So you've picked a quilt pattern, pulled the perfect fabrics, mastered the 1/4" seam allowance, completed a quilt top, and layered + basted your project, now what? Today I'm going to share some helpful straight-line quilting tips & techniques so that you can finish any quilt project (large or small) on your home machine.
Straight-line quilting is my favorite. If you've been a reader for any amount of time, you've probably already figured that out. It gives such a fresh & modern feel and can be used in so many different projects and patterns. Straight-line quilting also creates a great texture, especially when washed --- yummy! Plus there's something so enjoyable + soothing about stitching straight-lines, it's so therapeutic!
|DS Picnic + Fairgrounds Quilt|
Making sure your quilt or project is properly basted is one of the key elements to a successful & enjoyable quilting experience, not just straight-line quilting! I prefer to spray baste all of my quilts using 505 Spray for two reasons:  it's faster than pin basting, which equals more quilting & sewing time! and  i've found that it eliminates shifting when quilting. I recommend using a spray baste product on a hard + washable surface (ie. the kitchen floor) because it does result in a little leftover residue, nothing a little warm water & soap can't handle! Also make sure you are in a well ventilated area -- open a window!
|Firefly Quilt & Tutorial|
two // new needle
I like to start every new sewing & quilting project with a new needle and recommend you do too! I use a Schmetz Universal Needle size 80/12 for all of my piecing and quilting. Find a needle that works for you & your machine and then stick with it.
|XO Quilt & Tutorial|
three // walking foot
A walking foot is a must have -- I wouldn't straight-line quilt without one! A walking foot has feed dogs that, along with machine's lower feed dogs, help evenly pull the quilt through the sewing machine. Check with your specific machine dealer & manual for more information on a walking foot.
|Granny Square Quilt|
four // “needle-down” position
If your sewing machine has a "needle-down" position, use it! This setting makes sure the needle stops in the "needle-down" position every time you take your foot off the pedal. It really helps keep a straight-line every time you need to start & stop quilting -- ie. re-adjusting & thread change.
|His + Her Christmas Stockings|
five // thread
Thread selection can really effect your straight-line quilting results. I like to use 50 wt. Aurifil thread in all of my sewing & quilting projects. It's a fine, cotton thread that quilts up wonderfully -- I really like how it blends into the fabric. Keep in mind each sewing machine is different, so the thread that works on my machine may not work as well on yours. Play around with a few different types + brands until you find a thread you like!
|x and + Quilt|
six // slow & steady
This step is key -- slow & steady wins the race. I've found that a slow and steady pace helps to keep the quilting lines straight and even. Remember to enjoy the process of quilting, each and every step!
If you aren't comfortable quilting straight-lines without a guide, don't worry! Products like FriXion pens or even painters tape can help make marking your project fast and easy. Once you get going, try using the edge of your walking foot as a guide.
I hope that you find these straight-line quilting tips & techniques helpful. Remember that it's not about achieving "perfect" straight lines -- there's no such thing! It's all about enjoying the process, trying new things, and feeling confident & enjoying your talent.