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Thread: How do you handle big quilts on a home sewing machine?

  1. #1
    Super Member patdesign's Avatar
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    I have been a member here for a while and seen some amazing tutorials and quilts. I don't have a long arm and will never be able to own one, (space and $). So I wonder how do the rest of us get those beautifully quilted large quilts on a home machine?

  2. #2
    Super Member ssgramma's Avatar
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    Lots of great info on Leah Day's site :-)

    http://freemotionquilting.blogspot.c...tart-here.html

  3. #3
    Super Member Annaquilts's Avatar
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    I am hoping to own a long arm some day but for now I do the quilting on a regular sewing machine. I had a similar question and got so many wonderful tips and replies. Here is my original post.


    http://www.quiltingboard.com/t-94447-1.htm

    Cal King 10 feet by 10 feet
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  4. #4
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    i have and love this book http://www.amazon.com/Quilt-Savvy-Ga.../dp/1574329006
    Diane does all of her amazing quilting on a DSM

  5. #5
    Super Member sharoney's Avatar
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    It can be done- I have done it many times! The pics above are good-
    And Leah Day offers good advice too- Daystylequilting

  6. #6
    Super Member Delta's Avatar
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    Good Morning. I quilt my own quilts all the time. you just have to roll very tight as you go along and I will pin the roll down to hold it while I am quilting. Just don't forget to re fix the back as you go. sometimes it still moves. good luck

  7. #7
    Super Member catrancher's Avatar
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    Can you say "long armer"? I have done a quilt up to 60 inches. After that it gets pretty crowded.

  8. #8
    Super Member sparkys_mom's Avatar
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    I haven't done it but I'm convinced it can be done. Leah Day, Patsy Thompson, and Paula Reid all do it and I'm sure there are many more. Google them and I'm sure you will find a lot of useful information.

  9. #9
    Super Member Prism99's Avatar
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    One method that helps a lot is splitting your batting. Found this technique in one of Debra Wagner's books years ago, and Marti Michell has a book out now that includes it (Machine Quilting in Sections).

    Basically you lay out your quilt sandwich, then peel back backing and top to expose the batting. Cut the batting a third of the way in using a wavy "S" shaped line rather than a straight line. Use a permanent marker to mark registration lines along the cut and also to indicate top right. This makes it possible to re-assemble the batting exactly as it was originally. Set the right one-third of the bating aside, and pin the unbatted backing and top together. Do the same for the left side of the batting (although might not be necessary depending on your quilting design).

    This reduces the bulk of the batting under the arm of the machine. Quilt the middle section, leaving about 6 inches free near the cut batting. When done with the middle, attach one of the batting sides. The book I recommended doing this by hand using a tailor tacking stitch, but it's also possible to do it with a long and wide machine zigzag or with the fusible batting tape on the market now. Smooth top and backing over attached batting and continue quilting.

  10. #10
    Super Member dunster's Avatar
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    I have a longarm now... but I didn't always have it. Before that, I quilted lots of big quilts on my DSM by quilting in sections. Get Marti Michel's book, Machine Quilting in Sections. She explains several different methods, and explains why and when you would use each of them. It's a wonderful book and the process doesn't take away from the piecing that you do the "normal" way.

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