How To Quilt Quilting Cables

Quilt Cables In Borders And Inner Borders.

A simple quilt becomes a traditional antique style beauty by quilting cables in the border. Even a beginner can quilt a cable, and it can be done on a domestic sewing machine. Using a walking foot is essential. Best of all, it’s easy to do and the results are worth the extra time spent.


Antique quilts often have quilted cables in the borders and inner borders. Use a stencil and mark the quilt directly through it. Another method is to use a photocopy underneath the quilt top and trace it.

how to quilt cables

The lines can be 2 parallels and even up to five. Rahna Summerlin of Blooming In Chintz says that once she quilted her first cable, she was hooked. Always striving for a pretty traditional look in her quilts and quilting, it seemed the only way to achieve that was to hand quilt. Why hand quilt when you can have the same result in less than half the time with machine quilting and simply attaching a walking foot.

quilted cables walking foot quilting stencil

Rahna quilted a cable in the border, and inner border of her scrappy postage stamp quilt. Using her ironing board to her left supports the excess and prevents the quilt from hanging down the front of her counter. Rahna shows how to quilt cables that wrap around corners explaining that she keeps basting pins in place and does not remove them until sewing in the immediate area.

Her tutorial is rich with tips such as pin-basting close together, checking the backing for puckers, marking with a blue water soluble marker that never stains,  and washing her quilts after they’re quilted. It may seem fairly slow sewing, unlike free motion, but it is quite easy once you get the hang of it. It’s all about the end result. Once you get started you progress to each line, one at a time, working in a sway from left to right. It’s addictive.


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