Computerized Quilting Tips and Tricks

Computerized Quilting Tips and Tricks

Embroider quilting patterns

Maybe you are searching for a way to get a professional finish on your quilts or you don't feel confident with free-motion quilting? Computerized Quilting might be the solution for you.

What is computerized quilting?

What is computerized quilting?

If you have an embroidery module for your machine, then you can do computerized quilting. Unlike free-motion quilting or Rulerwork, where you have to move the fabric yourself to achieve beautiful quilting patterns, the embroidery module moves the quilt for you.

There are many wonderful designs available (your embroidery machine might already have a selection of designs) that make quilting very precise and easy to do. You also save on stabilizer because you embroider directly onto the quilt sandwich – which is usually the combination of the quilt top, batting and backing.

What equipment do I need?

What equipment do I need?

  • Machine: One reason to use a BERNINA machine for Computerized Quilting is the large bobbin. It holds a lot more thread, meaning that you don't have to change bobbins so often. It is also easily accessible from the front of the machine, meaning you don't have to remove your project from the machine to change an empty bobbin.
  • Size: The larger the machine, the larger the embroidery field and therefore the less often you must rehoop the fabric. 

  • Hoops: The rachet hoops (Midi, Maxi or Jumbo Hoop) or Clamp Hoops (Small or Medium) make the rehooping process much more comfortable. The picture shows the Medium Clamp Hoop.
  • Other materials: Batting, thread and needles depend on the chosen fabric, your project and are often a personal choice. There is a vast array available, and your BERNINA dealer can best advise you on what is most suitable.

Selecting the embroidery designs

Selecting the embroidery designs

Depending on the model, your machine probably has a nice selection of suitable quilting designs.

If you are looking for more designs, OESD is an excellent resource for computerized quilting designs. Simply type "quilting" in the search box and you will find many wonderful designs, including designs from BERNINA ambassadors Amanda Murphy and Tula Pink.

Take a look at OESD
How to decide on a design

How to decide on a design

  • Choose a design that enhances your project and ask yourself if it is the best design for the intended space. 
  • It is always important check the stitch sequence: Where are the start and finish of the design?
  • Do you need a continuous design and will it work for your project? 
  • Testing the design is essential – stitch it out on a test piece of your quilt sandwich first to make sure it is what you want. 

Another tip is to open the design in the BERNINA Artlink Software (free download) – or BERNINA Embroidery Software 9 (Creator or DesignerPlus). Print a template of your design with either software, cut it out and place it on your project to check the size and placement of the design.

If you do have the BERNINA Embroidery Software 9 DesignerPlus, you can use the Quilter Program to create a mockup of how the whole quilt will look. 

Create and edit embroidery designs

Get creative with the BERNINA Embroidery Software 9, which lets you edit existing designs or create your own, apply special effects, add freehand drawing elements and turn images into embroidery designs in just one click.

Test the software for 30 days and start designing your own home decoration.

Download your free trial now

Things to check

Things to check

  • Does your design have tie on and tie off stitches and are they neatly digitized? Do you want to have these on your quilt? Its maybe necessary to turn off the thread cutting and securing option. 
  • Where does the design start and end? Is it one continuous single line of stitching?
  • Is it single or triple stitch? Maybe you want a thinner or thicker stitching line. You can change the stitch type in the BERNINA Embroidery Software 9 (Creator or DesignerPlus).
  • Are there jump stitches and how will you manage the threads at the start and end of each design? We recommend that you either cut or tie off and bury the threads with a hand needle as you go.

The Quilting Process

The Quilting Process

The method you use depends on the way you want to quilt your project and the chosen designs. It is important to plan this well before you start stitching. 

  • Baste: Bring the top fabric, batting and backing fabric together with the basting stitches on the sewing machine. Use stitch #21 and/ or the BSR3 Basting with rows up to 6 inches apart. This basting is removed after the quilt is embroidered. You can also use safety pins, as shown in the picture.

  • Secure: For some quilts it is recommended to secure the layers with stitching in the ditch, using the Dual feed and Edgestitch Foot #10D or the Walking Foot #50. This stitch is done in the channel (ditch) of a seam, so it is hardly visible, as shown in the picture.  You might know this technique from finishing a waistband on a garment. This stitching remains once the quilt is finished.  

  • Hoop the quilt: Make sure the project is flat and firmly in the hoop that best fits the size of the design.

  • Placement: When you are ready to position your design, you can use the Pinpoint Placement feature and/ or the Absolute Check function to perfectly position the designs.
  • Pinpoint Placement (picture above): Rotate and align designs when the project is crooked.
  • Absolute Check (picture below): With the hoop attached, click on a point of the design on the touchscreen to see where it will be placed on the quilt. The needle moves to that location in the hoop.

  • The last thing to check is the thread tension. Maybe do a test piece with the thread you will be using. 
  • Embroider the larger designs first, the medium designs second.
  • Tip for Rehooping: You can leave the lower part of the hoop attached to the module and just take off the inner hoop. You can place the inner hoop on the head of the machine as you reposition the quilt. This is easier and saves time compared to removing your big project from the machine to rehoop it. The space might be a little tight to hoop, but the rachet or the clamp hoops make it very easy.
  • Optional: To make the embroidery pop even more, it is also possible to use free-motion quilting or Rulerwork to quilt the remaining areas.

These are just a few tips to get you started. We hope you consider Computerized Quilting for your next project!

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