(First, a little disclaimer…… I must say this is not a tutorial. I have no idea if I’m doing this the “right way” or not. I do know that it looks fairly decent and that my quilts hold up through washings.)
I love to make quilts, but I don’t like to quilt them. Oh the irony, right? But, as I have said before, although I absolutely love the way long arm quilting looks, I love knowing that I made the entire quilt. Just me. No one else.
So when I quilt, I usually just straight line quilt. As the name suggests, all straight line quilting is the process of quilting using straight lines.
If you need a visual, in the picture below I highlighted where I quilted my postage stamp quilt. I used diagonal straight lines. (Forgive the poor quality and my wiggly lines, I’m so not a techie!) But hopefully you get the idea.
So here’s what I do. After completing the quilt top and making my quilt sandwich, I then baste my quilt. After basting, it’s ready to be quilted.
Next, I attach my walking foot. At that point, I’m ready to quilt.
I start from the middle of the quilt. To keep my stitches from unraveling, I do NOT back stitch. Instead, I set the stitch length on my machine to 1 for about 4-6 stitches. Then I move it to 1.5, then 2, and the finally to 2.8. On 1, the stitches are super short (teeny tiny) and therefore won’t unravel like a longer stitch might.
I probably do about 15 stitches before I get to 2.8. (where I leave it) I move it up slowly for 2 reasons. 1) I think it would look weird to go from teeny-tiny stitches to normal stitches without anything in between. The way I do it means that the stitches get bigger more gradually. 2) It gives the stitches a little more strength/staying power.
Then I slowly guide my quilt through my machine. I think the key for me is to go slow. The more experience you have, the faster you can go I guess, but for right now, slow works best.
I slow my machine way down when I get about an inch away from my stopping point. Then I slowly make my stitch length shorter. I go from 2.8 to 2 to 1.5 to 1. (Reverse order from when I start.) Same thing, the small stitches will keep your thread from unraveling.
I take the pins out when they get in my way.
And then I just repeat these steps until my quilt is quilted. Starting from the middle and going to the edges.
I’m working on getting braver, and trying to experiment a little with quilting. Maybe trying some loops or circles next time.