Janome MC8900 3348

A great thing about making quilts on quilting machines is that there are so many different techniques that can be used to complete these beautiful projects. Straight line quilting is one of the primary finishing methods and one of the simplest techniques to used on machines like the Janome MC8900QCP or any long arm quilting machines. With this easily learned method, sewists of all experience levels can achieve great results making impressive quilts.

What Is Straight Line Quilting?

Straight line quilting is the most basic of all quilting techniques used to sew through the three-layered quilt sandwich. It is done by guiding the machine to stitch in a straight line and either follow a geometric pattern on the top layer or make a grid of some sort. The machine is adjusted to a desired stitch length, so all a sewist needs to do is guide the material under the presser foot.

In comparison to free motion or free form stitching, the straight line technique is faster and easier, producing great results. Best of all, it can be used in various ways, on nearly any top design. Generally speaking, most quilting done today is done using some form of straight line stitching.

Different Types Of Straight Line Quilting

Straight line stitching can be done in a variety of ways on any machine to achieve different effects. It can be done with standard sewing machines as well as both short and long arm quilting machines. It is simply an easy and efficient way to sew the quilt sandwich together before adding the final binding. It involves stitching in straight or sometimes wavy lines to accent the pattern in different ways while joing all the quilt layers:

  • Outline Stitching - This involves stitching done with the presser foot positioned â…› to ¼ inches from the top piece seam lines. It is done on both sides of the seam, outlining the seam on both sides.  
  • Echo Stitching - This is stitching that follows the pattern made with the pieces in the top layer. Echo stitching is commonly done free form with quilting machines; however, it can also be done as straight line stitching by following straight or geometric patterns.
  • Stitch in the Ditch - Although this method is done to reduce the amount of thread seen from the top of the finished project, it is still considered a straight line stitching technique. Stitching is done in the seam lines of the top layer, following the pattern with straight lines.
  • Parallel Lines - This is a simple method of sewing evenly spaced, parallel lines over the whole project to create a uniformly stitched look. When done with a Janome MC8900QCP, it is the easiest straight line technique and requires only marking off the evenly spaced lines with a presser foot guide, a ruler, or even masking tape. Stitching is done from end to end, ignoring pieced seams and fabric patterns while sewing straight lines over all of the quilt sandwich.  
  • Grid and Cross Hatch Stitching - Grid stitching is an extension of sewing parallel lines, turning the project perpendicularly and stitching parallel lines once again. The final result is an even grid. When this technique is done using cross hatching or sewing on an angle instead of parallel, the resulting grid appears diamond shaped.
  • Wavy Line Stitching - This stitching is done in evenly spaced lines, either horizontally or vertically, making them wavy instead of straight. Even though the result is wavy lines, it still qualifies as a type of straight line quilting since the wavy lines are done evenly spaced and in the same direction.

Performed in many different ways, straight line quilting is the main technique used for sewing together quilt layers on quilting machines of all types, including long arm quilting machines. Whether these methods are used alone or together, sewists can achieve wonderful results stitching on a Janome MC8900QCP!

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