11 Straight Line Quilting Designs for your Walking Foot

Try these foolproof walking foot quilting designs and create impressive geometric quilting patterns. These straight line quilting designs will make your quilts shine!

Although it can sometimes feel like a never-ending task (especially when dealing with larger quilts) machine quilting can actually be a really rewarding process.

I am not saying longarmers don’t do a beautiful job, because they (usually) do. And sure, sending your quilt off to the longarmer saves quite a lot of time, because you don’t need to baste, and of course – quilt it… 

However, doing the quilting yourself with your domestic sewing machine offers so many options. And straight line quilting designs can really take your quilt to the next level. 

Contrary to what you may think, walking foot designs aren’t limited to just oneway equally spaced straight lines. There are so many interesting geometric quilting patterns you can create with your domestic sewing machine and of course – your walking foot

And just to prove how much fun these straight line quilting designs can be, I’ve decided to do some testing. I’ve created 11 foolproof walking foot quilting designs that you can try when making your next quilt.

How to do Straight Line Quilting?

Before we go into the actual straight line quilting designs, I wanted to take a moment to go through some of the basic rules when straight line quilting.

We have a guide on machine quilting for beginners which is a great starting point for straight line quilting, as well. If you’ve never done machine quilting before, I definitely recommend you start with the machine quilting guide to learn all the basics.

I’ll just go over some of the main points here as a quick refresh.

Tools for Straight Line Quilting

Besides your basic quilting tools, there are some tools you’ll need specifically for machine quilting:

Walking foot

A walking foot or an even feed foot is a special sewing machine attachment that is used to feed all the layers of fabric through the machine evenly. This prevents bunching of the fabrics, which means it’s much easier to get nice even stitches and a smooth result. To learn more about this useful tool, make sure you read our guide on How to use a walking foot for quilting.

In this article, you’ll also learn how to install a walking foot on your sewing machine. Although I recommend you also consult your sewing machine manual to see how it’s done on your specific make and model.

Sewing machine, needles, and thread

This probably goes without saying, but you’ll need a sewing machine that’s strong enough to sew through multiple layers of fabric and batting. You’ll also need sewing machine needles and thread. There are many options to choose from, but a good combo to start with is a 80/12 needle and 40 wt. thread. I usually use an all-purpose needle and Gutterman poly thread.

Marking tools and rulers

You’ll also need some marking tools and quilting rulers to mark the straight line quilting designs on the quilt top. You can use whatever you usually use and find works best. I normally only use a hera marker and painter’s tape for longer lines. I am 100% these won’t leave any marks on the quilt top and I am all for playing it safe here.

Quilting gloves

These aren’t 100% necessary, but they can be helpful for guiding the quilt sandwich through the machine. The material on the gloves helps you keep a better grip on the fabric, so it’s easier to guide the quilt where you want it. 

We go through all of the tools needed for machine quilting in more detail in our machine quilting guide. So again, if you’re new to machine quilting, I recommend you read that, as well.

How to keep straight lines while quilting?

Keeping straight lines while quilting can be challenging at first, but there are a few techniques that can help:

  1. Use a walking foot: I can’t stress this enough – don’t attempt machine quilting without a walking foot. It will help feed the fabric through the machine evenly, reducing the chances of puckering or stretching. This can also make it easier to keep your lines straight.
  2. Mark your lines: Use the marking tool of your choice to mark your quilting lines before you start quilting. This will help you keep your lines straight and evenly spaced.
  3. Use a guide bar: Some sewing machines have guides that can help you keep your lines straight. I like to use it instead of marking the lines on the quilt top. However, you can also use it as a double-check (even if you’ve marked your lines on the quilt top) to make sure your lines are straight.
  4. Take it slow: I’ll say that again. Slowly. Take. It. Slow. Quilting straight lines can be more difficult when you’re trying to move the fabric through the machine quickly. Take your time and move the fabric through the machine slowly and steadily to keep your lines straight.
  5. Practice: As with any skill, practice makes perfect. The more you quilt straight lines, the easier it will become. Start with small projects and work your way up to larger ones as you gain confidence.

Straight Line Quilting Designs

We’ve come to the (really) fun part. I am sharing 11 foolproof walking foot quilt designs that you can do with your sewing machine.

Some of these straight line quilting designs are super simple and others are a bit more complex. But all of them form really impressive geometric quilting patterns, perfect for your modern quilts.

And they’re all created only using your humble edge-to-edge straight line.

Parallel Straight Lines Quilting Design

It’s only right we start with this simple, but impactful geometric quilting pattern – the simple parallel straight-line design. This is the base of all the other designs we share here, so if you master this one you should be able to do all of the others, as well.

Despite its simplicity, it creates a really modern clean effect, and I use it a lot in my quilts. I think it really emphasizes the modern look we’re going for – just look at the quilting on our sample Deep Diving quilt!

How to do it?

  1. Starting in the center of the quilt top, stitch straight quilting lines towards the edge of the quilt.
  2. Rotate the quilt 180 degrees and repeat the process of quilting from the middle to the edge of the quilt.
  3. Finished parallel straight lines.

Matchstick Quilting Design

Similar to the previous design, matchstick quilting only uses parallel straight lines. But here the lines are stitched very closely together. They can be ⅛’’ apart (or even less) creating a lot of texture on the finished quilt.

How to do it?

  1. Begin by repeating steps 1 and 2 for parallel straight lines to create straight line quilting at about an ½’’ or ⅜’’ interval.
  2. Now, subdivide the interval to create additional quilting lines at a smaller interval.
  3. Continue subdividing until you’ve created the desired interval.

Crosshatch Quilting Design

A crosshatch quilting design is created by doing parallel straight lines at two angles. It creates a simple but interesting texture that goes well with many quilt top designs. I used it for my Rainbow wall art, for example, and I think it looks great!

How to do it?

  1. Begin by repeating steps 1 and 2 for parallel straight lines to create straight-line quilting across the entire quilt.
  2. Now, rotate the quilt 90 degrees and add straight lines at a 90-degree angle.
  3. Rotate the quilt 180 degrees and repeat the process of quilting from the middle to the edge of the quilt.
  4. Finished crosshatch quilting design.

Double Parallel Straight Lines

This is an interesting take on the basic parallel straight lines. Creating a changing interval adds additional interest to the finished design.

How to do it?

  1. Starting in the center of the quilt top, stitch straight quilting lines at two different intervals towards the edge of the quilt.
  2. Rotate the quilt 180 degrees and repeat the process of quilting from the middle to the edge of the quilt.
  3. Finished double parallel straight lines.

Alternatively, quilt the entire quilt with parallel (equally spaced) straight lines. Then, repeat the entire process with an additional straight line next to each ‘original’ stitch line at the desired in

Double Crosshatch Quilting Design

Building on the double parallel straight lines design, we add additional quilting lines at a 90-degree angle.

How to do it?

  1. Begin by repeating steps 1 and 2 for double parallel straight lines to create double parallel straight-line quilting across the entire quilt.
  2. Now, rotate the quilt 90 degrees and add double straight lines at a 90-degree angle. Use the same intervals between lines as you did in the first direction.
  3. Rotate the quilt 180 degrees and repeat the process of quilting from the middle to the edge of the quilt.
  4. Finished double crosshatch quilting design.

Alternatively, quilt the entire quilt with the crosshatch quilting design (with equally spaced lines). Then, repeat the entire process with an additional straight line next to each ‘original’ stitch line at the desired interval.

Diagonal Lines Quilting Design

This and the following quilting designs take the orthogonal designs we just looked at and rotate them to the diagonal. This creates a different effect, although the quilting process is quite similar.

How to do it?

  1. Starting with the longest diagonal line, stitch straight quilting lines toward the corner of the quilt.
  2. Rotate the quilt and repeat the process of quilting from the middle to the corner of the quilt.
  3. Finished diagonal lines.

Diagonal Crosshatch Quilting Design

A fun take on the basic crosshatch quilting design. The only thing different is the angle of the lines, yet it creates quite a different finished look.

How to do it?

  1. Begin by repeating steps 1 and 2 for double parallel straight lines to create double parallel straight-line quilting across the entire quilt.
  2. Now, rotate the quilt 90 degrees and add double straight lines at a 90-degree angle. Use the same intervals between lines as you did in the first direction.
  3. Rotate the quilt 180 degrees and repeat the process of quilting from the middle to the edge of the quilt.
  4. Finished double crosshatch quilting design.

Double Diagonal Lines Quilting Design

Here, the double diagonal straight lines are rotated to a 45 degree angle.

How to do it?

  1. Starting with the longest diagonal line, stitch straight quilting lines at two different intervals towards the corner of the quilt.
  2. Rotate the quilt and repeat the process of quilting from the middle to the corner of the quilt.
  3. Finished double diagonal lines.

Alternatively, quilt the entire quilt with the diagonal lines quilting design (with equally spaced lines). Then, repeat the entire process with an additional straight line next to each ‘original’ stitch line at the desired interval.

Angled Crosshatch Quilting Design

The quilting process for the angled crosshatch quilting design is similar to the diagonal line quilting design. But here the angle you choose for your quilting lines can create a completely different effect.

How to do it?

  1. Starting in the center of the quilt, stitch straight quilting lines at the desired angle to the edge of the quilt.
  2. Rotate the quilt and repeat the process of quilting from the middle to the edge of the quilt.
  3. Again, starting in the center of the quilt, stitch straight quilting lines at the mirrored angle.
  4. Rotate the quilt and repeat the process of quilting from the middle to the edge of the quilt.
  5. Finished angled crosshatch quilting design.

Crosshatch + Diagonal Quilting Design

This quilting design is a combination of two designs we’ve already looked at – the crosshatch and the diagonal lines.

How to do it?

  1. First, create the Crosshatch quilting design.
  2. Then, add the Diagonal Lines quilting design.
  3. Finished Crosshatch + Diagonal Quilting design.

Two-Way Crosshatch Quilting Design

This quilting design combines two crosshatch quilting patterns – one orthogonal and the other one at a 45 degree angle.

How to do it?

  1. First, create the Crosshatch quilting design.
  2. Then, add the Diagonal Crosshatch quilting design.
  3. Finished Two-Way Crosshatch Quilting design.

Project Ideas To Practice Straight Line Quilting

Now that you’ve mastered these beautiful straight line patterns, turn them into a quilting project! Explore our exciting quilting project ideas for inspiration:

Free DIY Pencil Case Pattern
Quilted Christmas Stockings Pattern
The Fastest Quilted Table Runner Pattern Ever

Remember, the straight line quilting designs that we’re sharing here are just the tip of the iceberg. There are endless designs you can create just by playing with the angles and intervals between the quilting lines. 

What do you think? Have these walking foot quilting designs inspired you to try machine quilting yourself? We’d love to hear about your experience with straight line quilting. Let us know all about it in the comments below!

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4 thoughts on “11 Straight Line Quilting Designs for your Walking Foot”

  1. Thank you so much for sharing your expertise and advice. I’m new to quilting and want to learn to straight line quilt my projects. Your examples and instructions are excellent. Can’t wait to give it a try.

    1. Barbara | Designed to Quilt

      That’s so nice to hear, Regina, thank you! We’d love to hear how it goes. And if you have any questions, let us know. Happy quilting!

  2. I love your designs but whenever I try any type of cross over I get little rucks even with a walking foot or dual feed…what am I doing wrong?

    1. Ula | Designed to Quilt

      Hi Mags, it’s hard to say for sure without seeing it – but from our experience, the key is in basting. You want to make sure the backing fabric is taut (but not stretched) when you’re making your quilt sandwich and that you baste well. For us, basting pins work best, because there’s never any shifting etc. Also what we’ve found is that it’s much easier to get neat quilting seams with low loft batting (we use 100% cotton batting that’s pretty thin). Hope that helps!

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