Straight Line Quilting with Q-matic
I have for so long wanted to try straight line quilting on a project. We all know that you can use your walking foot or use rulers to make the lines nice and straight, but I wanted to use the BERNINA Q-matic Longarm Quilting Automation System. You will need a Longarm Quilting Machine on Frame to operate Q-matic with either a Q 20/Q 24. I used my Q 24 with my frame for this fun project.
- Pattern: Peppermint Bark by Jocelyn Ueng of It’s Sew Sweet Emma Patterns (or any other quilt pattern you like)
- Fabric: As specified on pattern (I made crib size quilt)
- Thread: Mettler Silk-Finish #50
- Needle: 90 jeans
- Batting: Cotton
- BERNINA Q-matic Longarm Quilting Automation System
- Design: Basic_06
Gather your fabrics as specified in the instructions. Here were my choices.
Construct the crib size quilt top according to the directions of the pattern. The top will be 36 x 36 inches.
Open Q-matic and place Basic_06 in Design Center to use. Double click as usual to place on Quilt Area of Software.
Set “Quilt Size” to 36 x 36. “Resize” the selected design so that the lines are ½ inch apart. The design has four lines and a little “L” on the side so that it will connect nicely. Enter the width of 2.5 inches with Maintain Ratio checked. Confirm when finished.
Use E2E+ to create your pantograph. Click the E2E+ 3 times to make a total of 4. The design should be 10 inches wide.
“Rotate” the selected design 45 degrees twice to the right. You will want the first stitch to be at the top and on the left.
Select the design and select “Resize” again. Make sure Maintain Ratio is unchecked. Now make the width 36 inches. Confirm with the green check box.
Move design to top of quilt area grid.
Under “Multiply” using one row across and four rows down fill the grid and the design should hang out at the bottom just a little. You will trim the last row when you get to it.
“Unconnect” so that the rows are now separated.
Load your quilt your favorite way. I have loaded mine using the quilt clamps on just the front; the quilt backing is pinned to the Take-up leader. Be sure and stitch a straight line across to line your quilt top with to make sure it is loaded nice and straight. You can do this line with the Manual Channel Locks or just push the machine all the way to the back and use the take-up rail as a guide to make the stitching straight.
Once you have it loaded and straight, Queue only the first row to stitch. When the row is Queued it will be blue.
Stitch the full row of straight lines. When stitching is complete advance your quilt.
Use one of the corners already stitched to “Realign the Safe Area”. A tip I have for you is to check and make sure what you have already quilted is nice and straight with the “Dead Bar”. If not straight, just adjust the way it is rolled onto the take-up rail by rubbing or massaging the quilt on the rail.
Make sure to check all the way across.
Continue quilting, advancing and realigning until you get to last row.
When you are ready to quilt the last row and the quilt has been advanced with the “Safe Area Realigned”, it is time to trim the last row. Place the machine on either the lower right or left corner of the quilt top.
Now looking at the computer screen you will see the crosshairs that mark the needle on the screen. This is the point to trim the bottom.
Select “Sewhead”, “Entire Quilt”, “Horizontal” and “Invert”.
Place line on screen.
“Queue” last row to stitch.
Stitching is complete. Remove from frame. Trim and bind.
I hope you have as much fun as I did doing this project. I saved this as a project file (.bqp) in my Q-matic computer because I think I will use this many more times.
If you would like to do this project with Ruler Work here are a few tips.
- Make sure you have the ruler base on the machine, and that you are using a straight edge ruler.
- I find it helpful to have something on the back of the ruler so that it does not slide when I pull the machine over to stitch.
- Make a few marks on the side to help you keep the lines even if that is your goal but remember lines with different spacing is very nice too.
- Hold the ruler firmly against the ruler.
- Have fun!