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Quilt As You Go Video #2 – Straight Line Stripes

QAYG straight line stripes - video

Time for video #2 in the Quilt As You Go tutorial series. This is the first one of many to show ideas for different quilting patterns and how I do them – removing the piece from the machine as few times as possible (which leaves me fewer thread tails to clean up).

This one is all about straight line stripes.

Does that sound humdrum and boring? Think again! It’s super easy and there’s a huge range of texture you can get from simple straight lines. Are they close together or far apart? Does the distance between the lines vary in a single block? Do they run on the horizontal? Vertical? Diagonal? Do they make a grid? A grid of squares? Rectangles? Diamonds?

Here are a few blocks that are quilted with simple straight lines. Click on any of them for a larger image so you can see more detail.

One thing you’ll notice in ALL of my quilting is that the lines are never perfectly straight, perfectly parallel, or perfectly evenly spaced. I do that on purpose because I want the quilting to match the hand-drawn quality of the applique blocks. (Plus it’s easy and fun.) If you’re making a quilt that demands more precision – you might want to use a special tool for making your lines perfectly parallel. You can see that in this video.

Ready for the QAYG tutorial?

See? Doesn’t that look like fun? There’s still lots of anchoring and spinning – but that’s easy when you’re working on an individual block. And by creeping along the edge of the applique to get from stripe to stripe you’re saving a lot of backstitching, thread cutting and restarting – plus cleaning up lots of thread tails on the finished block. Whew!

Want an even better secret? You can do all the quilting first and then do the applique on top of it! I didn’t show that here because it doesn’t need its own video – but that’s actually how I do all my quilts.

One warning – if your applique fabric is a light-colored solid, you’ll probably be able to see the quilting lines through it. If that bugs you, do the applique first and then the quilting, like I show in the video.

Find all the Quilt As You Go videos here.

Happy quilting!



  1. Leslie SAYS...

    Wow! Wow! Wow! Sorry, but I can’t stop wowing. I’ve been quilting for years and I’ve never seen this technique done this way. You’ve inspired me, made me look at my quilts in a different way, and made my world shiny and happy! Thank you so much for sharing your talent, Wendi, and I can’t wait to try some of your applique patterns. Lovely!

    • wendigratz SAYS...

      I feel the exact same way about this technique! I’m finishing the final details on the cat quilt pattern this week – and I’m already planning the next one using the same technique. Birds! 🙂

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  3. Beth SAYS...

    I love this technique. I had a question though. I hope this doesn’t sound silly but could you quilt the block before you did the appliqué so that you didn’t have to go all around the shape and you could appliqué on top of your quilted block? I hope that makes sense.

    • That’s actually how I usually do it. 🙂 Sometimes the stitching line can show through the applique and that bugs some people. For them I recommend quilting after the applique. It’s a little trickier, so that’s what I show in the video – so they have the strategies that will help them work easily around the applique. I’ve got another video here that shows quilting first.