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Thread: Qulting on regular sewing machine

  1. #1
    Senior Member teddysmom's Avatar
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    Qulting on regular sewing machine

    My DD has a Singer that belonged to my DH's mother. It runs like a top but she is needing to start doing her own quilting (cost keeps going up for a LA). She is debating about buying a new machine or getting "feet" for this one. What feet would she need and would she be better off going this way rather than buying a new machine (can't believe how much a new machine costs).

  2. #2
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    I have an older Singer (1960's) that will still outsew a lot of newer machines if you take away electronics. I have quilted more than one quilt on it with sucess. There are people who quilt with even older (treadle) machines. You would need a walking foot and free motion foot (can be obtained through places like Nancy's Notions). There are techniques for reducing bulk when dealing with a whole quilt (Marti Mitchell comes to mind). Go for it!!
    Last edited by IowaStitcher; 07-27-2012 at 04:25 AM. Reason: spelling

  3. #3
    Super Member nabobw's Avatar
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    She needs to make sure she can drop the feed dogs on that machine and if she can the she needs a free motion foot.

  4. #4
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nabobw View Post
    She needs to make sure she can drop the feed dogs on that machine and if she can the she needs a free motion foot.
    IF they won't drop, you can tape a piece of plastic overtop of them, so they won't grab the fabric.


    New feet are always a lot less costly than a new machine!

    One of the ladies I've "met"here on the QB does wonderful FMQ .... on a treadle!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Sew many ideas ... just sew little time!!
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  5. #5
    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    What machine does she have? Is it short shank or slant needle? The FMQ foot has to match that. There are high shank machines, too, but I don't think any are Singers. I do not have to drop the feed on my 1956 Singer 301 from with the FM foot I purchased from april1930sshoppe. I usually do, but it works well without doing so.

  6. #6
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    In addition to the feet, I highly recommend she get the book "Heirloom Machine Quilting" by Harriet Hargrave. It is full of wonderful tips, hints and techniques for DSM quilting, sandwiching and design and can be picked up used on Amazon for a very modest price.

  7. #7
    Super Member Prism99's Avatar
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    If she buys a new machine, she definitely would want to buy one with a larger harp (throat size under the arm). This is the biggest limitation on using a domestic machine for quilting. Having a larger throat size really helps, especially with bed size quilts. The Janome 6500p and 6600P are examples of domestic machines with the larger harp.

  8. #8
    Senior Member IAmCatOwned's Avatar
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    Generally, what she wants is a darning foot. Then, tell her to quilt a couple of smallish quilts (giveaways or holiday stuff). You need that time to accustom yourself to going the right speed. If after she's done several quilts, she should know if she is happy with the results or not. Doing a large quilt can be exhausting, but if you limit it to one hour a day, it is way easier..Way easier. I could quilt without a problem with my old Kenmore. Great stitches. No tensions issues. Then my machine was used without my permission and the tension disks were damaged. I bought a Brother PS1000. Horrible machien for quilting - you are fighting with tension all the time. The back looked horrible, the stitches wouldn't lock correctly. All in all, terrible for quilting, but fine for plain sewing. I have since bought a Bernina and am much happier.

    So, my suggestion is that she should quilt a few quilts on her current machine. She may be happy with the results. A new machine with a wider distance between the needle and the motor housing makes quilting easier, but if she is happy with her current machine, she can save towards getting a new machine (all the doo dads are great!). Or not. Up to her.
    Current piecing: Zig Zag quilt & LOTL (HSTs done, assembling units)
    Hand piecing project: Apple core (TOP IS DONE!!!! Yay!)

  9. #9
    Super Member Deborahlees's Avatar
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    I agree use the machine you have, just get a new foot, one called a "Bigfoot" is also a good one....Another suggestion is a good pair of quilting gloves will really help with moving the quilt, I personally like my White Machiners that I buy direct from the designer....If you don't want to spend the money then a good pair of gardening gloves will also work in a pinch, I just find them a little warm to wear for any time. And yes doing something small to start is an excellent idea, will sure help getting your feet wet, perhaps a potholder, then a placemat, then a table runner, then a lap quilt, I am sure you get the idea. And you really, really really need to stop and take breaks, for your back, your hands and your eyes and finally for you sanity !!!!!

  10. #10
    Super Member crafty pat's Avatar
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    I have the 401A from the 50's that I quilt on just fine. I bought a darning foot for it and have had no problems.I also bought a walking foot for it.

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