Close This Ad

Machine Minute - Straight Line Quilting

Straight line quilting is a great technique to learn. Jennifer Keltner gives tips to make it easy to get started with this grid design. Download the pdf here:

Hi, I'm Jennifer, here with another Machine Minute brought to
you by Baby Lock and the Crescendo machine. We get
lots of questions about machine quilting and how to begin,
and if you're not familiar with quilting and you see
the term "quilt as desired," sometimes you wish you had
a little more to start with. That's what we're going
to talk about today. Straight line quilting is great, and
often quilters learn to stitch in the ditch or in
the space between the seams of the pieces of their
block. But when you're ready to move beyond that, what
else can you do? One basic design for straight line
quilting is cross-hatching, or diagonal lines that run parallel to
one another across the quilt block or all the way
across the quilt top. So in my sample here, we
have nine-patch blocks, and you can use this technique to
diagonally stitch across a nine patch block in your quilt,
or you can use it to do an entire quilt
top. First and foremost, you want to get your machine
set up with the very best equipment. What you start
with is a walking foot. When you're doing straight line
machine quilting, a walking foot will help keep the layers
of your quilt (the top, the backing, and the batting)
together, pulling the top layer and bottom layer evenly. That's
why you want to use a walking foot. So set
up your machine with the walking foot and a new
needle. Treat yourself to a new needle, it really does
make a difference. And I like to use an 80/12
needle. And then, 50-weight thread is a common thread that
you would use for your quilting. So get your machine
set up with the walking foot, the needle and the
thread that you choose. And then, it's time to prepare
your layers. Now, once you've got your layers basted together,
whether by pin or by another method, you'll want to
make a plan for how you're going to stitch across
the top. And when I first saw cross-hatch quilting when
I was a new quilter it looked to me like
it was a simple X through the middle of every
block, but I knew with machine quilting that you wanted
as few starts and stops or places where you had
to tie off your thread as possible. So the cross
hatch is actually stitched in diagonal lines across the quilt
top. I've got some printouts here that I am going
to show you, and there is a downloadable PDF that
you can download and print and put next to your
machine as you are trying to stitch this out. But
where you start, whether you're starting on a single block
or across an entire quilt top, you want to start
stitching at the point where you can stitch the longest
diagonal line across your block or top. And in most
cases, that's the middle of your quilt. So you would
start stitching in one corner, and follow the direction of
the arrow, you would stitch all the way down across
until you got to the opposite corner of the longest
diagonal line. Then, rather than tying up your thread or
cutting it, you would just stitch in the ditch up
one side and then begin diagonally stitching the next longest
row. When you get here stop. Always stop with your
needle down in the fabric and pivot your quilt top.
Again stitch across the ditch here, and then continue on
across the next diagonal. Needle down, pivot, stitch up the
ditch so that you end up on this first pass.
The first time is stopping with your needle down right
here. Now don't cut your thread because the next pass
we're going to do, we've stopped with our needle down
and pivoted the quilt, and we're going to do the
opposite longest diagonal, so we're going to stitch down this
direction, pivot and go across the ditch here. At your
diagonal line stop with the needle down, stitch in the
ditch to the other diagonal top, and go down to
here. And again, stop with your needle down. Now, the
gray lines, as you'll see represent where we already quilted
and the red lines are where we're going to start
quilting. So on our way back, a lot of the
stitching is already done but we're going to the longest
diagonal line, stitching up to this point. And instead of
stitching in the ditch here, we've got one block where
we haven't crossed over yet, so we are going to
stitch diagonally there. Then stitch in the ditch here. Stop
with our needle down, and complete our pass by going
in a diagonal line. Stop and pivot and complete our
cross hatching. It seems a little difficult to comprehend until
you start stitching it, but ultimately the goal is to
not cross over any lines twice, to always stitch one
pass, and when you need to travel between one X
and another, stitching in the ditch or going along the
side of the block out where the seam allowance would
be on the edge of your quilt is more desirable
than stitching two lines of stitching and one pass. Cross
hatching is a great way to experiment and practice with
your machine quilting, and using a walking foot will make
it so much easier. Give it a try.


Loading comments...