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Simple Lines….Dynamic Effects

We often get phone calls here at the Studio asking us for advice on how to quilt a just-finished top. That’s a tough one to answer. There are so many possibilities! Whether you are a beginner or an experienced quilter, sometimes the phrase “quilt as desired” can lead to frustration when not a single idea pops into your head.

These days, when in search of ideas, we often head to the internet and there are some awesome examples of quilting out there both by hand and machine. It can be a little intimidating. Sometimes, I think we overlook the beauty in simplicity.

Day Lilies

My quilt “Day Lilies” has the illusion of a lot of curves but it is all straight line quilting. More elaborate quilting was unnecessary and might have detracted from the quilt’s design. The same is true of my “Rhapsody” quilt.


My new table runner design, “Turning Point,” has a dramatic diamond design. Instead of following the exact lines of the piecing, machine quilter Su Gardner did triple lines of quilting perpendicular to the pattern. It has quite a striking effect, don’t you think?

Turning Point
Turning Point

Straight-line quilting is often what we start out with as new quilters. Grids and outline stitching are wonderful for beginners, no doubt, but their “unfussiness” may be just what you are looking for.

SLQ4One of our Australian customers, David S., made this “Amish Waves” quilt as a memorial to a friend he lost to cancer a few months ago. Using 50 of my Palette fabrics, the bold colors and geometric pattern along with straight-line stitching help recreate the Amish feel in this lovely quilt.

SLQ5When my staff member, Nancy, made this quilt many years ago, she was looking for the feel of an old scrap utility quilt. The big stitch in a simple grid pattern was a perfect fit.

SLQ6For hand quilting, if I am doing straight lines in open areas, I lay down masking tape. I use regular size and also quarter inch tape which is perfect for outline quilting.  Masking tape can also be used when machine quilting but don’t accidentally sew over it! Many machine quilters use their favorite marking tool, a hera marker or just “eyeball” it along with a walking foot on their machines.

So next time you read “quilt as desired” don’t overlook the basic straight line.

8 thoughts on “Simple Lines….Dynamic Effects

  1. Hola Jinny. Soy Española del País Vasco. Concretamente de Bilbao, donde resido. La primera vez que vi tus creaciones, hace unos días, entendí que te convertías, para mí, en un referente imprescindible, para mi andadura en el Ptchwork. Ver cómo eres tu, sin entender tu idioma. Tu idea del color. La forma de crear el diseño. Crear el Poroyecto. Trabajar las texturas de los tejidos y los Volúmenes. Al principio me a asustado verme tan identificada contigo, pero es una casualidad que me intriga. El mundo de la moda, la creación y las telas, me acompañaron en mis tiempos jóvenes como profesión, pero por azares de la vida, la tuve que cambiar por la sanidad. Ahora, con 63 a punto de jubilarme en una profesión preciosa, pero no la que yo llevo por las venas desde la infancia, retomo este pedazo de amor por el Patchwork que no he podido desarrollar en años. He comprado tu único libro en lengua Castellana, pero aún no lo tengo. En el Patchword, solo llevo un año, pero ver tu trabajo me ha abierto mi abanico particular de la creación que va conmigo y que tengo guardado en el armarito de mi corazón. Muchas Gracias JinnyBEYER. Te sigo. Un abrazo.

    1. Translation:
      Hi Jinny. I am Spanish Basque Country. Specifically Bilbao, where I live. The first time I saw your creations, a few days ago, I understood that you became, for me, an essential reference for my career in the Ptchwork. See how are you, not understanding your language. Your idea of ​​color. How to create the design. Create Poroyecto. Working textures of fabrics and volumes. At first I was scared to see me so identified with you, but it is a coincidence that intrigues me. The world of fashion, creation and fabrics, accompanied me in my younger days as a profession, but by a twist of life, I had to change for healing. Now, with about 63 to retire in a beautiful profession, but I wear the veins from childhood, I return to this piece of love for Patchwork I could not develop in years. I bought your book in Spanish only, but still do not. In patchword, only I took a year, but see your work has opened my particular range of creation that goes with me and that I have stored in the cupboard of my heart. Thank JinnyBEYER. I follow you. A hug.

  2. Love Nancy’s quilt!

    1. Hi Sarah! This is Nancy. Thanks so much. I love that quilt too. It was one of my first quilts but I think it might be my favorite.

  3. Thank you. We forget the simple in so many of our tasks.

  4. I am so honoured and humbled to have my “Amish Waves” quilt featured with so many beauties. As someone who has a tendency to overthink things, this blog post serves as a reminder to appreciate the beauty in simplicity.

  5. I love the Rhapsody Quilt. Is there a pattern for it?

    1. Follow this link for the details of this quilt.

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