Inspiring Quilters, Stitch by Stitch
Have you tried quilting on your regular sewing machine? How do you choose the batting weight? Since the harp is relatively small on a regular machine, it's pretty difficult to maneuver all that buik through that area. Any tips or tricks? Also, should the whole quilt be supported, or can small widths hang over the cabinet surface? I'm trying to figure out how to set up a flat surface to support the quilt and will appreciate any thoughts you'd like to share. Thanks so much!
I haven't quilted anything too large, but I've noticed that winners at AQS shows have quilted on regular sewing machines.
I took a Craftsy class that offered several ways to do it, Quilting Big Projects on a Small Machine, with Ann Petersen. Her lessons include how to split the batting and how to quilt blocks as you go and sew them together.
Harriet Hargrave's book Heirloom Machine Quilting has an entire chapter on how to handle a large quilt in a small machine. She offers lots of advice for folding, clipping and supporting the quilt.
Even though my machine is set in a large cabinet that offers a lot of support, I stop often to adjust the quilt.
I will be looking for a copy of Heirloom Machine Quilting. If I can't find it in a used book store, I will search online. I haven't tried quilt as you go yet, but it might be a good option as a lot of my quilts are made with scrappy blocks from all the scraps I have been given. I think I didn't have my quilt rolled tightly enough and that caused some of the buik. Also, since I was recycling batting, it was much too lofty for the project. Thanks for the tips. I'll try them on the next little quilt I'm ready to sandwich.
Thanks for the tips. I haven't had time to check the website, but definitely will before I quilt my next upcoming project. I've only tried the spray glue once, but I liked it. I had already taped the backing to the floor so I didn't undo it and spray it. It would have held better if I had. I also probably didn't use quite enough spray since it was my first try. I will try it again and if it works at least as well as the first round, I'll be hooked. Sure beats crawling around on the floor pinning and basting. These old knees PROTEST when I do that! LOL! Still trying to figure out how to supplement my cutting table so I can work standing. Maybe I'll have to buy a second one? Hee, hee! By the way, was looking back at comments and pics and I loved your chicken quilt. I also think the black border turned out great!
watch the spray glue it can gum up your machine. I use really big safety pins to baste, hate straight pins(ouch). I used an pold dinning room table with the extra leafs in, It's nics and wide and long. I use lowloft batting, it's not as thick and makes it some easier to quilt.
I have to say that Leah Day does fmq on her domestic sewing machine and gives classes all over the States (I am from Canada) and she is really, really good at it. She is definitely my inspiration and I have started to do some fmq on my sewing machine - I have a Janome 7700 which allows me 11" of throat space which is quite a lot. Leah uses this machine as well and she does not only beautiful but amazing quilt tops. On advise from Leah, I quarter my quilt top to bottom by first doing my design up and down and then from side to side starting from the middle - I then quilt each quarter. I had my son-in-law make me a sewing table which incorporated my sewing machine and table - he just added an 8 ft x 1 inch MDF sheet to it and configurated my table into it. I added some industrial clear plastic on top and I have the best sewing space ever. My quilt just slides all over with very little effort. Nothing should hang over your quilting table, that makes for pulling and bad stitches. I have recently fmq a quilt for a silent auction and the guy who won it got immediate offers - unbelievably he did not accept any offers. If you want to check out what Leah Day has to offer, just google her name you will come up with a lot of choices to check her out. I hope this helps you out somewhat....Good Luck!
Amazon has the updated book here for paperback, comb binding and Kindle.
They also have the original book availabe as used
I quilt on a regular machine. I pin baste - if you lay your hand on the quilt and you don't touch pins, they are not close enough. I have quilted up to a queen sized quilt. Getting ready to quilt one that is 104" x 104".
I usually start quilting in the middle and work out towards the edges (but not always). I do both free motion and straight line quilting. If straight line quillting, use a walking foot.
I'm not a fan of rolling the excess quilt - I just "puddle" it off to the side or in my lap. Always wear machine quilting gloves. You can set up a folding table behind your sewing machine to catch the overflow of the quilt.
Use a 90/14 needle or top stitching needle. Sew as fast as you can go - it will give you the most even stitch length. Use a single hole stitch plate - less "wobble" on the needle, so more uniform stitches, especially on curves.
I made a practice piece - about 1 yard square and played with it before I started my first quilt. If you make a practice piece, don't make it too small - you won't get the right "feel". A lot of people start with smaller quilts first, my first was about 72 x 98. Baby quilts are good to practice on and always make great gifts - buy a preprinted panel, add 2 or 3 borders, fast and easy to learn on.
Some excellent tips! Thanks. Have class this afternoon and am trying to finish the queen top. Just the side and bottom borders. Will miter the two lower corners (my first try) so I'm a bit worried, but it will be good practice. The top border is narrower than the side and bottom borders, so it won't be mitered.
Once that's done, I can set up and practice the quilting. Have a walking foot, but this will be the first time I've used it. Wish me luck!