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Thread: Sewing machines suitable for quilting??

  1. #1
    winding_branch's Avatar
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    Hi all,

    I'm curious about all types of quilting as a newbie, in fact I'm a bit like a kid in a sweet shop about it all right now lol. Although I'd like to try hand quilting I'd like to keep my options open and maybe do some machine work aswell.

    I was looking at a book today online & it say's you need a sewing machine with a 1/4" foot?? My sewing machine doesn't come with one, neither is one available. It just has a zig zag foot, a zipper foot & a buttonhole foot. Does this mean I can't use it for quilting? Do you have to have a special machine for quilting? It doesn't do embroidery stitches either. The model is a toyota JSP10. If I'd need a different kind of machine can anyone make any suggestions please no brother machines as my last one was a brother & we didn't get on lol. Also what other accessories are needed for machine quilting.

    Thanks in advance


  2. #2
    Junior Member gangles's Avatar
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    Any sewing machine will do. You need to sew a 1/4" seam and many people find this easiest if using a 1/4" foot. NOT NECESSARY! You just must be able to sew that size seam, either by moving your needle to the side slightly if possible or not lining your fabric up with the edge of the foot as sewing. You dont line your fabric up with the edge of your presser foot when sewing clothing, instead you normally sew a 5/8" seam.
    If the length from your needle to the edge of your presser foot is more than 1/4" you would have to have your fabric somewhat inside the edge of your foot to achieve a 1/4" seam. Clear as mud???

  3. #3
    community benefactor Knot Sew's Avatar
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    a lot of people put a piece of tape at the quarter inch mark :D

  4. #4
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    Some times a "universal" foot will fit even if it isn't designed for your machine. Or like the others said, do some measuring and find out where your 1/4 inch is.

    There is a thread on here about all the people quilting on cheap little machines. It seems like half the people on here have $99 machines and are turning out huge beautiful quilts. There always seems to be a way around the problem.

  5. #5
    winding_branch's Avatar
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    Hi all,

    Thanks for the advice,

    I'll let you all know when I have gathered all my supplies & started something. Christmas is just around the corner though so in amongst all the pressie buying it make take some time.

  6. #6
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    A few months ago I happened on a Brother XL3750 on sale at Target. It was marked down from around $129. to $99. and it came with a "Quilting package" a quilting guide, a walking foot, a 1/4" foot a free motion foot and one other, and a larger "deck" for the machine. I have been strictly hand stitcher for years until I found this awesome little machine.. it's easy to use, very nice and portable and what a great price. I'm in the midst of quilting a lap quilt on it now, and I'm just using a 1/4" foot, it works great!! I have found quilters to be very innovative folks and I know you'll get it figured out.

  7. #7
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    My first quilting machine was a cheap brother with all the attachments and table but it dosnt have needle down and that ruins it for quilting.
    It is now used as a backup machine when my expensive one is in the shop for serviceing.
    My new Viking has a 10 inch throat and that is a big help when shoving quilts thru.
    I have several 1/4 inch feet but dont use them anymore, just adjust my needle to a scant 1/4 inch with my regular foot.
    The most important foot to have is a walking foot. It even feeds all three layers of your quilt thru the machine. Very important if you quilt your own quilts.
    Wants never end and now I want an embroidery machine with a big hoop.

  8. #8
    kd124's Avatar
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    I have a universal foot on mine and my sis uses the same one on her featherweight. The man at the shop where we take our machines for repairs picked out the one I needed. Also, some people use a small stack of post-it-notes as a guide after measuring the 1/4 inch.

  9. #9
    Senior Member kapatt's Avatar
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    [My first quilting machine was a cheap brother with all the attachments and table but it dosnt have needle down and that ruins it for quilting. ]

    My first machine did not have a needle down option either. But I was able to use it for quilting on a sewing machine quilting frame. My husband had rigged up a little push button device that I could push when standing in front of the frame and I got quite good at pushing the button just right so that it would stop with the needle down. I made 3 quilts using this system.

    After making the 3 large quilts, I was able to upgrade to the Viking Mega Quilter for my quilting frame. I do love the needle down when I am quilting but that is the only time I use it.
    I leave that machine on my quilting frame and I use other machines for piecing.

    For the newbys, when you are piecing your quilt blocks together, you don't need a needle down option.
    None of my machines that I piece with have the "needle down" option. Of course, that may be because I love Vintage machines. I recently added another vintage machine to my collection. I have 2 featherweights; 2 Singer 301's; a Singer 401; a Singer 403; a Singer 404; a Singer 66; a Singer treadle; and a New Home machine that I bought new 20 years ago. (The New Home is the one that I originally put on my quilting frame. It is still going strong.)

    I heard about one woman that uses her Singer 301 on her machine quilting frame. I didn't realize it at that time, but it has the same amount of space from the needle towards the end as a regular sewing machine.

    My point is that there is no..."have to have this type of machine" to do quilting. You just need a good machine that doesn't cause you frustration every 5 minutes from tension problems and you can come up with solutions to deal with everything else in quilting. I know some people who do free motion quilting on their old treadles. (I don't think I'm coordinated enough to do that.)

  10. #10
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by winding_branch
    I was looking at a book today online & it say's you need a sewing machine with a 1/4" foot??
    They may have meant that a 1/4" foot can make sewing the 1/4" seams easier, or that the instructions and samples are based on that setup.

    Any sewing maching with a straight stitch can be used to sew the blocks and the tops.

    You may want to do a little search on "sewing machines" on the QB as this topic is discussed regularly and there are some really good recommendations in those threads.

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