big diamond, little diamond – a straight line quilting pattern

Lately I’ve been quilting most of my quilts, especially the smaller ones, with straight line quilting. I love random straight line quilting, like on this quilt, and I’m also quite fond of diagonal quilting, especially with double or triple quilting lines for a little something extra.

I’ve wanted to try something new though, so I was happy when I thought of this little variation (inspired in part by the quilting on this mini quilt by Kate).

I love how these quilting lines intersect in the middle to form one large diamond, along with several little diamonds along the midpoint.

Want to try out this pattern? Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A quilt ready for quilting (probably easier to do this on a smaller quilt!)
  • Washable marker (I use Mark B Gone, which I buy at Joann’s)
  • Walking foot (not required, but certainly helpful when quilting straight lines)
  • Edge guide, if you have one

(click any image to see it larger if you’d like!)

So here’s my pretend quilt. To start, measure along the long sides of your quilt and use a washable marker to mark the centerpoint of each long side (note: make sure you’ve squared up your quilt so the long sides are equal in length – otherwise this design won’t work out so well). Draw a line across the middle of the quilt, connecting the two points.

Starting from one upper corner, draw a diagonal line from the upper corner to the opposite centerpoint marking. Repeat for each corner, and you should end up with marked lines that look like the ones above.

Stitch along one of your marked lines, creating a sideways ‘V’. Now decide how far apart you’d like your quilting lines. If you have an edge guide for your machine, set the guide at your desired distance. (For the manly baby quilt, I used a distance of 1 1/4″, but this is really up to you.) Use the guide to follow your first stitch line, keeping the needle down when you reach the marked horizontal centerpoint line you drew earlier, and pivoting to continue stitching to the opposite corner. Continue until you’ve filled in this section, as shown in the image above.

[Note: if you don't have an edge guide, you could instead decide what distance you'd like between your quilting lines, draw them on with a washable marker and stitch along those lines.]

Repeat for the opposite side of the quilt.

You can see how your lines will intersect along the horizontal centerpoint line to create a row of little diamonds (shown in this photo in the solid gray section).

The final part is to fill in the top and bottom triangular sections that are left without any quilting. I opted to echo the triangular shape, using quilting lines that were the same distance apart as in the middle section of the quilt. On the manly baby quilt I left an empty space of 3″ and then started these quilting lines.

I think this is a fun variation on diagonal quilting, and I hope you do too! If there are any questions, leave them in the comments and I’ll answer there.

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34 Responses to big diamond, little diamond – a straight line quilting pattern

  1. 1
    Dolores says:

    That is very cool. I will definitely be trying it. Thanks for the tutorial, hope you’re feeling OK and not too uncomfortable!

  2. 2
    Raechel says:

    Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! I only do straight line quilting and am running out of ideas. The last couple of baby quilts I have done diagonal lines 2″ apart.

  3. 3
    Patty says:

    And don’t forget to allow for your 1/4″ binding so you don’t lose your points! I learned that the hard way. . .

  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
    Emer says:

    Thanks for this, will try it on my next quilt. It looks very effective. I suppose lots of pins are needed to hold it all together?

  7. 8
    Ruth says:

    Like Dolores, I will definitely be trying this. Thanks so much – I love new ideas – definitely wouldn’t have come up with it myself!!

  8. 9
    Jeane says:

    I am just getting a quilt ready to quilt. I have been thinking about straight lines and your tutorial is my perfect solution. Thank you so much.

  9. 10
  10. 11

    Very good tutorial, Ashley. And cool idea!

  11. 12
    nicke cutler says:

    oh i love this! straight line quilting is my favorite.

  12. 13
    Kate says:

    This looks fantastic Ashley. I love the teenie tiny diamonds the quilting forms in the middle of the quilt. Fab.

  13. 14
    Beth says:

    Great…thanks! Hope you are feeling ok :)

  14. 15
    Krystal muller says:

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

  15. 16
    Erica says:

    Beautiful quilting pattern! I’m sure you’ve probably mentioned it before, but what type of sewing machine do you use for your quilting?

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  17. 17
    Mary Margaret says:

    Very cool quilting pattern!

  18. 18
    Joy says:

    I really like this! Thanks for explaining it (and for including the helpful drawings!).

  19. 19
    Sophia says:

    Ashley, I am finding it very hard to get the same results with my straight lined quilting as you, I am curious if you put the feed dogs down and control the with of the stitch. I have found that when I tried with the feed dogs up, I would want to take the whole thing apart. Any other helpful tips that you could share. I have so many projects and i LOVE the look of this type of quilting. I have gotten a little tired of the meandering. I would appreciate it!
    Hope all is well with you pregnancy! Such a wonderful time.
    Sophia

  20. 20
    Lori says:

    Ooh, that’s fab! Thanks for sharing.

    Hope final days of pregnancy are as comfortable as they can be. Soon, all those beautiful blankies will be put to work! Can’t wait to hear how it all goes.

    This bloggy friend in the UK is thinking of you!

  21. 21
    Kelly O. says:

    thank you for this play by play! off to do some quilting :0)

  22. 22
    Elle says:

    I just did this and I LOVE how it turned out! Thanks for the great idea and the step by step tutorial!
    I spaced my lines 3″ apart

  23. 23
    J.Lynne says:

    This is a great tutorial. I don’t have a walking foot so doing straight lines like this is hard. You make it seem easy though.

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  25. 24
    Big Mom says:

    Thank you so much. I am new to finishing quilts and this tutorial was so helpful in explaining how to get from point A to point B for a new quilter. It’s so simple once I have the basics. Thank you now I can finish some of my tops.

  26. 25
    mamabair says:

    great variation! it looks so professional too. im definately going to try this on my next quilt for my grand babies!!! thank you

  27. 26
    Samantha says:

    I’m new to the actual quilting part of quilting and as a newbie I have some questions…
    When quilting do you NEED batting/interfacing? I’m making the stacked seating quilt and by the look of the pictures there isn’t any.

  28. 27
    lindsey says:

    So I have a question, my batting says to quilt a maximum of 6 inches apart. It’s 100% cotton (I think) prepackaged from Joanns. Does this mean 6 inches in every direction or will those long stretches at the bottom and top be ok? Thanks :)

  29. 28
    Sarah says:

    Thank you for sharing! Maybe I’m less inspired by all-over FMQ designs because I am horrible at FMQ in general, but I always wind up quilting along the patterns lines. Which works and looks nice… But this just might be an equally terrific alternative! Provided I’m able to manage keeping all those lines in order ;) In any event, I have 5 tops in line for quilting, so I’m definitely going to try this on (at least) one of them!

  30. 29
    Jessica says:

    Yay! I found this just in time. I’m about to finish a table runner soon, and I wanted to do something straight line in nature, but I didn’t want a simple grid or just straight lines. I think this method might work well.

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  33. 30
    KathyinMN says:

    Google brought me to your blog, and am I glad it did! Thanks for your straight line quilting ideas, and your links to other ideas. I’ve been straight line quilting much more lately (with some success) so your ideas to kick it up a notch have me drooling! Thank you for posting this, even 3 years later I’m finding it to be a huge help.

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