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Thread: Advice on a big quilt...keeping it smooth

  1. #1
    Senior Member tngal22's Avatar
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    Advice on a big quilt...keeping it smooth

    Ok, I am working on my first nice size quilt, I think it will be about 55"x65" when done. I don't have a huge table so how do you keep it smooth when quilting. I am just doing straight lines down the blocks since it is to be a rag type block quilt. I do have my walking foot on and it does help but I can't seem to keep it smooth. Not sure if the pins are pulling on the table of if I need to move more away from the wall.

    Any advice?

    Here is the quilt once I got the pieces laid out how I liked them.



    Please excuse the mess...Little Bit was playing on the bed...and everywhere else. lol
    Sabrina
    Mommy to a 6 year old little girl, 3 dogs, 5 cats, and 2 fish. lol Life keeps me busy but when I have a moment, I love to sew
    http://ataleofamilitaryfamily.blogspot.com/
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/HugsLove

  2. #2
    Super Member Raggiemom's Avatar
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    I pin the sandwich before quilting and then take the iron to it. If it's a large quilt, I sometimes use 505 spray on it to help hold in place as well. I would pull the table away from the wall and maybe put a card table behind your sewing table. When I'm doing a queen sized quilt, I'll put a chair to my left to help hold up the quilt on that side. Of course, the cats usually think that chair is there for their convenience
    Heather

  3. #3
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    did you pin baste it first or spray baste it or use fusible batting? something to hold the layers together. you need to make room behind your machine for the quilt to go without bunching up or falling off the table. then lump the quilt in your lap and move under the foot as needed. some quilters put the quilt over their shoulder. never worked well for me.
    "From hence only infer that an Englishman, of all men, ought not to despise foreigners as such and I think the inference is just, since what they are today, we were yesterday, and tomorrow they will be like us"
    Daniel De Foe -The True Englishman

  4. #4
    Senior Member tngal22's Avatar
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    I pinned basted. I think part of the problem is the batting. I tried a new kind, never again will I stray from Warm & Natural! It is nice warm batting but seems to bunch up more than the Warm & Natural I have used for smaller baby quilts. I did move the table out and it seemed to help some. I have the bulk in my lap and try to keep the left side from hanging too much. It is just slow going at this point. Maybe I can figure something out.....Thanks!
    Sabrina
    Mommy to a 6 year old little girl, 3 dogs, 5 cats, and 2 fish. lol Life keeps me busy but when I have a moment, I love to sew
    http://ataleofamilitaryfamily.blogspot.com/
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/HugsLove

  5. #5
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    Foot pressure

    Sometimes you need to lessen the pressure on the presser foot. Your manual will tell you how if you don't know. If it is pushing fabic along in front of the presser foot, that could be part of the problem.

  6. #6
    Senior Member tngal22's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by duette View Post
    Sometimes you need to lessen the pressure on the presser foot. Your manual will tell you how if you don't know. If it is pushing fabic along in front of the presser foot, that could be part of the problem.
    I will try that! Thanks!
    Sabrina
    Mommy to a 6 year old little girl, 3 dogs, 5 cats, and 2 fish. lol Life keeps me busy but when I have a moment, I love to sew
    http://ataleofamilitaryfamily.blogspot.com/
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/HugsLove

  7. #7
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    when you rearrange the quilt for a new section - be sure you smooth both top and bottom even tho it is basted.
    I also will put long straight pins in it at a few places around and in front of the pressure foot.
    The basting doesn't always hold the layers smooth and flat. You have to resmooth as you quilt. And be sure the area you are quilting is not restricted and is flat under the machine.

  8. #8
    Super Member Dina's Avatar
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    I put my ironing board to the left of my machine, at a 90 degree angle. That seems to support the weight, for me, and it is easier to keep everything smooth. It might be worth a try?

    Dina

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dina View Post
    I put my ironing board to the left of my machine, at a 90 degree angle. That seems to support the weight, for me, and it is easier to keep everything smooth. It might be worth a try?

    Dina
    Ditto! Or you can put anything next to you to support. It's just easier with the ironing board because they can be height adjusted.

  10. #10
    Senior Member tngal22's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone! I got the first set of seams done and by the end finally got a good rhythm going...hoping to find it again when I start the second set of seams. I am going width this time so it is alittle shorter so maybe that will help. lol
    Sabrina
    Mommy to a 6 year old little girl, 3 dogs, 5 cats, and 2 fish. lol Life keeps me busy but when I have a moment, I love to sew
    http://ataleofamilitaryfamily.blogspot.com/
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/HugsLove

  11. #11
    Senior Member hevemi's Avatar
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    I use the ironing board or/and a swivelling chair on my left. The chair trick makes it easier for me to move evrything including myself as I have small sewing space.

  12. #12
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    I press all flat surfaces available into service when I machine quilt. My machine is on a table and I set up 2 card tables. It helps to have one continuous surface if you can get it all the same level. I have some hardcover books I put under the card table legs to adjust the height to my main table. You can use bed raisers too if they are the right height for your set up. I'm glad you've found your rhythm and hopefully the width will be easier. Watch out for crossing the previous quilting lines because that is where you might get some wrinkles. Use both hands to smooth the fabric out from the needle as you approach those areas. Good luck!

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