

  • Karen S

    I have a star quilt ready to quilt. I plan to use my short-e.

  • Ingrid Koppers

    I’ve been machine embroidering since about 2003. Started with a 4×4 Janome MC9700 but graduated to a MC10001 not long after. The machine stitches beautifully but would love to be able to afford to upgrade to the latest technology. I have only quilted small items before but now wanting to make a Crazy Quilt for our king size bed, using the 5×5 inch squares. I know it will be a huge task but prepared to out the time and effort in. I value your opinion as to how I do the backing please. I don’t think I could handle piecing the quilt together and then having to add the backing in one piece. I was thinking doing the quilt in a quilt as you go method using a soft medium cutaway stabiliser, cotton/wool batting and adding pre stippled backing under the stabiliser. I would have to trim the stabiliser in the seams right back before joining the blocks, to reduce bulk, wouldn’t I? The other question I have – are the magnetic hoops available for my MC10001? They seem like a fantastic idea.

  • Bruce

    Great tips. Thanks for sharing.


  • Atif

    gr8 tip about embroidery thanks for sharing

  • Keile Haley

    It’s so useful to know this post today… Thanks!

  • After reading your post, my interest for quilting in a embroidery machine just got rejuvenated. Wonderful writing. Looking forward for your next post.

  • annasew

    I’m working on a bow tie and also have pieces cut for a Dresden plate.

  • Mike

    Great tips. Thanks for sharing.

  • Sew

    Great tips. Thanks for sharing.

    • bass

      I’m working on a scrap quilt. Want to learn to quilt with my machine. I NEED your book. Thanks for your most informative blog.

  • Pamela

    I am quilting a snowman quilt. All the snowmen are machine embroidered in each square

  • bestfoodslicer

    I have a star quilt ready to quilt. I plan to use my short-e.

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    Oh my goodness! an incredible article dude. Thanks However I am experiencing trouble with ur rss . Do not know why Can not sign up for it. Could there be anyone getting identical rss issue? Anybody who knows kindly respond. Thnkx

  • Mama Kelly

    I know about embroidery machine a lot, but your post is realy helpfull! Please visit my blog

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    My wife, 47, have been trying to quilt with embroidery machine for years but the result is just satisfactory, not perfect. This video is telling me that you have experience, I think I will try these tricks.