Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Even Spaced Straight Line Stitching

Time to explain how to stitch the evenly space straight lines on Baby Feet.

After many design ideas, I decided on the straight line design.  And while looking through One Line at a Time, Encore (affiliate link) by Charlotte Warr Andersen
my answer to perfectly spaced straight lines lay on page 20.

Blue painters tape!  No measuring, no marking, no worries! And it worked terrific for this pattern!  Definitely easy to use  when a lot of straight line quilting is involved, as it makes the process so much more enjoyable.

Here's how the pattern is set up.
Always start with a starter tape, the one everything else will be based off of.  Here, it's the tape that goes from  the corners of the block, point to point.  The arrows in the picture are on that tape, with the left side of it at the corners.  Same with the last tape at the bottom left of the picture.  It, too, goes corner to corner.  The rest of the tapes are added next to each other, with the intersections meeting at the seam line between the two blocks.  Once the tapes are set up, it's time to stitch!

Starting next to the last piece of tape in the corner, the first straight line was stitched, with stitching in the ditch to get to the next tape (follow the arrow from the triangle below).
When the applique appeared, the stitching went around it and continued on.
Sometimes jumping over the applique was necessary (see below).  A few tiny locking stitches were taken to secure the thread, then the applique was jumped over (arrow).  More tiny stitches were taken on the other side to secure the start of the stitching.
In the above picture, the needle is now at the corner of the block.  Time to change direction and stitch into the adjoining block to continue stitching the design without stopping.
A previously stitched line going to the opposite corners of this block provided the stopping point (where the needle is).  Stitching could go along this line to then continue along the tape, to the seam line to change direction, and continue back around the applique.
Once that area was done, and jump stitches trimmed top and bottom (so they don't catch on the foot or table), it's time to set up the next tape area.
Once again, the starter tape lines up with the two corners (arrows), and the others are laid against it.  In the above picture, the area outlined was not completed at this time.  The top row of blocks were done, the quilt was advanced, then this area was done with it's adjoining block.  Then there would be no starts and stops in the seam lines.

This may all be confusing, but with a little planning, the stitching goes quickly once all the tapes are laid out.  I would definitely recommend using tape when there's a lot of straight line stitching that needs even spacing.  For a line here and there, probably not--I'd just use the ruler to line it up.

Now I need to see what other size tapes I can find.  And I'll possibly be investing in some inchie tape.  Opens up a whole new set of quilting options!

Happy Quilting!



  1. Thank you for this tutorial. I don't have a longarm, but I can see using this with my home machine as well.

  2. I keep meaning to try this with straight lines but then forget. Hopefully I'll remember your wonderful tutorial next time I plan straight lines.

  3. What a great idea using the painters tape!
    Wonderful tutorial too!
    Have a great day.


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