Add Dimension to Your Quilt With Shirring; Stabilizing

April 11, 2009

About two weeks ago I began exploring shirring and how it can be used in quilts. Today I’d like to share with you why and how shirring can be stabilized.

Stabilizing insures that the fabric will stay as you want it. Stabilizing prevents the loss of gathering in case the gathering threads break and it also secures the distribution of the gathers.


With a piece of fabric, or stay, beneath the shirring topstitch over each gathered row to lock the arrangement in place. If you stitch right on top of the original gathering stitches the stabilizing stitches do not stand out. You could also hand tack the stabilizing stitches along the rows if you wish to further hide those stitches. Here is a picture of some shirring stabilized and set within a block.


The stabilizing stitches could also be used as a decorative element on the shirring. In this next photo I used a Sulky Holoshimmer metallic thread and a very short zig-zag stitch over the top of the gathering thread.


Note that I also hemmed the edges of the shirring and left them to float above the surface of the quilt. That might make an interesting interior border on a quilt.

Next I plan to explore and play with shirring. I have an idea that I can’t wait to try!

Related Posts:

Add Dimension to Your Quilt With Shirring; the Basics



  1. Your stitching is impeccable! I’m so very impressed. Eleven years ago I added a little shirring to my infant daughter’s quilt and it’s still in place. Of course the rest of the quilt is falling apart because my margins were too small. I sure enjoy seeing your careful and detailed stitches.

  2. That looks like really cool. It gives me way too many ideas and I have so little time. I must remember all these things for the next quilt I’m going to make.

  3. That would be cute as a border. Great idea.

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