An Unlikely Hero: Painters Tape

Painters tape quilting tools

4 Simple Machine Quilting Designs

As an unlikely hero, painters tape is used in a variety of craft projects, wall painting, and any other “sticky tape” needs! 🙂

As a longtime send the finished quilt top to the longarmer and forget it kinda gal, learning to quilt on my domestic machine has been quite a process. While I absolutely love the distinct look of longarming on a quilt top, spending $150-$200 per quilt was not feasible when I am completing an average of 3-5 quilts per month. Yes, that means it would cost me between $450-$1000 per month to have these serviced.

I do earn a small commission on links on this page, however they are all products in my sewing studio I use often.

Learning how to machine quilt has been *quite* the process. Artistic expression does not come naturally to me. I often find it difficult to master quick curves, feathers, and loops. Often ending up with unruly stitches or lopsided designs.


As I am determined to prevail and master machine quilting, I have determined the beauty in straight line quilting designs using *drum roll* painters tape! You’d be amazed at how well this sticky straight edge can help you get your points on point! Besides being able to stick and re-stick it, this straight edge makes it easier as a machine quilting learner to excel! Sometimes, I use this trick just to practice my lines on scrap fabric.

Hint hint: painters tape can also be used to practice your 1/4″ seams.

I have compiled four fun straight-line machine quilting designs that I hope help you along on your journey! Be sure and connect with me through Instagram or Facebook to let me know which one worked best for you or which is your favorite!

All images below are swipe-able! Check out the before and after!

Design #1: Straight Sally

Step 1: Elongate that stitch, I brought my stitch length out to 4.5 on my Bernina, using my 97D Quilting/Piecing Foot.

Step 2: Layout your painters tape between blocks or along the section of quilt you want to run a straight line.

Step 3: Sew just on the outside edge of the painters tape (it’s okay if you accidentally sew on the blue a little bit, this can be picked away at the end, it will come off super easy).

Step 4: Repeat, repeat, repeat to your hearts desire!

Design #2: “X” Marks the Spot

Step 1: Keep stitch length at a standard 2.5, longer stitch lengths are generally not as desirable with this one unless you are hand quilting.

Step 2: Set painters tape corner to corner on one block and sew down the edge of the painters tape.

Step 3: Remove tape and reposition to the opposite corner to corner of the block. Sew down tape again.

Step 4: Remove tape and enjoy! I usually repeat this across all the blocks on my given quilt for maximum “tackage” (yes, I just made that up) and a uniform look!

Design #3: Stripey Stripey Where are thou?

Are you over my design names yet? Oh don’t wait, I’ve got more.

Step 1: Tear off several pieces of painters tape in varying sizes, keeping in mind the total size of the block you are quilting.

Step 2: Place the painters tape pieces on the block from smallest to largest as shown below.

Step 3: Pick a size of the painters tape for desired stripes, (I chose the right side). Sew down each piece of tape on that side

Step 4: Remove the tape and look at these super straight lines!

Note: You could rotate this design on each quilt block for an even more fun grand design!

Design #4: It’s a Bird, no it’s a Plane!

Haha, I didn’t even know what to name this one but each section reminds me of the little “v” birds we all made in art class in elementary.

Step 1: Tear off two same size pieces of tape. Arrange them in a v shape across the edges stopping in the center.

Step 2: Repeat step one on the opposite side of the block.

Step 3: Remove tape and check out your cool little “flying geese-like” design.

If straight lines are not your style check out the selection of Creative Grids Machine Quilting Rulers I carry!

As an unlikely hero: painters tape is my new favorite machine quilting tool!

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