How Far Apart Should Quilting Lines Be

The quilters’ common question is how much space should be in between the quilting lines to create the perfect quilting. The simple answer to this is that batting determines how much space is required to be left.

Quilting is somehow more tricky than other sewing types, and you need to spend more time selecting the batting, fabric, and pattern. You make time and efforts to create a beautiful quilt and be meticulous in making it as it would be the captivating point of your work. It would be best if you considered the neatness and balance of the stitches and designs.

Let’s read the article and get to know the actual length between the quilting lines.

How Far Apart Should Quilting Lines Be?

How Far Apart Should Quilting Lines Be?

The quilt sandwich comprises the three layers of a quilt: the top, middle, and back layer. Numerous types of batting and their thickness defines the gap between the quilting lines. Some of the most popular batting types include cotton, wool, polyester, a blend of cotton and polyester, blend of wool and polyester, silk, and bamboo.

They are made of needle punch, that is, by compressing the batting with tiny needles, bonding the fibers with resin and heat, and scrim; that is, the lightweight stabilizer is punched into the batting fibers to add strength preventing distortion and stretching.

The thickness of batting is also helpful when it is referred to as the thickness; it is a loft. Different loft levels affect the quilting. The minimum distance the quilting lines should comprise will depend on the batting.

The space between the quilting line is known as quilting density, and when you are quilting parallel lines, you need to provide about 1 inch, 3 inches, or one-fourth inch density. If you have a 1-inch thickness, you will have a dense quilt; if you have 4 inches, your quilt is sparse. For the diamond quilt, you need a space of 3 inches.

Let’s have a detailed explanation to make appropriate space between the quilting lines.

Factors To Choose The Right Distance between the Quilting Lines

To know the actual quilting lines distance, you need to consider some factors that are –

1. Comfort


The space between quilting lines affects the finished quilt’s texture. The more expansive quilting space created the quilt’s soft top, and the smaller space creates a somehow rough surface. It is due to the lines being so close to each other.

The denser quilts offer a stiffer finish on completion because its stitches are pulling the material tightly, and when you desire the soft quilt with drapes, you should go for the broader space between quilting lines.

The dense quilt possesses less warmth as compared to the sparse quilt. If the quilt is hard, it will never drape or wrap around the body. While the sparse quilts drape and bend well on our body, providing us warmth.

2. Durability

Durability is yet another factor. Your quilting will comprise 2 or 3 layers, so you need to ensure that every layer is adequately sewn with another. If you have a sparse quilt, it is loose, as the layer of batting causes the batting to shift. When you create the quilts, you need to choose how you will be using them. If you are using them as decor elements, then sparse quilting is good but if it is for bed quilts, select the medium density.

3. Batting material

Before beginning with your quilting, you should check its label. Sometimes, the manufacturers provide the space for the specific materials. Some batting types require a length of about 6 inches, while some allow space up to a maximum of 10 inches.

If your batting material has recommended space way too large, you can lower the scale. Just adjust the space but make sure that it should be less than its maximum distance.

4. Time

If you are quilting, then you may take time as you desire. But, if you are quilting for the customers, time is essential. When you quilt for a sparse one, you will spend less time, and for a dense quilt, you will spend more time.

What is The Good Stitch Space For Machine Quilting?

What is The Good Stitch Space For Machine Quilting?

Sewing machines make quilting more accessible, and it would be better if the apparatus comprises the walking foot. The machine’s walking foot are great for pulling the quilt evenly while stitching.

If you are quilting on the machine, the best stitches require forward movement. Straight stitching is the ordinary stitch for machine quilting, and another is the mock hand quilting.

Straight stitching

If you are performing straight stitching, you can keep the quilting space between 2.5 to 3.0 mm in range. It comprises about 8 to 12 stitches in an inch, and it works for almost all the quilts, except for the sparkle threads.

Decorative threads will need longer stitches, allowing the light ones to hit the larger thread area. It will create a more visible glow and show the luster and shine of the thread.

If you use thread like rayon, you should have longer stitches to give a smooth finish to your quilt. For cotton threads, use 2.5 mm thickness to 3 mm.

Mock hand quilting

The mock hand quilting technique is the one that is hand-stitched on the quilt. It is somehow tricky and requires triple straight stitches with a high-tension needle. The machine should have clear or monofilament thread for the needle to accomplish mock hand quilting.

You can use the cotton bobbin thread. The stitch length is longer for this quilting.

Here, the walking foot moves back and forth to make stitches, and some quilters perform this technique as it may wear off the walking foot faster.

What is The Good Stitch Space for Hand Quilting?

What is The Good Stitch Space for Hand Quilting?

In creating quilts, the length of stitches is an essential element. Whether you quilt it by machine or by hand, the stitches are necessary for the finished look. Determining the stitching length makes it accessible for you to define the appropriate space between the lines.

This can be a bit challenging in hand quilting as you need to ensure the stitches’ evenness.

Space Between Quilting Lines for Some Batting Materials


Silk and sheer material

Silk and sheer material

You can keep the stitch length to 2 to 2.5 mm for the appropriate space for silk and sheer material.

Polyester Batting

If you are using polyester batting, you must prefer a 3 inches interval between the quilting lines. You should also check the manufacturer’s guidelines over the material’s label, and if you desire to alter it, you need to scale it down.

You don’t want to make the broader intervals than standard ones, but this may bunch or shift the batting layer.

Cotton Batting

For 100 percent pure cotton batting, you can use the space between the range of 3 to 8 inches. If you are using the 100 percent bleached cotton batting, you should take the range between 1 to half to 2 inches to preserve the puckered and antique finish of the quilt.

Warm and Natural Batting

If you are using warm and natural batting, you can quilt it to 10 inches of space. You can scale it down as 10 inches is the maximum recommendation to use.

Should You Wash The Batting Before Quilting?

When you purchase the batting material, the manufacturer always provides maintaining tips on its label. You should check the label to get the proper guidelines. If the manufacturer has asked you to pre-wash the batting before quilting over it, you should do so.

It is essential in some of the batting materials like cotton that may shrink after the wash. To make sure the batting remains in the appropriate shape and position, pre-washing is essential.

But, to pre-wash the batting, don’t use the washing machine; instead, soak the batting in water or light detergent for 10-15 minutes, and after rinsing thoroughly, dry it on the lawn or with a mesh dryer. It also ensures the cleaning of batting, as clean batting will create finished quilts.



I'm Jessica Flores, a professional fashion designer and an expert seamstress. Crafting has always been a deep-seated passion of mine, one that has flourished and evolved over the years. I've dedicated considerable time to both studying and practicing in the realm of fashion and sewing, amassing a wealth of experience and skills. It brings me great joy to share these insights and experiences with you all, hoping to inspire and foster a similar passion for the art of sewing.

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