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Thread: help needed with quilt

  1. #1

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    I have pieced a quilt for the daughter of a friend who is getting married next month. I usually hand quilt, but with the shortage of time, decided to machine quilt this one. I have done a few baby quilts on the machine, but not a big one, and I am having problems. I am using an embroidery stitch on part and the top stitch is showing on the bobbin, my free motion quilting is very bad, my machine throat is small, and the whole things is just making me cry.

    Do I take everything out and hand quilt and give it to her when that is finished a year or so from now? Do I tie the quilt? Would someone else be able to quilt it for me without costing me an arm and a leg?

    Thanks for any advice.

  2. #2
    Senior Member judee0624's Avatar
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    Keep going. Work in sections and stop after each section to look at what you accomplished there. Adjust your tension (in the bobbin case even) if you have to. Roll up the part of the quilt that you are not working on so that it will go through the throat easier. Practice first on small sandwiches like potholder size until you get it where you want it. I don't understand what you mean by using an embroidery stitch and free motion. It is usually one or the other. Hope this helps.

  3. #3
    Super Member Prism99's Avatar
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    Do you have a walking foot? You can make wavy, curvy lines with a walking foot and not have to worry about accuracy or stitch length or how good your FMQ is.

    Are you using the same thread in the top and bobbin? That helps a lot so that a tension problem in the stitch doesn't show so much. Also, some machines won't do a good job with an embroidery stitch used on a quilt sandwich.

    If this is a very large quilt, you can peel back the top and backing from the side and cut the batting into thirds. (Use a curving cut and be sure not to catch the backing or top in the cut.) Use registration marks or pin a note to the top of the batting so later you can re-assemble the batting exactly as it was. Do this on each side, and you can quilt the middle to within 6 inches or so of each side. Then re-attach the batting on one side (with a tacking stitch by hand, or with a wide zigzag by machine), smooth the top and backing back in place, and machine quilt that side. Marti Mitchell has a book out on how to do this, but this is basically all there is to it. This greatly reduces the bulk under the arm of the machine while you are working on the middle of the quilt.

    To sum up, you can make this task a lot easier by: (1) using the same thread in top and bobbin, (2) using a walking foot, (3) switching to a regular straight stitch, (3) making wavy, curving quilting lines rather than straight ones, and (4) working on only one-third of the quilt sandwich at a time.

    HTH!

  4. #4
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    When I use decorative stitches for quilting, I widen them and lengthen them. Tighter stitches don't work very well for me. Even when I SID I lengthen the stitches some.

  5. #5
    Google Goddess craftybear's Avatar
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    nice information quilters, thanks

  6. #6
    Pam
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    HANG IN THERE, practice on smalll samples, and you will find your nitche!!

  7. #7

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    Thanks for the advice. I am using the same thread, just different colors and am using a walking foot. I may just need to rethink this whole thing and simplify what I want to do so that my machine will work better.

  8. #8
    Pam
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    Yes, simple is better! You are giving this away,it is not your life's work.

  9. #9
    Super Member Prism99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by danshelpmeet
    Thanks for the advice. I am using the same thread, just different colors and am using a walking foot. I may just need to rethink this whole thing and simplify what I want to do so that my machine will work better.
    By "same thread", I meant the same color! Even on my wonderful Bernina, I will not attempt to use one color in the top and a different color in the bobbin when I am machine quilting. Some people have a machine that will do this, but most machines cannot maintain a perfectly balanced stitch through all the variations of a quilt sandwich.

  10. #10
    chicagoshar's Avatar
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    Great advice! One more tip - I always use a walking foot, and sometimes use invisible thread in my bobbin which lasts a long time and works well. Also, make sure you use a longer stitch than usual. I only machine quilt and have never had that problem.

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