I posted recently about the baby quilt I made for my nephew and how I ended up having to rip out the entire baby quilt’s worth of organic straight line quilting—not fun, in case you were wondering.
I had a really hard time deciding how to quilt this because it’s all straight lines and right angles, but the seams are all over the place, so there’s no real pattern to follow. I thought straight lines would look best, but I was worried I couldn’t keep it straight enough, so I decided to go the wavy route to save myself some headache (at least, that was my plan).
I googled a bit and read of other quilters’ woes with straight line quilting and thought I figured out how to avoid it—I spray basted heavily, used a walking foot, gave myself plenty of extra fabric on the edges—you know, set myself up for success. Here was the result:
As you can see, things didn’t go exactly to plan. Here’s where I went wrong and what I would change (if I’m ever brave enough to attempt something like this again:
1. Press the top well and baste that quilt to within an inch of its life. I did spray baste heavily, but i would spray even more heavily if I were to do this again.
2. Reduce pressure on your presser foot. I believe my machine is adjustable, but since I’ve only had it a couple months, I don’t know it very well, and I couldn’t figure it out. In retrospect, it might have helped to consult the manual (ha!). However, it was late at night, I was rushing to finish (always a mistake), and I was already halfway through anyway.
I think the pressure here was the biggest key to my problems. My walking foot has so much pressure that it even leaves little teeth marks on the bottom of the fabric. If I could reduce it significantly, I think it would reduce puckering by at least 50%. If I could significantly reduce it, some slight puckering might be disguised after a good washing and drying.
3. Use the free motion foot to straight line quilt. This is a rather novel idea I read about on Crazy Mom Quilts when looking for her other post. I haven’t tried it, but I think I will if I ever decide I just have to have “straight” lines on a quilt.
Interestingly enough, I have another quilt just like this made from different colors, and i have yet to quilt it. I’m still pondering whether I want to give this a try again or just chicken out and hand quilt it like I did this one. I’ll let you know how that turns out.