How to Make a Cotbed Quilt for Beginners, Step 8: Quilting!

So, we have basted our quilts and FINALLY made it to the most exciting part, the quilting!

My apologies for the delay in getting this post up but we were struck down with a rather nasty case of Norovirus here at Casa B and energy levels are only just returning.

Tonight though I have managed to crack on with the next step.

Quilting basically means just sewing all three of your quilt layers together.  How you do it is entirely up to you.

Some quilters like to quilt along the edges of their squares, known as ‘quilting in the ditch’, some can manage that super pretty free-form quilting with lots of swirls and twirls…maybe one day…but for this I think diagonal lines across each square works just beautifully.

This was my first quilt and you can see what I mean here:

Diagonal quilt pattern

Now, depending on how much of a perfectionist you are you may want to mark out your lines.  Some folks use chalk for this, some use tape, some may use pens with washable ink and some use a  hera to score lines into the fabric. These last two are available to buy from my amazon store.

Me?  I just eyeball it.  Sure some lines are a bit wonky but again I think this adds to the homemade charm.

In order to prevent your quilt from bunching up at one side it is generally best to start quilting at the middle.  I do the two longest diagonals first, from A to B, then C to D.

Quilt longest diagonals first

Start right up by the edge of your border fabric, remembering to backstitch a few stitches at the start and finish.

Start quilting

You will need to roll up the sides of your quilt to feed it through the machine as shown.

roll up quilt

And then the very centre of your quilt should look something like this…


Work outwards from here along the diagonals until you reach the edges.

Top tips Before You Start:

Make sure your machine is on a stable surface and will not slide forwards as you push your quilt through.

Allow plenty of space on your work surface.

If your thread runs out while stitching, once you have re-threaded your machine, simply begin stitching again on top of the last cm or so that you completed.

If you go wrong, DON’T PANIC!  That is what seam-rippers were made for.

Some quilters suggest using a walking-foot on their machine to help to feed the fabric through.  I have found my regular foot works just fine.

It is a good idea before you start to have a practice.  Pin together two scraps of fabric with a bit of your left-over batting in between and have a go at quilting this first.  It will give you a really good feel for it.

Good luck!  The hard work is nearly over and then you will be ready for Step 9: Binding your quilt.


  1. says

    Thank you so much for all these posts. I’ve been all over the Internet looking for instructions on making a cot quilt for my soon-to-be-born niece. I’m a total beginner – never even used a sewing machine before! Your pages have been by far the easiest to understand and follow. I now have a lovely looking quilt just waiting for binding. Thanks again!

    • says

      Thanks so much Elaine. I am a complete beginner too and really struggled to find a lot of answers with my first quilt so am glad this series has helped you! That is exactly what I had hoped for. I am just about to publish the last post too so you can get binding! I would love to see a picture of your quilt, if you post it anywhere do pop back and let me know and thanks so much again for commenting. You have made my day!


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