At this point you should have your quilt basted, and your machine clean. Here’s a look at how I use straight lines to quilt.
For straight lines – I use my walking foot. They all look something like this.
Be sure to put the lever over the needle clamp, that moves the teeth on the top layer with the feet on the bottom layer.
To begin, line up your walking foot with a seam line, in the middle of the quilt. Like basting, it’s good to start from the middle and work your way out. I like to use the outside of the foot as my guide.
When you reach the other edge, turn the quilt around and line up your foot with the previously sewn seam. I don’t even clip the thread at this point, just keep sewing! Going back and forth across your quilt top keeps things even. If you went left to right every time your top may start to slide off to the right a little.
Alternately, you could introduce the walking foot guide, I believe these come with most walking feet. Gently click the guide into the gap, so that it is secure.
Now select the width between your seams.
I opted to move mine out as far as I could, about 3″, and align it with the previous seam, or a seam in the quilt top.
See? Please note – it’s not perfect! The overall effect is good though :) Be careful not to pull or inhibit the quilt as it moves under the needle. I do like to use quilting gloves in spite of the awkward glances from my family! The gloves help me to better grip and move the fabric, with less strain on my hands.
Occasionally re-roll your quilt, so that everything continues to fit under your machine easily. Continue, back and forth, back and forth until you are all quilted. I did one seam with the guide, then the next with the edge of the foot.
It’s a nice soft bit of quilting that I managed to finish in an afternoon :)
Other options for straight lines include diagonals, use some of your masking tape to mark where you would like to quilt. Then follow along side the tape with your walking foot. And wavy lines are a fun option as well, I usually go top to bottom and allow the fabric to gently flow back and forth as I sew.
I’m sure there’s more, and a few questions. I will do my best to answer in the comments for everyone. I hope that this helps, and encourages some of you to give quilting a chance :)
The quilt pictured is available as a tutorial here.
ETA: You can also use your walking foot for any of the decorative stitches your machine may have! Think zig-zag, scallops, little flowers – sample a couple of rows on a practice quilt sandwich to see how they play out on a quilt top.
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