This straight line quilting tutorial is the first design in my machine quilting sampler quilt. The whole idea for the sampler has come from all my efforts to engage with Minnie, my longarm quilting machine, over the past few weeks. I am actually demonstrating the straight line quilting on my normal domestic machine because of course the designs that I am going to use in my sampler can be sewn on any machine. I have used plain fabric in a light colour with black thread for the quilting so that it shows up well. The size of the quilt is about 32″ by 42″ for the very technical reason that I had a piece of wadding that size in my stash. As I go along, I will be subdividing the quilt into sections about 8″ square.
I am not going to go into the basics of setting up for machine quilting, because I have already covered that here.
Straight line quilting ideas
Straight line quilting is the first step when you begin quilting – when you stitch in the ditch or echo quilt you are following the lines of the seams in your quilt blocks. The next step is to begin to add a little something into the lines so that you can use them as a design in their own right. As you can see, I have begun with triangles sewn at intervals in a line, then squares – yes, I agree they are more like rectangles than squares! In the next line I have added hearts and in the final line I have added very simple stars.
Whichever design you want to include in your straight line quilting, the important thing as always is to practise it before you use it in a quilt. The few designs that I have shown are very basic, so think about variations that you can use – different sizes of triangles within the same line, different spaces between them, different designs within the same line. Try them all out and decide which variations look right for your particular quilt.
I was going to show you two squares of the sampler in each tutorial, but the video would have been far too long so I am cutting it back to just the one section for each tutorial. The video goes into some detail and I hope you will find it helpful to see the straight line quilting as I sew it:
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