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Tips for Straight Line Quilting

Created By:

Fran Gulick

Skill Level: Advanced

Hi everyone! Fran here, of Cotton and Joy. Today, I will be sharing some tips for my go-to quilting, straight-line quilting!

 

So, why straight-line quilting?

 

I love to quilt my quilts using this technique because it’s cheap compared to sending my quilts to a long armer, and it’s something I can do on the machine I already own. You don’t need any extra notions or tools to get started; all you need to know is how to sew straight.

 

Granted, that is the tricky part - how do you get a straight line when straight-line quilting? Here are some of my tips!

Instructions

Good Basting

The first tip when it comes to straight-line quilting is to make sure you have a really good baste for your quilt sandwich (the quilt top, batting, and backing). You can be the best sewist with perfect accuracy, but your quilt can still bunch up and cause puckers if your basting is not done well.

 

Start by ironing your quilt top, backing, and even your batting if needed! Sometimes, the batting can have a lot of wrinkles from being in the packaging, so giving it a quick pass with your iron can make a big difference.

 

If you are pin-basting, make sure you have pins at least every 4 inches. If you’re using basting spray (my preferred method), don’t skimp out on spray. I know it can be pricey, but it’ll be worth it in the end!

 

After you’re all done basting, run your hand lightly over the quilt sandwich. If you sense any lumps or see fabric bunching up, don’t be afraid to pull pins or peel the layers and fix them. This is the time to do it to prevent puckers later on!

 

Use a walking foot

Also called even feed feet, these little guys make a big difference. They have feed dogs that move and help feed all the quilting layers (quilt top, batting, and backing) evenly through the machine.

 

My machine, the Janome M7, has two different even-feed feet - the AcuFeed AD Foot and the AcuFeed HP2 foot. Both are fantastic for straight-line quilting, but I tend to gravitate towards the HP2 foot as it uses the same plate as the HP foot I use for piecing.

 

 

In addition to evenly feeding all the layers in your quilt, walking feet usually come with a guide bar. This little bar is usually adjustable, and you can use it to measure how far apart you want your quilting.

 

So, if you wanted to do lines every 2 inches, you’d measure 2 inches from your needle and adjust the guide bar to 2 inches. Then, you can sew your second quilting line 2 inches from the first line using the bar as a guide.

 

Use references

 

What I mean by this is, let your quilt top help you! For your first line, pick a long, straight seam already in your quilt top as a reference. You can either line your walking foot’s edge with that seam or use the guide bar.

 

 

I also use some of these long seams already in my quilt top to re-adjust my quilting. We are all humans and inevitably get a little crooked. So use the quilt top’s seams to guide you through your quilting. For example, when you’re getting close to your sashing or edge of blocks, use those seams to re-straighten your quilting.

 

 

Don’t have long seams to use as a guide? Mark your quilt every six or so inches using a hera marker or a specialty pencil. This will help keep your overall quilting straight.

 

 

I hope these tips will help you in your quilting journey!

Everyone is Talking about Tips for Straight Line Quilting
Reviews


Tako
Beautiful
Wednesday, November 23, 2016

cpindzola
Around the Table Dresden Placemats
Saturday, December 17, 2016

I like the concept, but the directions are "sloppy." Nowhere in the supply list does it mention the felt or the batting (how much?). Also, I would never use a high loft batting in a placemat, or a table runner, as I think that it would be too unstable for a glass. The next time I make these, I will cut out the batting (I use flannel) and spray baste it to the wrong side of the Dresden plate before I put the Dresden plate on the felt to cut out. I have not yet washed the finished placemat, and am hoping that the single layer of felt does not curl up, or become distorted after washing/drying.
Txmaid
Fun Great Gift!
Tuesday, February 21, 2017

MargieARK
Teatime Quilted Tablecloth
Friday, February 24, 2017

I made this today but your cutting directions need to be changed. You only need 4 of color 1 and color 3 4.5 squares for the triangles. Also the inner border, you only need 2 cuts as WOF is long enough to cut each in half to fit the sides.
MickelSews
Great Machine
Wednesday, August 30, 2017

I've had this machine for only a week now. I bought it used from a lady who makes her own clothes, but she no longer needed the machine. During the purchase, she noted that she is almost sad that it's better to give it away because of how well the machine performed. (I also bought it along side a computerized machine of another brand.} She demoed the machine for us, showing it worked and gave us everything (including the box it came in!) She took amazing care of this machine. I have used it a few times now, and the directions for threading were easy to follow (albeit my hands are quite large so the lower looper was a pain, but that is no fault to the machine or brand.) And I recommend this machine to anyone who wants to learn to serge and wants a machine that can grow with them. I will happily use this machine time and time again.
rvstan
S9 Review
Sunday, February 25, 2018

I love, love, love my S9! It's sews and embroiders beautifully and it's simplicity of use amazes me. I would recommend this machine for both a beginner and an experienced seamstress. If I would ask anything of Janome it would be to upgrade the programming to run a larger hoop size. I understand that it can't get much wider but there is most definitely room for it to go longer. That is the only limitation of this machine.
pjmnana
PJMNana
Monday, February 26, 2018

I purchased a Memorycraft 15000 a few years ago and it was the best purchase I ever made! This machine can do just about anything you would would ever want! I love the capability of using the Acuedit app to set up my embroidery pattern on my Ipad and then download it to the machine! I love how my embroidery looks upon completion and I love all the good lighting it has to light up your workspace. That way you don’t need to worry about where to set up your machine. It also has plenty of room to do machine embroidery on any size quilts! There are many decorative stitches from which to choose that are outstanding! It’s hard to choose which one to use! There are so many great features it is hard to decide what I love the most. If you want to buy only one machine to last a lifetime, I would recommend this one!
KLWash
S9 Review
Sunday, February 24, 2019

The S9 is amazing. I learned to sew by hand when I was just 5 and in my grandmothers way as she was quilting. I took seeing classes in high school until they would no longer let me sign up. The S9 makes me appreciate my current skills as well as motivate me to want to learn more. This machine is awesome.
SewSueMe2002
Horizon Memory Craft 15000
Thursday, November 19, 2020

My Janome Horizon Memory Craft 15000 is fantastic! I love, love, love this machine! When I came across the Eye for and Eye embroidery design today, I wanted to make it. However, the embroidery file is missing. Nothing downloads when I select the download button. Please help!
Jillfmischo
Treat Bag fun!
Monday, August 16, 2021

I made the Halloween treat bag for my new granddaughter and I’m sure it will last for years. No embroidery machine so I appliquéd the lettering. Need a little more skirt fabric for a better gathered look, and I used thin double-bias tape for the skirt hem, over edge stitch on skirt sides. I’m pleased with my results!
elenaz
Very helpful tutorial
Wednesday, October 25, 2023

I want to say thank you for teaching me this method of applique. I was able to do it with a small letters. This method is the best so far from all of those I've seen and tried.
plonkar
So useful
Thursday, November 30, 2023

I'd like to express my gratitude for teaching me this appliqué method. I successfully applied it with small letters, and, so far, it's the most effective among all the methods I've seen and tried.

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