Saturday, May 28, 2016

How to Stitch a Free Motion Straight Line

Making and Using a Free Motion Straight Edge Guide for Free Motion Stitching

No matter how much I try and how much I practice I cannot stitch a consistently straight line when using a free motion sewing foot.  As a result, I devised a "tool" to assist  with free motion straight lines.  What follows is how I made a virtually free guide made from cardboard or mat board that literally changed my quilting life--at least when it comes to straight lines.

1.  Because my machine take a bouncing free motion foot, I needed to cut twin pieces of mat board with straight edges and glued them together.  I used two pieces of mat board so that the foot would not bounce over the edge of the cardboard when stitching.  If you use a foot that does not bounce, one layer of cardboard might be high enough.

2.  Make sure the edges of the mat board are flush before gluing them together.  Here is a picture of what the top of the mat board guide looks like...

3.  After the two pieces of mat board are dry, turn the unit over and put strips of carpet tape on the backside.  
Carpet Tape Affixed to Under Side of Guide
4.  Peel the protective strip off of the double sided carpet tape.  
5.  To reduce some of the extreme tackiness, repeatedly place a strip of scrap fabric on top of the tape and peel it off.  This will reduce the extreme sticking power but leave enought to keep the guide from slipping on the fabric to be stitched.

6.  Place fabric to be stitched under the free motion pressure foot.  Drop the need where you wish to start stitching a straight line.  In the picture below, I wanted to stitch along the black line so the needle went into the fabric on that black line.  The guide was the abutted against the free motion foot.
Place Guide against the Free Motion Pressure foot.
7.  Check to see that the guide is running parallel to the line to be stitched.

8.  Start Stitching at the beginning of the line to be stitched.  When the end of the guide is reached, remove the guide and move it down the fabric until the full line of stitching is complete.
9.  If multiple lines are desired, repeat this process where the next line of stitching will occur.

10. Below is a picture of the guide take from the back side of the machine as it is moved along the line to be stitched.