Machine Quilting Terms

Unless you have been a machine quilter for awhile, some of these terms can be confusing when hearing them for the first time! Educate yourself and your customers so we can all be on the same page.

edge-to-edge – also known as pantograph, all over quilting, continuous line quilting. This is when a specific design is repeatedly quilted in rows across a quilt. Edge-to-edge is quilted over the entire quilt without a separate border or block design.

freehand quilting – also known as free motion quilting. The quilter guides the machine by hand. The quilting design is a result of the quilters skill, rather than a computerised quilting design.

computerised quilting – a computer is used to guide the quilting machine to stitch out a design. Computerised quilting can be used for edge-to-edge designs as well as custom quilting.

stitch regulator – most longarm quilting machines have stitch regulators to maintain even stitch length during quilting.

basting – when a quilt sandwich is held together with large, easily removed stitches or pins. Some quilters offer a basting service for hand quilters

longarm quilting machine – a sewing machine, usually greater than 15 inches of throat space that is mounted on a machine quilting frame

rollers – the quilt backing is attached to the rollers on a longarm machine quilting table so that the quilt may be rolled up and kept in position for quilting

custom quilting – quilt blocks are individually quilted as well as the border has a separate quilting design. Custom quilting can include, but is not limited to stitch in the ditch, cross hatching, outlining of applique and /or background fill.

tension – the relationship of balance between the top quilting thread and the bobbin thread. The two threads should overlap within the middle layer of the quilt when the tension is balanced

Happy quilting

Tracey Browning

How to start a business

Starting your own business is a big decision and undertaking. You will need to research your market and educate yourself on all the legal requirements that you will need to adhere to. The following are just a few pointers on where to start your research and find the information that you may require.

This site will give you nearly all the information for Australia (plus lots you might not want to hear):

You will need to educate yourself on the following requirements:

Registering your business name (if you choose to have a different name to your own)* Registering for an ABN to enable you to legally purchase wholesale *Registering for GST. Please ask for advice from your accountant to fully understand the requirements of GST and tax returns etc

• Checking with your local council regarding running a business from your chosen location.

• Business Insurance – public liability insurance. (your homeowners policy will NOT cover you if you are running a business from home)

Once you have achieved all this however, you will be ready to fly high and run your own business to suit YOUR personal time constraints and those of your family. Running a business from home is hard work but can be extremely rewarding.

• Just imagine being able to be home with your children, husband, parents etc for whenever they need you.

• Being able to go to work in your jammies if you choose to do so.

• Set your own working hours that suit YOU rather than an employer.

This is a simple work order that you can develop your own from. You are welcome to download this pdf and use the parts that suit you and your business to create your own work order for use in your business.

Simple work order


Now that you have commenced your own machine quilting business, you need to let the world know that you are open for business. You have probably been practicing madly to ensure that your quilting skills are sufficient to ‘put your work out there’ to encourage positive word of mouth advertising. This truly is the BEST form of advertising that you can have……

The following are some further suggestions – in no particular order – that you can do to promote yourself and your business:

  • Advertise in your local guild newsletter
  • Advertise in your local school newsletters
  • Approach your local quilt shop to offer to quilt a sample in exchange for them displaying your card/brochure and your name on the sample on display
  • Advertise in appropriate National Magazines
  • Setup your own Business Facebook Page, which is free, that customers might find you or you can direct them to it.
  • Setup your own website to show the type and quality of work that you are doing, with information for potential customers to work out pricing and contact details. Only needs to be a 5-7 page static site that gets updated with quilting photos as you grow!
  • Setup your own Instagram business account & share all your amazing photos of quilts & quilting

Happy quilting in business!

Tracey Browning