I've been meaning to write a tutorial about this for quite a while. Time always seems to get ahead of me.
Well with my 'Sunshine quilt' being published in the latest issue of Modern Quilts Unlimited Magazine, I figured it's about time I get to it.
Most of the quilting I do is straight line quilting. Mainly because I like to keep things simple, both in aesthetic terms and because it's easy to achieve great results with this technique.
I like to use a Hera Marker for marking my lines. It doesn't actually draw lines on the quilt. It has no ink. It's just a stick really with a curved edge that looks something like a bone folder used in bookbinding or scrapbooking to score or make creases in the paper for easy folding.
The Hera marker does just that. It scores a line on your fabric. I like it because it leaves you with no lines to erase once you are done. And I find that I achieve straighter lines with this method than with using my seam guide.
If you look carefully at the picture below, you can see 2 scored lines running vertically on the quilt. Once you place your quilt under the light of the sewing machine, they will be much easier to see. Trust me.
The first line you make is always the most important as all the other lines will be measured against this one.
Decide on the angle at which you want your lines to intersect. For this quilt I chose to intersect them at a 90 degree angle, so my first line is drawn at 45 degrees from a horizontal line on my quilt (in this case the yellow strip you see below). My ruler does have a 45 degree marking on it, as most quilting rulers do. I did line it up with my yellow strip. I just forgot to take a picture of it.
Draw your line all the way across the quilt from on end to the other.
Pin or hand baste your quilt, roll it up, place it under the machine and you are good to go!
I always start my quilting somewhere in the middle and work my way out.
Some important points to remember:
-use a walking foot!
-remember that you are sewing directly on the line that you marked.
-if you need to stop sewing to adjust your quilt, make sure that you stop with the needle down.
-it is also a good idea to stop on a seam if you can or at an intersecting line. This way, if your stitching line does jiggle out of place a bit (and create what I call an elbow in the stitching line), it will be 'concealed' in the intersection.
-start stitching at a slow pace until you get comfortable with following the lines and adjusting your quilt. I have found that, with experience, I achieve straighter lines at maximum speed.
-when quilting a larger quilt, I always wind several bobbins before I begin.
-take frequent breaks. I find my eyes and my neck and back need a rest once in a while. Maybe it's just my age.
I love the texture that is achieved with this kind of quilting!
I used the same technique to quilt the quilt you see below.
For this quilt though, I wanted to create cross hatch diamond grid. I used the angle of my 30 triangle ruler as a guide to draw my first two lines, one in each direction.