Quilting Speed Experiment

How fast do you quilt without sacrificing your accuracy?

Let’s get a running poll on how fast everyone can get, while maintaining accuracy so there is no need for unsewing.

Please post a comment below on your quilting speed trial runs here. 

What do you need to accomplish this task?

  • A sewing machine (unless you want to time your hand piecing skills, then say hand piecing)
  • A timer that counts upwards.  A good online timer I use all the time is found here.

Some strips or blocks you want to sew:

  1. The number of strips or blocks you’re sewing
  2. The width of strips (for informational purposes, not for speed calculations)
  3. The length of one strip (or just the total length in all if you’re doing unbroken borders) and we can just multiply by the number of strips.

Get your strips ready to sew (personally recommend without pins, but do what you want, just be careful about removing pins) place them in front of your machine.

Hit the timer, sew (carefully, but fast) until the end of the last strip, chain piecing the strips, making sure the strips line up correctly for your project (which could mean some starts and stops).

As soon as you are done sewing all the strips, hit stop on the timer.

Send me information on:

  • The type of machine you have (for information sake)
  • Total number of strips sewn
  • Length of one strip
  • Amount of time to sew all the strips together
  • Width of the strip (for information sake)

And I’ll calculate the speed for you.

If you do anything special like glue/fuse your edges, let me know.  Or if you use pins, how does that affect the results.

Or if you are sewing wonky and don’t have to line up your pieces to make them match, tell me that too.

My results will be in the first comment, and I may try to set up a google spreadsheet if there is interest.

EDIT:  I have compiled the results as of February 1, on a blog post, which can be found on the quilting velocity results post.

Feel free to continue to time yourself and see if you are faster or slower than our average!  Keep leaving comments here if you would like!



  1. Trial 1
    Brother XL-2610
    Total Strips: 4
    Length of Strip: 42.5″
    Total time: 3:21
    Strip Width: 3.5″

    Calculated Speed: 1.41 yards / minute

  2. Trial 2
    Brother XL-2610
    Total Strips: 4
    Length of Strip: 42″
    Total time: 4:06
    Strip Width: 1.5″

    Calculated Speed: 0.41 yards/minute

  3. Trial 3
    Brother XL-2610
    Total Strips: 4
    Length of Strip: 44.5″
    Total time: 3:22
    Strip Width: 3.5″

    Calculated Speed: 1.47 yards/minute

  4. Trial 4
    Brother XL-2610
    Total Blocks: 8
    Length of Block: 2.5″
    Total time: 1:12
    Strip Width: 1.5″

    Calculated Speed: 0.47 yards/minute

  5. Wow – there is quite a difference in your speeds!

    I can’t think of anything I’m doing right now that involves strips. Would chain piecing work?


    • Yes, blocks will work too, just chain piece them, if you’re making identical blocks, just tell me the length of one block and the number of blocks total. I’d feel more comfortable if you’re completing more than one block even though there is a little bit of ‘rest time’ in between your piecing. If things are organized really well so that you pick one block right after you finish another the time in between is minimalized.

  6. […] I’ve set up a separate page on my blog for the Great Velocity Experiment […]

  7. Hi Darla,
    6 strips each 4’6” long, 2 1/2″ wide
    completed ~15 min (14:58)

    Not included: prep or ironing or dealing with tension issue (first time had that problem with this machine… figures! )
    Singer featherweight, ’48 vintage

    PS. I must be a process person since I did not like timing myself! 🙂 Thanks for letting me learn something about myself!

    Edited (by Darla) for speed in Yards / minute: 0.361
    PPS (e-mail is Darla’s address, but if Kris wins the giveaway, I will need to get a hold of you) 🙂

  8. OK, I was chain piecing 3.5 inch squares. I did 18 of them in 2 minutes, 54 seconds. I did get them all lined up ahead of time, so I just had to grab each one and go.

    My machine is a Bernina 153.

    I calculate that to be .60 yards per minute – but you can check my math, Darla.

  9. […] you find this site after that date, please feel free to participate by going to my Quilting Velocity Experiment page […]

  10. […] Don’t forget to participate in the Great Velocity Experiment!  Post your results on the page on Quilting Speed. […]

  11. […] If you want to share your experimental results, go to the Quilting Speed Experiment page. […]

  12. I really tried to time things last night, but kept forgetting to press stop and start on my stop watch! I do have some times downstairs that I will post tomorrow.

  13. I tried the speed experiment on a Christmas gift that I made. Here’s the info: I sew on a Bernina 440 with a speed control. For this I had the speed control as max speed. Used my quarter inch foot, strips were 2.5 inches wide, and 9 strips.
    58 seconds – 42 inch strip (had to redo stitching in a few spots following the test)
    1.06 minute, second – 42 inch strip
    34 seconds – 20 inches
    24 seconds – 20 inches
    29 seconds – 23 inches (cat walked across fabric)
    24 seconds – 20 inches
    28 seconds – 20 inches (fabric slipped big time)
    23 seconds – 20 inches
    1.00 minute – 42 inches
    I’ll leave the figuring to you. I feel that I unsew enough as it is that I don’t need to undo speed sewing mistakes.

  14. […] What is that?  Just check out my two episodes part 1, part 2, or my velocity page.  […]

  15. Some Chain Piecing:
    2.5″ Squares (qty 8) – 20″ – 55s
    4.5″ Squares (qty 3) – 13.5″ – 31s
    4.5″ Squares (qty 3) – 13.5″ – 30s
    8.5″ Squares (qty 4) – 34″ – 87s

    Average Speed 0.665 yards/min

    Trial 2:

    Strip Piecing (fabric width, 1.5″ wide strips)
    6 strips in 6:57

    Average Speed 1.05 yards/min

    On a side note – paper piecing a Mariner’s Compass Block… took 15-45min per 1/16th of the block. Average 25 per section…

  16. […] thanks to the people who have completed the speed experiment.  If you can, try to get the experiment done today – the […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: