We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Stipple Quilting?

By Norma Jean Howland
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At HomeQuestionsAnswered, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Stipple quilting is a type of free flow stitching that creates a design on a quilt. It can be done by hand or sewing machine using stitches in lines that are closely spaced but do not cross each other. The lines are usually less than ¼ inch apart and create whatever unique shape the quilter desires.

Stipple quilting is a little like free form coloring using a sewing machine, or a thread and needle, instead of crayons. When used as filler between patterns, stipple quilting helps to join sections of an area, tie together color changes and give the quilt overall continuity. It is also used to delineate certain sections of a quilt in order to make them stand out. Quilters often use this technique to add dimension by creating spots that lie flat in contrast to the rest of the quilt, giving the quilt that warm puffy look.

Using stipple quilting allows you to be guided by imagination and on the spot creativity, combining shades of thread with hand movements to make swirling line patterns and random shapes. Although it can be a bit daunting at first, once the hand/foot coordination of stipple quilting is conquered, the end product makes it well worth the effort. Usually keeping the foot pedal at an even speed helps not only to control the design but reduces the chance of breaking the thread. If done by hand the stitching is easier to control, but takes much longer to complete.

For novice quilters, experts recommend taking a trial run with a small piece of quilt, also called a test sandwich, to get the feel of stippling before trying it on the real thing. It is important to stock up on thread in the color you want to use because stippling uses a lot of it. Something else to remember is that stipple quilting will flatten out sections, which can change the size of your finished product, so take that into consideration. If you are planning on quilting for a twin bed you don’t want to end up with a quilt that is too small for a twin bed but not quite crib size either.

With that in mind, this type of quilting can be tremendously freeing once you get the hang of it. After you have completed a stipple quilting design, you will have something original to show off at a county fair, give as a one-of-a-kind gift, or put in the nursery to welcome home the new baby.

HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By mannlake — On Aug 03, 2009

Hello folks. I hope you can help me I am trying my hand at stippling and it's not going very well so I need all the help I can get. I live about 50 miles from a large city and work so a course is out of the question. Do you still quilt in the ditch on the finished project or is the stippling the only thing you do? I can get mine to look nice. I do have a walking foot and when you cut the threads if you have to leave your project what do you do with them? As you can see I need all the help I can get. Thank you very much for taking my question Cathy

By liz42 — On Feb 21, 2009

I have a Janome SX 2122 and have successfully used the darning foot a few years ago for stipple quilting.

Now I can't seem to get it to work. I'm putting the 'wire' above the needle knob, and the foot rises up with each stitch.

Help please.

By anon18770 — On Sep 29, 2008

I have never done stippling before and I don't really know what I have to do with the sewing machine to get started, but it looks interesting, could you please help me?

HomeQuestionsAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

HomeQuestionsAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.