6 Great Tips For Straight Line Quilting

Even Beginners Can Get It Right First Time.

Simple straight line quilting offers more choices than you would think at first. Quilt small squares, or, if you want to quilt closer than 4 inches, dense quilting can look beautiful and give your quilt lots of beautiful texture. It looks easy until fabric starts pulling in multiple directions and stitches start skipping. Batting ends up more on side with hardly enough to cover the other. These tips will get better results every time and anyone can do them.



Deciding which thread color seems pretty straight forward, yet at the start of the first line, the color looks ‘off’! Batting choice makes all the difference as it makes a difference as to how closely you need to quilt so that the batting doesn’t shift.

tips for straight line quilting

Suzy from Suzy Quilts says that when ready to quilt it’s just too tempting to rush to the finish. Even when using a walking foot, quilting should be slow. You want to quilt half as fast as when you’re piecing.

Quilt lines in the same direction or else you get ugly tension waves in your fabric. Resist sewing to the edge of the quilt and pivoting to come back for the next straight line. Start in the middle of the quilt and sew one entire side the same direction. Then rotate the quilt 180º and repeat the process on the unquilted portion of the quilt. Whichever technique is best for you, it helps to tightly roll the quilt so that it can fit into your machine.

how to do matchstick grid quilting without puckers

Matchstick grid quilting is quite dense and secures the quilt. You can also quilt those pretty little squares. Suzy suggests sewing along one seam from top to bottom, then quilt a line down the middle of the block. Before completing the quilting for that block, jump to the next block and quilt a line along the seam top to bottom, and then a middle line. Finally when all blocks are done in this way, come back and complete the quilting for each block.

Tip number 5 mentions getting a new needle, but also that using a new 80/12 needle together with a 40wt thread is the ‘straight-line quilting power couple’. Plus you can always use a thread color to match the top, with a different color in the bobbin to compliment the backing fabric. Choose thread for a bold statement or subtle, and decide whether it should be a feature.

how get perfect straight line quilting

Success for quilting all starts with a good baste. Spray basting is easy, but expensive especially over a large quilt. The top has to be spray basted to the batting, as well as the backing, so there are 2 large sides to spray. Using pin basting is a huge saving.

Suzies article is practically a free mini course on straight line quilting, which includes basting, how to choose batting, and when to use basting tape, how to quilt thick layers with a walking foot, needle choice, and how to pick a complimentary thread color.

There’s a cheat sheet for a quick read, and further more helpful guidelines. You’ll notice the before and after on some quilts, and how easy it is to get really great quilting results simply applying these methods.



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