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Thread: Expense of Quilting-How to do it myself

  1. #1

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    I have been trying to quilt for about a year now. I have done two tops(lap and queen size) but find that having them quilted is very expensive. I would love to hand quilt them myself but I have no idea how I would start. Would it be best to use just straight lines for the quilting pattern? Do i draw the pattern on the quilt? Would I use invisible thread or one that shows? Do I need a frame? I've read several instructions on how to do it but I would feel better if I got you guys point of view on it.

  2. #2
    Senior Member sandybeach's Avatar
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    When I first started, I just did stitch-in-the-ditch or cross hatch straight lines. It's not the pretty quilting that you see done on most quilts here, but it works and looks just fine. Don't be discouraged. Save up some money for only the quilts you want to give as gifts. Do not use invisible thread if you are making a baby quilt as the thread may get twisted around little fingers and you won't see it until it has done some damage. I have never done hand quilting so I can't help you there.

  3. #3
    Moderator Jim's Gem's Avatar
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    I do all my own quilting on my regular size sewing machine. I usually stitch in the ditch or along the ditch with a fancy stitch or around certain shapes in the quilt. I have also done free motion quilting by dropping the feed dogs. I have made a couple hundred quilts including about 20 queen size. The quilting is not fancy but it is done.
    I have never hand quilted. If that was all I could do, I never would. There are lots on here that hand quilt and many many of us quilt all our own quilts on normal old sewing machines.

  4. #4
    Super Member sewwhat85's Avatar
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    i would like to start hand quilting also

  5. #5
    Super Member Tussymussy's Avatar
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    I hand quilt and love it. I draw on the top with special colour quilt pencils and the lines will wash out. I have a few specialised rulers that help me draw the pattern as well as stencils I have bought or created myself.

    Then I put the layers together and baste.

    I use coloured quilting thread which you can by from your LQS or on the internet and if I have chosen a plain pale colour for the backing, I can use toning colours for the fabrics in the top. That can create lovely patterns on the reverse of the quilt.

    I have also used Japanese quilting which creates fantastic patterns on the plain reverse of the quilt, so you get two quilts for the price of one.

  6. #6
    Super Member Prism99's Avatar
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    Do you want to hand quilt? Or do you want to machine quilt at home? They are two different ways of quilting your tops yourself, and the instructions for them are quite different.

  7. #7

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    I would like to machine quilt. But it looks very daunting.

  8. #8
    Super Member Prism99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pat R
    I would like to machine quilt. But it looks very daunting.
    OK. There are different kinds of machine quilting. You can start out easy and work your way up.

    In my experience, the easiest way to start machine quilting is to use a walking foot. Either sew straight lines with the walking foot (you can use blue painter's tape as a guide) or guide the fabric so you are making gently curving lines (a more modern look). You can even do cross-hatching this way. The advantage of using a walking foot is that the stitches will be even.

    Meanwhile, you can practice free motion machine quilting on scraps. I made up 16" square sandwiches of cheap muslin and batting scraps to practice. For this you need a darning foot ("jumping" foot). Depending on your machine, you may be able to leave the feed dogs up and FMQ. Most people either lower the feed dogs or cover them up (a credit card or even index card with a hole punched in it for the needle can be taped over the feed dogs). Most people need to practice FMQ for quite awhile before they feel comfortable using it on an actual quilt.

  9. #9
    Senior Member QuiltMania's Avatar
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    I do both hand and machine quilting.

    For machine quilting -- I use connecting threads thread. I use a regular pencil to mark the quilting design. Just use a regular sewing machine.

    For hand quilting -- I use hand quilting thread (usually Guterman) and a regular pencil to mark the design. I use a big hoop on a stand (hopefully will get a nice frame soon). You will also want a good thimble.

  10. #10
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    Get the book "How to Learn to Quilt in One Day" by Nancy Benan Daniels. She covers all the steps in hand quilting.
    The Alex Anderson book on hand quilting is also good.

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