For beginners, straight-line quilting is the most straightforward machine quilting technique as the results are pretty quick. It is a simple construction that does not need lots of matching seams. Here are the basics of straight-line quilting for beginners:
Use Quilt Patterns that Have Large Pieces of Fabric
Quilt patterns with large pieces of fabric are more comfortable to sew, especially when using top quality quilting machine compared to small pieces. Smaller pieces have lots of seams, making the process time-consuming. It may lead to errors also. Large parts, on the other hand, have fewer seams and it’s easier to have the blocks sewn together accurately. You want a smooth time sewing the pieces together, hence the need to choose quilt patterns made of squares and rectangles. Parts made of triangles will give you a difficult time sewing as you will have to extend the edges.
The Backing Fabric should be Wide Enough
Be sure to choose a full backing fabric that fits the quilt top; you don’t want to add a different material that extends to edges. Additionally, the color pattern and shade of the fabric should match that of the quilting thread. For beginners, it is more advisable to use a patterned fabric as it is more forgiving. Pick cotton fabrics as they tend to stick to the batting. Since it does not slide, you will hardly experience tucks into your backing when quilting.
Stabilize the Fabric
Once you have taken the ideal kind of fabric for the quilting project, you can begin sewing. The first seams of quilting help prevent the quilt from shifting. To do this, you need to sew the quilt along the seam lines- along with the borders. If you are using fabrics with different colors and density, use a monofilament thread. Anchoring stitches should not show on the fabric.
Stitch for a Straight-set Quilt
Once you are done anchoring, you can load the machine with an all-purpose thread in a color that matches the backing fabric. The stitch length should be set at 6-10 stitches per inch. Spread out the unrolled center of the quilt in the machine and use one stitch. Stop and raise the presser foot with the needle up and tug the top thread tail so that the bobbin thread tail moves up through the hole in the stitch already made in the previous step. Lower the machine’s presser foot and start stitching using two stitches while stopping. To secure the thread, make backward stitches with the machine reversed.
Stitching the Corners
Continue stitching the quilt along the marked lines (without reversing the machine). When sewing an edge that needs to be turned, hook the needle into the quilt and raise the presser foot. Then, turn the quilt in the other direction and lower the presser foot as you continue stitching. After quilting the unrolled area, remove the fabric from the machine to determine the un-quilted area and continue stitching.