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Thread: ARRGGHH... need help machine quilting

  1. #1
    Senior Member virgwid's Avatar
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    Ok, just got my first quilting project, a wall hanging ready for quilting. sort of. I was going to send it out to be quilted, but I started to feel like maybe I could handle a wall hanging. Next time I think that I think I will shoot myself and get me out of my misery. I am determined to do it. May be the LAST time, but darn it, I'm gonna do it! With your help please....

    Problem - The only place in the house with a space big enough to lay the whole thing out is on the floor. Can't physically do that. No dining room table. Bed was a disaster, never could get it on right, and kept pinning the bedding. I have the equivalent of a card table to do this on. I worked on it on and off for three days. I finally have given up. It is a wall hanging, for my bedroom, so I am going with what I have. It is pinned, but the backing has a few creases in it. I have worked and worked, used the iron when I shouldn't have, have the fusible on both sides batting, etc. Just can't get it right. Ok, fine. Done with that. I'm the only one to see it. But for next time, any tips on getting it sandwiched?

    so now a new question - it is nine blocks with sashing then a border around the whole thing. Can I quilt in each block and get that done, then quilt all of the sashing, then all of the border?? If not, how should I quilt this?

    And I know it won't be perfect, and I might come out of this bald from tearing my hair out, so if you have any tips, I'd love to hear them. Thanks! Virg

  2. #2
    Super Member maine ladybug's Avatar
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    Yes, you can quilt each block and then the sashing and then the border. However, I would suggest that you make sure to start your quilting in the middle of the quilt and quilt out. That being said, you might want to do the sashing first to stablize the whole quilt then do the blocks and lastly the borders.

  3. #3
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    I know what you're talking about! I took me quite some time to figure out a good place to baste as I can't get on the floor either. This is what I do:

    I generally do stabalizing stitching all around the perimieter of the quilt first. I do it in the ditch. Then I do the same along the sashing. Vertically then horizontally All in the ditch. That should give you more than enough stabilization for a wallhanging sized quilt. Then start to quilt whereever you like but I generally start in the middle and work out.

    Good luck and don't forget to breath! You'll be so proud when you're all done. I hope that you'll post a pic! :)

  4. #4
    Super Member katier825's Avatar
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    For a wall hanging, you might try using your washer or dryer as the surface to baste. Even the kitchen counter would probably do for a wall hanging.

  5. #5
    Power Poster sandpat's Avatar
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    You can actually spray baste your sandwich on a wall.....standing up if you like. Use the search feature at the top of the page, there are several threads to tell you how to do it.

    On the quilting of this one...I usually do all the quilting in the ditch first with a monofilament thread on the top..then I go back and do the rest of the quilt. You might consider changing your method to "quilt as you go" or quilting in sections for your next quilt.

    You can do this...there are lots of ways to accomplish it and they are ALL correct! :D

  6. #6
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    My co-sewer had same problem and finally stopped fusing the batting. Once you do it's hard to get creases, puckers out. Just tape the backing to the floor, lay batting and top out and pin. FYI - she started using one of the old fashion pinning cardboard boards and works great to not scratch floors or if you have carpet. They still sell them at Walmart for like $10-15. Hope that helps

  7. #7
    Junior Member masufa's Avatar
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    There are several places you might try to find alarge space for laying out your quilt. Try local churches ask them if you might have use of their tables in the study rooms when they are not in use by them, or find a local quilting club and ask if you might use their tables maybe early before one of their meeting or a local meeting hall of some kind in your area.
    For medium or smaller quilts I use a ping-pong table in my garage, it fold up out of the way in front of my car until I need it.
    Got it at a garage sale for 10.00

  8. #8
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    For quilts bigger than wall hanging I use the board method to sandwich! It is taught by Susan s? I can never spell her last name. It's on you tube. I also starch both pieces. Since doing this Ive had NO puckers. I'm just learning to SID and can barely fmq! I use a small table . No more pins! U might be able to go up to search on here and find the link.

  9. #9
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    For quilts bigger than wall hanging I use the board method to sandwich! It is taught by Susan s? I can never spell her last name. It's on you tube. I also starch both pieces. Since doing this Ive had NO puckers. I'm just learning to SID and can barely fmq! I use a small table . No more pins! U might be able to go up to search on here and find the link.

  10. #10
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    Sandwiching and basting a quilt was the most hateful aspect of quilting to me. I couldn't stand doing it. I did it but I sure wasn't happy about it. My all consuming hate for sandwiching was a major factor in me finally getting a longarm, that and the fact that I just plain old sucked at machine quilting on my DSM. I got my LA and haven't looked back. This however is of no help to your delimma. I did mine on the floor. Oh and the board method mentioned by Paniacs is by Sharon Schamber Here is a link to part 1
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhwNylePFAA

  11. #11
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    1) Check out Sharon Shamber's method of sandwiching using a table top (kitchen table will do), and two boards. You don't need a whole lot of space, you won't get any ripples or puckers, and it's EASY. I'm at work and can't look for the link to the video - but do a search on her name and basting and you'll find the video. It's fantastic!!

    2) Yes you can do the squares first starting with the center squares and working your way out, then then sashing, then the borders.

    3) BEFORE YOU START ... make sure you practice practice practice FMQ on scrap. I am assuming from the beginning of your post where you said you thought you could handle a wall hanging that you are not comfortable with FMQ yet. So if not ... take the time to practice every stitch you plan on putting onto the quilt. Use the same fabric weight, the same thread, and the same batting. Work out all of the tension issues and anything else that could come up. Can't coun't how many threads we've seen on QB lately that began with "I'm FMQ'ing a quilt and it's not going well". So make sure things go well BEFORE you put your quilt under the machine.

    Edit - aha! I see now that Feline put up a link to the video.

    Good luck!! And have fun!!

  12. #12
    Super Member AliKat's Avatar
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    Before I had enough space at my home I went to a LQS or one of the churches and used their tables to layout and baste/pin/spray the layers. There was NO WAY I was going to do that on the floor. I live alone and I can just imagine someone trying to 'rescue' me when I couldn't get up by myself.

    As for doing the FMQ: I have a sewing machine cabinet and then put an ironing board or small table behind the area to catch the quilt so there was no drag or distortion.

    ali

  13. #13
    Super Member QuiltnLady1's Avatar
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    Here is a link to doing srpay basting on a wall:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2UoUz...BCE39F4DBBD3AA

    I have done this several times for a variety of size pieces and it makes things much easier.

  14. #14
    Super Member kiffie2413's Avatar
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    I did buy a book on quilting a quilt in sections, here is a link http://www.amazon.com/Machine-Quilti...7838821&sr=8-1
    I have glanced thru the book, but haven't tried it yet...It is NOT a quilt as you go book, but actually a way to quilt like a queen size quilt in sections. Just a thought for something you may check into. I didn't check ebay, it may be available there, too.
    Good luck,
    Kif

  15. #15
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    Someone had put up a link to a you tube tute where the lady used boards with very little space (backing, batting and top were wound/unwound on/from the boards). Wished I had marked it.

  16. #16
    Senior Member virgwid's Avatar
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    Thank you all so much for the great ideas. Gonna check out the youtube video and book. Loved the tips. Now please keep your fingers crossed. I may get the courage up to try this tohight!

  17. #17
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Willa
    Someone had put up a link to a you tube tute where the lady used boards with very little space (backing, batting and top were wound/unwound on/from the boards). Wished I had marked it.
    :lol: :lol: Uh I think I may have granted your wish a few posts above.

  18. #18
    Senior Member COYOTEMAGIC's Avatar
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    Even though I have a dining room table I could lay it out on, I don't want to scratch the finish trying to pin it. On one wall of my sewingroom, I've taken a some old corrigated plastic signs (some are old political signs) and glued them to the wall using Gorilla Glue. I stretch out the fabric pinning it to the wall making my layers.

  19. #19
    Power Poster ManiacQuilter2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AliKat
    Before I had enough space at my home I went to a LQS or one of the churches and used their tables to layout and baste/pin/spray the layers. There was NO WAY I was going to do that on the floor. I live alone and I can just imagine someone trying to 'rescue' me when I couldn't get up by myself.

    As for doing the FMQ: I have a sewing machine cabinet and then put an ironing board or small table behind the area to catch the quilt so there was no drag or distortion.

    ali
    It is difficult to do it at home if you don't have some sort of surface to pin baste on. The quilt that I had in the last quilt contest on the board I ended up pin basting on the floor. I will NEVER try that again. I use to pin baste at any fabric store that had a classroom. Ask when the classroom is available. I would buy any threads that I needed for quilting while there so at least they made a sale from my purchases. HANG IN THERE !! It is like anything with a learning curve. It DOES get easier the more you learn. GOOD LUCK !!! :lol:

  20. #20
    Super Member Phannie1's Avatar
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    We have a workroom at the quilt shop that has tables, that when not in use, the owner of the shop allow customers to use for pinning or sewing or what ever is needed. Any you always can use her expertise and there is always others wondering in and out to help. It is fun to work there.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by feline fanatic
    Quote Originally Posted by Willa
    Someone had put up a link to a you tube tute where the lady used boards with very little space (backing, batting and top were wound/unwound on/from the boards). Wished I had marked it.
    :lol: :lol: Uh I think I may have granted your wish a few posts above.
    lol Yes you did! Thank you I'm marking this time!!!!!!!

  22. #22
    Super Member sharoney's Avatar
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    I started sandwiching mine on the wall in my (finished) garage. It works great! No wrinkles, puckers, and I don't have to crawl around on the floor.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Mona Lisa 2011's Avatar
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    have you tried hanging it on the wall?

  24. #24
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    These are great suggestions and timely - just getting to try doing my first queen-sized quilt myself.

  25. #25
    Senior Member CompulsiveQuilter's Avatar
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    I have one tip if you still want to baste with pins instead of spray baste. When I kept pinning to the carpet also, I put my 18x24 cutting mat underneath the backing, where I was pinning and moved it around section by section. No more carpet!

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