When I grew up (back with the dinosaurs), the stitch length indicator on a sewing machine indicated stitches per inch...8, 10, 12 etc. When I got my first Bernina, back in the 80's, the numbers were different. I remember thinking 'it must have something to do with metric and I don't do metric. My machine's default is 2.5 so it must be about the same as an old Singer 10' and I eyeballed it from there. Well, duh. There is a pretty simple explanation about stitch length numbers that can be found here. I can't believe it has taken me over 25 years to finally get this straight in my mind.
All this heavy thinking was a result of wondering what stitch length people use when they are straight line quilting. I used a 3.7 on my last straight line stitched quilt shown here. I like the way it looks but wonder about it's durability. So I have been asking blog friends what they use. My unscientific poll reveals bloggers use anywhere from a 2.5 to a 4.1 stitch setting for straight line quilting. I suppose what you are quilting makes a difference...what kind of fabric, what kind of batting, what is the purpose of the piece, etc. I wonder if there is a 'quilt police' rule.
I am finally quilting some tops that have been waiting for a few months. Here is my Asian influenced quilt. I am using a 3.8 setting. What stitch lengths do you like to use for machine quilting?