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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77 Comments on Why Did It Take So Long?

  1. Patricia Phaiah
    March 8, 2017 at 3:49 pm (3 years ago)

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

  2. Sylvia
    March 8, 2017 at 4:35 pm (3 years ago)

    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!

  3. Belinda Germain
    March 8, 2017 at 5:28 pm (3 years ago)

    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!

  4. Donna
    March 8, 2017 at 6:20 pm (3 years ago)

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

  5. Dona
    March 8, 2017 at 8:00 pm (3 years ago)

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

  6. Karin Callander
    March 8, 2017 at 10:14 pm (3 years ago)

    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!!

  7. Mary C
    March 8, 2017 at 10:15 pm (3 years ago)

    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.

  8. Diane
    March 8, 2017 at 10:15 pm (3 years ago)

    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!

  9. Dot W.
    March 8, 2017 at 10:19 pm (3 years ago)

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

  10. Kathy Meyer
    March 8, 2017 at 10:20 pm (3 years ago)

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

  11. Kathy Meyer
    March 8, 2017 at 10:22 pm (3 years ago)

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

  12. Michelle Hall
    March 8, 2017 at 10:48 pm (3 years ago)

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

  13. Kay
    March 8, 2017 at 10:59 pm (3 years ago)

    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
      March 9, 2017 at 10:14 am (3 years ago)

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

  14. Doris Nordbye
    March 8, 2017 at 11:44 pm (3 years ago)

    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

  15. Marie Paxson
    March 8, 2017 at 11:55 pm (3 years ago)

    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.

  16. Sara
    March 9, 2017 at 12:01 am (3 years ago)

    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.

  17. Cathie Lanier
    March 9, 2017 at 12:19 am (3 years ago)

    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.

  18. Ellen M
    March 9, 2017 at 12:32 am (3 years ago)

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

  19. RoseMary Scott
    March 9, 2017 at 12:46 am (3 years ago)

    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
      March 9, 2017 at 10:11 am (3 years ago)

      Wonderful projects, Rosemary!

  20. Karen Poole
    March 9, 2017 at 1:37 am (3 years ago)

    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!

  21. Janet Rettig
    March 9, 2017 at 1:52 am (3 years ago)

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

  22. Martine Postuma
    March 9, 2017 at 2:23 am (3 years ago)

    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!

  23. Becky Thompson
    March 9, 2017 at 4:46 am (3 years ago)

    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.

  24. Susan Spiers
    March 9, 2017 at 5:49 am (3 years ago)

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

  25. Nancy Weber
    March 9, 2017 at 6:38 am (3 years ago)

    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
      March 9, 2017 at 10:10 am (3 years ago)

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

  26. Diane Cockman
    March 9, 2017 at 6:48 am (3 years ago)

    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.

  27. Meghan M.
    March 9, 2017 at 7:01 am (3 years ago)

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

  28. Susan T
    March 9, 2017 at 7:35 am (3 years ago)

    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.

  29. Shari K.
    March 9, 2017 at 7:41 am (3 years ago)

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

  30. Kim Fisher
    March 9, 2017 at 8:00 am (3 years ago)

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

  31. P Dixon
    March 9, 2017 at 8:09 am (3 years ago)

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

  32. Lauri Winterfeldt
    March 9, 2017 at 8:40 am (3 years ago)

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

  33. Liz Ezell
    March 9, 2017 at 8:59 am (3 years ago)

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

  34. Treasa Palmer
    March 9, 2017 at 9:29 am (3 years ago)

    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
      March 9, 2017 at 10:08 am (3 years ago)

      That’s awesome!

  35. MoeWest
    March 9, 2017 at 9:56 am (3 years ago)

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

  36. Amy
    March 9, 2017 at 11:39 am (3 years ago)

    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.

  37. Deb Smith
    March 9, 2017 at 12:20 pm (3 years ago)

    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.

  38. Nancy
    March 9, 2017 at 1:51 pm (3 years ago)

    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.

    March 9, 2017 at 7:14 pm (3 years ago)

    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.

  40. Judy
    March 9, 2017 at 9:45 pm (3 years ago)

    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??

  41. stella
    March 10, 2017 at 9:42 am (3 years ago)

    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.

  42. Joan Shriver
    March 10, 2017 at 1:28 pm (3 years ago)

    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!

  43. Doreen Linehan
    March 10, 2017 at 2:50 pm (3 years ago)

    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.

  44. Peggy Vick
    March 10, 2017 at 4:11 pm (3 years ago)

    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!!

  45. Agneta Ekholm
    March 10, 2017 at 4:29 pm (3 years ago)

    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!

  46. Judi C
    March 10, 2017 at 8:47 pm (3 years ago)

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

  47. Sara Redner
    March 11, 2017 at 6:21 am (3 years ago)

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

  48. Shirley Thomas
    March 11, 2017 at 10:57 pm (3 years ago)

    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.

  49. Karen S
    March 13, 2017 at 7:26 pm (3 years ago)

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

  50. Ingrid Koppers
    April 5, 2017 at 2:25 am (3 years ago)

    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.

  51. Atif
    May 15, 2017 at 6:34 am (3 years ago)

    gr8 tip about embroidery thanks for sharing

  52. Keile Haley
    July 4, 2017 at 1:57 am (3 years ago)

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

  53. http://www.designmycostume.com/
    July 11, 2017 at 5:57 am (3 years ago)

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

  54. annasew
    July 18, 2017 at 4:36 pm (3 years ago)

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

  55. Mike
    July 23, 2017 at 1:56 pm (3 years ago)

    Great tips. Thanks for sharing.

  56. Sew
    July 30, 2017 at 10:27 am (3 years ago)

    Great tips. Thanks for sharing.

    • bass
      July 30, 2017 at 10:29 am (3 years ago)

      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.

  57. Pamela
    July 30, 2017 at 3:16 pm (3 years ago)

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

  58. bestfoodslicer
    August 2, 2017 at 1:10 pm (3 years ago)

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

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