Everyone’s interest in quilting is different. Some like the pattern, the fabrics, and some like the quilting. Those who specialize in machine quilting are in that last group. For them, it’s a blank canvas to explore with a design that can either compliment the quilt or even overshadow the quilt design sometimes. I cannot imagine the talent that emerges from a machine quilter’s hands when I see an intricately quilted piece. It is beyond my comprehension.
For me personally, I love piecing the quilt top. I love the fabrics, the block design, the fabric combinations and the secondary designs that begin the show up when blocks are set together. The quilting does not interest me very much. Please, Machine Quilters, do not be offended! I admire and respect your talent but for me quilting straight lines is enough. I am mostly interested in the colors of the fabrics as they all combine into one quilt.
I have had so many questions about straight line quilting that I have decided it just might be good for the quilting industry. The more quilts a quilter can finish, the more she can make, the more fabric she uses and the better customer she becomes to her local quilt shop. So with all that explanation finished, I picked a very easy 4 patch quilt to put on the machine and show you how I go about straight line quilting. I do the very same thing on my Bernina and it’s all freehand so if your longarmer says she doesn’t have a computerized machine so she can’t do it, show her this post.
I do not try to stitch in the ditch – too hard and I can’t do it nicely so I quilt next to the seam line.
This is the first line of stitching on this row of 4 patch blocks.
Then I skip to the bottom edge of the 4 patch block and just hold steady all the way across next to that seam line.
Then I pick the middle of the block and stitch down the middle, possibly wavering a bit, it won’t matter to me.
Then I go back to the top of the 4 patch and “split” the area between the first line and the middle line of stitching.
Then I go to the bottom part of the block and stitch between the middle line and bottom line of stitching. If I wanted more lines I would go back and stitch in between each again with another row. You will have to decide how many lines of quilting you want after putting in the top, bottom, and middle rows. Sometimes I’ve even changed my mind so that the first block doesn’t match the rest of the quilt. Oh, well.
I feel quite sheepish going to this much detail about such simple quilting. I am not a machine quilter and I will never be a machine quilter. Please read this tutorial with an open mind, written by someone who has made hundreds of quilts and now has a longarm machine to complete a quilt from start to finish on her own. I have no imagination for quilting designs. Those that do rule the quilting world with their talent.
And one last picture of the hops vine. I showed it to you on April 30 and I took these pictures yesterday. In a couple of weeks, look how it has grown!
The sale is approaching and we are not ready yet. It is pouring rain today and tomorrow Connie and I are heading to Minneapolis to Quilt Market. It will be fun to see some old friends again.