quilting supplies

Quilting Basics: Straight Line Quilting

Straight-line and wavy line quilting are both wonderful ways to finish a project simply and cleanly. These lines are also versatile and can be used to create more complicated textures when layered together. Today, learn the basics of finishing your quilts with straight (ish) lines.

(This post contains affiliate links)

Two weeks ago we finished our Dogwood Blossoms Table Runner Top, but y’all, it’s not a quilt yet! A quilt is made up of three layers: a top, batting, and backing. We basted these together last week, so it’s time to stitch them together and officially make your first quilt!

An Introduction to Straight(ish) Line Quilting with HollyAnne Knight of String & Story -- Click to learn the simplest way to finish your own quilts!

What is Straight Line Quilting?

When I talk about “straight line quilting” in this post, I’m talking about quilting done with a walking foot or regular presser foot— straight and gently waving lines that could be parallel, could be in a grid, etc. If you’re working with a walking foot, it’s often referred to as walking foot quilting.

Are there other types of quilting?

Yes! The quilting we’re doing today is more broadly known as quilting on your domestic/ home sewing machine or “domestic machine quilting.” The other type of quilting you can do on your home sewing machine is called free motion quilting. It uses a hopping or darning foot and is kind of like doodling with thread. If you are curious about free motion quilting, I'd love to share my Top Three Tips for Successful Free Motion Quilting! Click here, and I’ll pop it straight over to your inbox!

There is also longarm quilting. This uses “those big quilting machines” which is basically a giant sewing machine turned 90 degrees and put on rollers on a big frame. When long arming, you move the machine instead of the quilt.

As part of this series, I’m introducing you to straight(ish) line quilting because it’s so easy, and I want you to know from the beginning of your quilting journey that you can finish your own projects with confidence!

Use Straight and Wavy Lines to Simply and Easily Finish Your Own Quilts -- Click through to join HollyAnne Knight of String & Story to learn more and get started!

Supplies for Straight line quilting

(See picture at top)

  • A machine foot- walking or regular piecing foot (make sure the bottom is nice and smooth; a piecing foot is my preference for small projects like this)

  • Marking tools: tape (low tack tape like painters tape or washi tape; available in various widths), rulers and chalk/ ceramic pencils and/or a Hera marker

Before you begin stitching, use a little practice sandwich to test your thread tension. If you’re not sure how to do that, check out my post here for a tutorial.

Take a few passes on a practice sandwich to check your tension and speed... Learn more about straight-line quilting by clicking through to this tutorial by HollyAnne Knight of String & Story

For small projects, begin stitching 1/8-1/4” in from one edge. For larger projects, start in the center and work out to one side, then return to the center and work out again. Change stitching direction with each pass, and stitch at a steady but not too fast pace. If you check your tension and take it easy, you’ll be brilliant!