I am going to share how to do simple cross hatch quilting, some helpful tips and what to avoid. In the past I have tried various ways of doing this; using different basting methods, various marking tools / pens / machine guides, different stitch lengths etc. This is the best method I've found and I love the results. Cross hatch quilting is really effective and looks beautiful on quilts, it is also a great way to add texture to cushion covers.
1. Spray baste your quilt - generally I prefer to pin baste but cross hatch quilting requires a lot of marking and those pins will just get in the way. It is also important that your quilt is well basted and the spray is an excellent way to ensure that, I use 505 Spray Adhesive. If you don't feel happy about using spray you could use fusible wadding instead.
2. Use the longest ruler you have, it will make life easier! My 6.5" x 24.5" ruler is perfect for this and I use it often. How you chose to line your ruler up may well depend on your fabric. For instance if the print is directional you might want to make your first quilting line follow the pattern, there may be gaps in the print where you want your quilting lines to be or you could line the 45° mark on your ruler with the edge of the fabric to get an angle. For this project I used the X print as a guide, angling the ruler so the 1/2" mark on my ruler ran through the Xs.
3. Mark your quilting lines - I use a Clover Hera Marker. This scores the fabric, leaves a neat straight line and I find that using a hera marker seems to further baste the quilt.
You use a hera marker in the same way as a rotary cutter; hold the handle (the thicker end), align the edge of the marker with the ruler, press down and push forward along the length of the ruler while maintaining the downward pressure. The curved edge runs smoothly along the fabric (make sure you aren't using that pointy side!) in the same way a rotary cutter would.
To create a perfect line don't move the hera marker forwards and backwards and try to get continuous lines as much as you can. I usually do this on a table or on the floor, pressing forward as far as my arm will stretch, then lifting the marker, realigning the ruler (if necessary) and repeating.
Make sure the first marked line runs through (or close to) the centre of the quilt as you can then work out from this and it will help avoid puckering later.
4. Decide on the spacing - you might want to create a small or wide grid effect, again this is probably best determined by your fabric choice. I used Cotton and Steel Basics XOXO in Night Owl and you can see marking the lines every 1" works perfectly. Only mark one set of lines (going one way), do not mark out the full cross hatch yet.
5. Quilt - I use a stitch length of between 3 and 4 (I have a pretty basic Janome sewing machine), you might want to experiment on a quilt sandwich to determine what exact length works best with your machine but it does need to be a longer stitch than you use for piecing. I always use my walking foot for straight line quilting.Starting at one side, use the marked line as a guide and stitch along the line. When you reach the end do not travel back up the next line, you need to clip the threads, move the quilt and start back on the same edge where you began quilting. It is far better to quilt in the same direction!
Always quilting in the same direction helps immensely to stop those mother puckers. In the photo below I changed the direction of my quilting lines in the centre, so you can see in between those middle quilting lines the fabric is far more rippled. In the next step you will be quilting across the lines and that baggy channel I've created means that I am more likely to get puckers.
I am using this piece for the back of a cushion so I wasn't that bothered and wanted to show you the difference. Again you could experiment with a test piece to see what works best on your machine, quilting one way or doing the lines back and forth.
6. Repeat - when you have quilted all the marked lines you need to repeat marking the lines across in the other direction. Using the hera marker after quilting the first set of lines again helps keep everything straight and neat. Quilt those lines then sit back and admire your cross hatch quilting and the gorgeous texture you've created!
You can create brilliant effects using this method - square cross hatching, or diamonds like I have done here - you could also experiment with using irregularly spaced lines and different angles.
Please link back to this tutorial and leave a link below so I can see your projects if you use this method and find it helpful! I would love to hear about any other tips you have too :)