Straight Line Quilting

This is making me very nervous.  I pieced the backing for Mountain Majesties using some vintage red, white and blue bunting fabric.  It’s pretty thin and I’m afraid it will tear if I stretch it too tightly on the longarm machine.

I hope I don’t regret this choice of backing.  I said I’d explain straight line quilting while I worked on this quilt.  I would not be able to do this on my Bernina – it’s just too big but I know many people have quilted large quilts on their home machines.

At the beginning edge I like to put in several lines of stitching and then I take out those pins along the edge.  These lines of stitching are not necessarily perfectly straight.  And I don’t want to stitch too closely because the quilt will be stiff and hard so I’m only stitching 5 lines across a 7-1/2″ inch block.

When I start stitching on the left side of the quilt, I simply hold the machine handles and walk slowly to my right.  If I walk too fast, the stitches will be too long.  If I walk too slow, the stitches will be tiny so I try to set a medium pace based on the stitch length.

Here’s another close-up.

 Here’s the quilt with a few rows stitched.  I get better as I move down the quilt – ha!

 I plan to work on this again tomorrow and will TRY to answer your questions while I’m in the process.  Remember that this is being stitched on a longarm machine.  I can’t tell you how to do this on your home machine – you’ll just have to try it on your own and remember practice makes perfect.

9 thoughts on “Straight Line Quilting

  1. Marilyn H

    This is very informative…….please describe how you turn for the next line of quilting. Thanks.

    1. Mary Etherington

      I stop and return to the left side of the quilt. I was taught by the experts at AQS to do it that way because the machine will break the thread if I stitch from right to left. I am a rank beginner at machine quilting so this is the only thing I know how to do but I like it very much. It doesn’t interfere with the pattern of the quilt like all the curves and curlyques. My opinion only!

  2. Janice

    Wow, this is neat! I’ve seen a few of these “longarm” machines here in New England. They show up in pictures of houses that are for sale (hard to hide something that big when taking pictures of interiors!). Makes me think that there’s quite a few home based quilt businesses out there.

    Your quilt top is just beautiful, love all of the colors together.


  3. Janice Brown

    I have never heard the term “bunting fabric” so I did a web search. Interesting search results. If I may make a request . . . can you please show the backside of the finished quilt as wells the front. Thank you.

  4. Ruth

    Oh, I love the straight stitching on this Mountain Majesties quilt! It puffs up so nicely, it will be nice and warm! It is so beautiful!
    I have straight line quilted several king size quilts on my Singer 15-91 sewing machine. It takes a lot of pinning all over with safety pins when it’s on the floor. Then I roll up the sides and pin in three places each side of the next planned line of stitches. Then I straight pin it every inch or so down the seam before I move to the sewing machine. Toss it over my shoulder and arrange it over the snack bar, a chair back, and under the needle of my blackhead Singer. Then it moves out over my dining room table which is covered in heavy plastic.
    Lots of work. But I’m a big fan of straight line stitching, even diagonally. It leaves such nice, simple patterns.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Ruth – I don’t know how you handle all that quilt! You have my respect and admiration!

    2. Teresa

      Ruth, I appreciate you describing your home machine quilting technique. Something I want to try but have only done with small quilts that of course, are very easily managed.

      Thanks for the tutorial, Mary. Have never watched someone use a long arm so this is very interesting.

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