Free Motion Quilting Tip: The One Stitch Switch

In my last post, I shared how I was free motion quilting around a lovely laser cut applique Christmas scene using McTavishing as my main design of choice. You can see there's a lot of interlocking applique.

I also mentioned a little trick I have to move between small areas of background between the appliques without having to cut my thread with each move and bring up the bobbin thread with each new spot.

I'm sure I'm not the only one doing this to move around, but I'm gonna name it the "One Stitch Switch." Will the name catch on? I doubt it, but it makes a decent blog title, don't you think?

Here I'm quilting on the left side of the ornament and going over to the right side with my single stitch before returning to another area on the left.

Basically, you raise your needle and foot and move about 4-5 inches away, and take a single stitch. I use my needle down button twice. Then move to the next area to be quilted.

If you are trying off your threads, this will leave you enough to work with to knot and bury. I'f you are just using a few stitches in place to secure your threads and then will snip them close to the surface, this make it a little more efficient.

Good planning will keep the threads out of the way of your quilting. It's never fun to realize you had a thread tail on the backside and you stitched over it repeatedly, and now need to trim it off, especially if you've stitched into the thread a bunch.


  1. I do this quite often too. I've snagged the long bottom threads a few times, so now I try to pull the bobbin thread up at the single stitch and snip it, as soon as I've moved to a spot where it is easily done.

  2. Yes it isn't new to me but I love the name you called it. Seems to make it a legal move as compared to a lazy one. I resorted to it just this week

  3. Thank you for the "One Stitch Switch" idea (and the pictures to show it). This will make quilting so much more relaxing.

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.