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Super simple sophisticated straight line quilting

Yesterday I made some lovely mid mod shoofly blocks featuring Banyan Batiks Mod Graphics and today I will piece the quilt top and add the quilting.

With all blocks pieced, it’s time to assemble the quilt top. I chose to arrange it in 4 rows of 4. I also chose to keep each color of the Banyan Batiks Mod Graphics together as shown below but there are other options you can try. Note my pieced blocks are not all in the same orientation. I would like to say this was deliberate, however what really happened was that I pieced some of the blocks one day and the rest another. If you want to keep each of your blocks in the same layout, be aware that they are easily flipped around!

 

My chosen quilt layout with the Mid Mod Shoofly blocks!

 

Sew together the blocks into rows and then sew the rows together to achieve your quilt top. There are some offset seams which makes things a bit more forgiving but there are also a few spots where the seam match up. You will find this pattern is more forgiving in lining up blocks because really everyone will be looking at your cool modern quilt blocks!

When your quilt top is complete, you can sandwich your quilt.

Lay out your quilt back on a clean, clear surface. Tape the edges of your quilt to the floor. Keep things smooth but do not pull your quilt back too much or it will become distorted.

Next add your quilt batting, smoothing into place. If you use cotton batting you will find it clings to the cotton fabric and stays nicely in place. You can use a basting spray if you choose, just make sure to use it in a well ventilated area with no small children or pets around!

Now add your quilt top, smoothing in place. You may use the basting spray or pins to secure the top to the other layers.

 

Sandwiching your quilt top is simple, just three easy layers!

 

For the quilting in this project I chose simple straight lines. Decide whether your quilt lines will be vertical or horizontal on your quilt.

I chose a heavier weight thread for the quilting, a 12wt cotton. In the bobbin, I used a lighter 50wt thread. I also used a larger needle intended for heavier threads and set my stitch length to 3.0.

You may notice in the pictures that follow that I missed the final thread guide before the needle. I did this because the friction of the heavier thread in that guide was causing it to fray and break. I like to share these realities of quilting to show that not everything is perfect and often you need to think of a work around.

It is a good idea to make a little quilt sandwich and try your quilting out on that, to work out any problems before starting on your quilt proper, and above all don’t give up!

 

Quilting lines in progress…using a heavier weight thread makes your stitching really pop!

 

Begin by following the center seam down the middle of your quilt.

I decided to quilt this top using parallel lines in only one direction. First step is to stitch a straight line down the center middle of your quilt and then continue to make parallel lines using the shapes in your quilt top as a guide. You can make them an equal distance apart or (and this is easier) have your lines different widths, it is more forgiving on the eye!

I chose to use painters tape for my quilting guide and I always create my quilt lines from the center out. After I established a good amount of quilt lines with the painters tape, I use the quilting guide bar that my machine comes with to add additional lines in between, you will see what I mean in the pictures below.

Stop every few lines to check the back of your quilt to make sure things are neat and smooth. Batiks are gorgeous fabrics but the higher thread count will make them a bit more slippery than regular quilting cottons to work with.

Continue to quilt lines to the edges of your quilt.

 

I like to use painters tape as a guide to keep my quilting lines as straight as possible.

 

 

And…after I have added a number of lines with the painters tape, I switch over to a guide bar.

 

TIP To keep your quilt top smooth, stitch in the same direction each time, top to bottom.

If you change directions you may find that the quilt develops some soft waves in the quilt top. Above all, take your time and do not rush the process. You’ll be most satisfied with the result!

Tomorrow we trim and bind the quilt… soon you’ll be an official member of the Banyan Batiks Mod Graphics Squad!

 

This is part 4 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 3: Modern shoofly block assembly with Banyan Batiks Mod Graphics

Go to part 5: Sewing the binding on the Mid Mod Shoofly Quilt

Tania has been a quilty creator for over 20 years. She loves to make quirky quilts ranging from a bowl of ramen to a Christmas turkey or a fruitcake. She has not yet found a subject that she wouldn't like to see rendered as a quilt. Her current focus is on food quilts and her work has been featured in magazines such as Cottage Life, Make Modern, Gastro Obscura and SBS (a food network in Australia). Her creative interests also include illustration, painting, and crocheting. There is nothing she likes better than to try something new. Tania believes curiosity in all things is key to a creative life.

3 Comments

  1. Karon Henderson

    Thanks for the straight line quilting info, as this is my way of quilting it is great to read tips on straight line quilting.

  2. Cheryl Gunderson

    I love these blocks!

    • Thanks Cheryl, they were a lot of fun to design 🙂

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