Matchstick Quilting is a straight line style with lines spaced 1/8”-1/4” apart- kind of the size of a matchstick! 

It’s dense and looks really lovely on more modern quilts. I stick to using it on minis because can be time-consuming, but the results are so worth it!

what is matchstick quilting

1. Prep Work

Prep: I like to use spray baste because it really holds everything securely. I spray baste all 3 layers together and then I give the quilt sandwich a good pressing with my iron. 

matchstick quilting aurifil thread and 505 spray

2. Thread Selection

Thread selection: go contrast, match, play with colour! I love using variegated threads to add depth. On the darkest purplish colour fabric I actually used a brown thread to add more depth. I’ll unwind the spool a bit and hold the thread over the colour of fabric to see what one line looks like. When it’s all on the spool it is much stronger. 

matchstick quilting

3. Set your stitch length

I set my stitch length to 3.0, I like the look of a longer stitch when quilting.

Play around and see what you like! 

My quilt here is already divided up into smaller sections so I’m not marking this in any way, but you could run chalk lines to divide it up into quarters to help keep yourself semi regular. 

Use your walking foot and don’t go too fast. I usually just use the edge of my foot to space out the lines. It doesn’t have to be perfect, unless you want it to be! I’m going for an overall look here. Since the design of my quilt top is straight across, I want to add some movement to the quilt by not being perfect with the spacing of my stitches. 

matchstick quilting thread selection

Normally, if I was doing straight line quilting about an inch or more apart, I would not alternate direction. This can cause shifting and warping, making your quilt look not very pretty. However in this case the lines are so close together the shifting doesn’t appear to be a problem.  

Vary direction to add movement and interest. For most of this quilt I did horizontal lines. For the sun and reflection though, I went vertical.

matchstick quilting horizontal lines

4. Go top to bottom or from inside out

Work your way from the top to the bottom of the piece, or from the inside out. If you skip sections to go back to later, you might get some bunching in those areas. 

This time I did a regular style binding, but next time I’d try doing a facing instead. 

matchstick quilting finished quilt

You can check out the hashtag #matchstickquilting on Instagram for some more inspiration! 

Happy stitching!



Michelle Brassens

Hi, I’m Michelle! I’ve never met a craft I didn’t like. Sewing however was where I really found my groove! So I left behind life as a pastry chef and concentrated on making things with fabric instead of food. I work at Dinkydoo Fabrics now and get to write about sewing and quilting for work. Stick with me and I’ll show you all kinds of tips and tricks, from beginner to expert maker level. Can’t wait!