Hi, all! I'm new here :).
Thanks to my love of piecing tops (I have about 5 tops to quilt :oops: - it's relaxing to hand-quilt, but I would really like to have these quilts done before my 2 year old goes to college! ), I have decided that it is high time to start machine quilting a lot more. I've done 1 1/2 quilts by machine and I really enjoy it, but I'm having a few small issues. I will admit, the second time around is going much better than my first attempt. I only have a cheapie machine from Target, although it's been better than I expected (it's a Brother). There's a quilting 'table', although it doesn't stay put, so at times, it becomes more of a hindrance than a help. :roll:
Anyway - I've only quilted in the ditch on the two quilts that I've done. I'm trying to stay simple. The first was a quick baby quilt (the cornerstones - I can't remember which book), and I decided to go VERY simple on the second one so that I could give it a good practice on an easy top - I used the rail fence pattern out of Alex Anderson's Start Quilting book (and I had a fat quarter pack of Robyn Pandolph's Flirt line that I desperately wanted to use - it worked out beautifully!).
On both, I've had the same problem. I'm doing what's advised - I'm basting the crap out of them, and then I'm starting in the middle on both. I'm quilting usually the middle two blocks completely, and then I start quilting the seams from the middle out.
But at points, I'm getting issues where the blocks start pulling - and I end up with a small overlap of fabric at the end of the block (but not the entire seam). It's not happening everywhere, but it's happening enough to bother me (so far, it's happened 2-3 times on this quilt and I've quilted all of the long seams, but not to the extent it happened on my first attempt at machine quilting).
I would really appreciate any advice on this! :) This is not something that happens to me when I hand-quilt :lol:
(I hope it's not my machine. I'm saving up for a nicer machine, but it's going to be awhile!)
Also - I'm planning to try my hand at using some stencils on the outside border. This may sound like a silly question, but it's the same as what I would do hand quilting, right? I trace them onto the border, and then sew what I've traced? :?: And when you use stencils, do you use the walking foot or the free motion foot?
Thanks so much for any advice! I've been reading all morning and I have a feeling I'm going to enjoy this site! :)