After you’ve planned the quilting designs and you’re ready to put needle to fabric, how do you know where to start quilting first? The general rule of thumb is to start from the middle and work outward toward the edges of the quilt. For machine quilting, this means quilting stabilizing stitch-in-the-ditch stitching between blocks and rows. After the whole quilt is stabilized, quilt the largest designs first, then move on to the smaller motifs, and fill in background or small dense quilting designs last. Small background quilting tends to draw up or shrink the quilt, and if it’s done before larger designs, will make the quilting process more difficult.