Step Up Your Straight-Line Quilting Game with These 5 Tips

You can create visually stunning patterns with straight-line quilting if you make the right preparations. Get crisp, eye-catching results by incorporating these steps into your planning and sewing.

Make Your Marks

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Are you a bit obsessive about keeping your stitches perfectly straight? Grab a hera marker and your DQC quilting ruler, and map out your pattern.

Hera markers leave temporary indentations in the fabric, which you can use for guides as you sew. It’s like having a visual of the finished pattern before you even get started, and you don’t have to mark your quilt with anything other than a little light pressure.

Baste the Fabric Well

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Some quilters swear by pin basting; others adamantly recommend basting spray. Whatever method you prefer, make sure the backing is held down well so that it stays taught. Secure all the layers well to keep them in place as you sew.

Switch to a Walking Foot

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Instead of using a presser foot, fit your machine with a walking foot. The feed dogs on the foot supplement those on the machine, helping prevent shifting and puckering of the fabric. Choose a foot with wide “toes”to make stitches more visible and minimize the possibility of errors as you work.

Work Outward and Consistently

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Whenever possible, start quilting at the center of your project. Work in one direction instead of going back and forth. Zipping from one side to the other the way you’d devour corn on the cob makes a similar mess of things, except you wind up with bunched, uneven and wavy fabric instead of corn kernels between your teeth and butter running down your arm.

Exercise Patience

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Going slow is hard when you want to see what your quilt will look like when it’s done, but you have to restrain yourself from rushing if you want the satisfaction of a smooth, even surface. The slower you go, the more control you have as the fabric moves through the machine, and the easier it is to see what you’re doing. You’ll get better results and be happier with the end product when you take your time.

With a clear plan and the right preparation, you’ll be all set for easier straight-line quilting. Have fun experimenting with different patterns, stitch lengths and thread colors to find your favorite combinations, and continue practicing until you feel like a pro.

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