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Thread: Machine quilting -on my own

  1. #1
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    I have just finished my second quilt. twin size 91 X69. I need to machine quilt it and need some help in knowing what the next step is. I know I need batting and backing fabric. Do you sew it all together first and them quilt or just pin it all together, guilt it and then finish the edges with binding? Any and all help is appreciated. I priced having it done and it was more than I want to pay, plus they can't get in done in time for Christmas. My daughter has a quilting machine with table, but I've not done one yet, not sure if she has done anything this big.
    (Photo with my 'name' is my first quilt wall hanging)
    QuiltingGrannie

  2. #2
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    Hi QG!

    It sounds like your daughter's quilting machine is a long arm?? Easiest is to take the quilt top, batting and backing to her place and load it on the rack with her assistance (best to have someone show you, as I suspect many racks don't all work the same). No pinning or basting involved with that! Plus you get to spend some quality sewing time with your daughter!

    If you want to quilt on your macine at home you put the top back and batting together with safety pins and let er rip, taking out the pins as you get ready to quilt an area.

    The sandwiching procedure is my least favorite part of quilting. When you don't have a rack set up you have to lay your back out wrong side up. Tape it to the floor so it is stretched taut. If you are lucky you may have access to big oversize tables (like a community center or church hall) so you don't have to use the floor. Then lay your batting on top of the backing. Then lay your top over all right side up. Then you have to baste it all together. Traditionally, if you are quilting by hand in a lap hoop you baste with needle and thread. But I almost always use safety pins, even when hand quilting. I'm sure others will have other suggestions. This is how I do it.

  3. #3
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    PS Welcome to the board.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the welcome. I don't think her machine is a long arm. She does regular sewing on it as well. She bought it for quilting, but doesn't quilt much. I just started quilting.
    Someone suggested basting spray???

  5. #5
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    If you end up pinning it on the floor, buy yourself some cheapie volleyball knee pads. The keep the knees from screaming quite so much as you crawl around like a 2 year old.

  6. #6
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    I babysit a 14 months old and do a lot of crawling lol, but thanks for the tip! I may use it while babysitting!

  7. #7
    Super Member Prism99's Avatar
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    If you use a longarm machine with a frame, you need to load the backing, batting and top onto the frame. If the machine is a table machine (the kind most of us use at home), you need to baste the three layers of the quilt sandwich before you start quilting on the machine.

    If you are going to machine quilt on a regular machine, I highly recommend spray basting. It is much, much faster than other methods (traditional hand basting with thread and needle, basting with safety pins, or even basting with a basting gun -- similar to how price tags are attached to garments). You can buy basting spray at JoAnn's and sometimes places like Walmart. 504 is probably the best brand, if you can find it, but all of the other brands will work too. Just be sure that you use it in a very well-ventilated area; some of the brands smell pretty toxic and you don't want to be breathing in spray.

    Spray basting works best with cotton battings, although many people also use it successfully with polyester batting. I personally prefer a very traditional cotton batting (Mountain Mist Blue Ribbon). I also heavily starch my backing fabrics so they are quite stiff. This helps me prevent unwanted puckers underneath while I am machine quilting. If you want my methodology for starching the back, I will write it up in a separate post.

    Whether you use cotton batting or polyester batting, you will be much happier if you stay away from high-loft batting. Low-loft battings are much easier to machine quilt.

    Are you planning to stitch straight lines, wavy lines, or free motion? I think the easiest are wavy lines using a walking foot.

    Oh, and to answer one of your questions more clearly -- usually you layer the quilt sandwich and baste it, then machine quilt it, then add the binding last. Binding is an entire subject by itself! It's also possible to do a "pillowcase" edge where you layer the sandwich wrong sides out, sew around the edges leaving an opening, then turn right side out, sew up the opening, and quilt; however, this is usually used for smaller quilts like crib and lap sizes.

  8. #8
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    Thanks for all the hints, tips and info. I've learned a lot! It will be next weekend before I can get with my daughter to quilt, but am designing my next quilt in the mean time.

  9. #9
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    I love my basting spray. It is so much easier than pinning.

  10. #10

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    If you use the basting spray, do you just use it on the backing and batting or on all three layers?

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