Machine quilting is ideal for a nine patch quilt because this design uses straight and simple lines. However, there are many ideas for machine quilting that will add beauty to the nine patch design. You can start with the basic quilting methods as the foundation you build upon. The design of the machine quilting should complement the design of the patchwork.
Basic Style of Machine Quilting
Quilting in the ditch works well for the nine patch quilt. It is a simple and fast method. Quilting in the ditch is simply stitching 1/8 of an inch from the seam line on the side without a seam allowance. The stitches are subtle and look as if they disappear into the seam line or the "ditch." In the ditch, quilting enhances the main design of the quilt blocks.
One way to enhance your nine patch blocks is with outline quilting. Outline quilting is stitching a 1/4 inch inside the seam lines on the finished quilt. This simple method can be used to enhance what patterns you want to stand out. Another version of outline quilting is continuous line quilting that does not start or stop often.
Quilting diagonally across your nine patch quilt design will add a new dimension to the look of the quilt. This method is done by quilting from one edge or corner of the quilt to the opposite corner, starting in the center of the quilt and working out toward each edge.
On the nine patch quilt, combining two styles of machine quilting is possible. In the plain quilt squares, a quilted floral or circular design or an embroidery design could be machine quilted. This pattern along with some vines could then be used to do the sashing, corner blocks and borders. You can find designs in many quilting magazines, online and from looking at other quilts. Finding a design you like can then be enlarged or reduced on a photocopier and transferred to your quilt block to be machine quilted.
Based in the Midwest, Carol Owens has been writing home, health and business-related articles since 1998. Her articles have appeared in the North County Review, "The Nearness of Day" anthology and on the PhoneSmart website. Owens received a Bachelor of Arts in art from Columbia College.