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Thread: Book on machine quilting?

  1. #1
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    I've been making quilt tops for a while and have started to learn about free motion quilting on my home machine. I feel very frustrated as most of the books I have or look at don't tell you much about the mechanics of quilting a top from start to finish. The pretty much give basic instructions on basting your quilting and binding the finished product but just say go off and quilt it........ I personally can't afford a fancy qulting machine setup or to have it professionally done, so I am trying to get better at doing it myself.

    For instance, the binding I apply is very flat and not at all full. I was looking recently at a quilt someone was in the middle of binding and noted that the quilting design stopped about 1/4 from the edge leaving a nice fluffy batting edge to fill the binding. Well I've been quilting off the edge of mine to maintain a 'continuous' look. How do you stay continuous but preserve that 1/4 unquilted for the binding? Another tip I stumbled across was how to pull your bobbin thread up to the top when you start. All this stuff must be written down somewhere. Anyways, I suppose I am just wondering is there a really good book or two that is on how to quilt on your home machine -- not just patterns to use making tops or when quilting, but the true mechanics of doing it on your own?

    Sorry to rant. Please help.

    Adri

  2. #2
    Senior Member Shelley's Avatar
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    I'll answer a couple of your questions....

    Go ahead and quilt all the way to the edge - that's what the longarmers do! It's ok to stitch in that last 1/4". NOW...if you have a quilting design that you don't want to go into that 1/4", for example feathers, stay away from it. I stitch about 1/8" all the way around the edge (as I get to it on the Longarm). You can do the same thing. It'll help hold things together until you get the binding on, and you don't have to remove it, it just gets buried in the binding. Clear as mud???

    As for pulling up that first single stitch:
    Take a stitch on your machine where you want to start. Holding onto the top thread, move your fabric a couple of inches. Your bottom thread should pull up. Grab that bottom thread, go back to where you started, take a few small stitches (holding both threads) to keep from raveling, and start quilting.

    To keep my binding full, I cut my binding to 2-1/4" to 2-1/2", fold and apply. When I trim my quilt, I leave about 1/4" beyond the edge of the top. As I turn and sew on the binding, I trim as needed to give me a nice full binding.

    Hope this helps!

  3. #3
    user3587's Avatar
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    I just purchased a couple of books from Connecting Threads about this subject. I'll let you know if they have the info you (and me) are looking for. I should get them by the end of this week.

  4. #4
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    Funny you should mention this...I was just at a bookstore over lunch. I was looking for a long-arm how-to book. I found a lot of books on regular machine quilting there. Maybe you can go browse them and see which looks the best. I like to look at the bookstore but purchase online where I can save more money.

  5. #5

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    Better than a book but a bit more expensive... instructional DVDs.

    I've found these DVDs to be very helpful to a newb like me. There were things that just didn't make sense to me from reading a book. But after seeing it done on TV, it made a lot more sense. I can work right along with a project... stop rewind, etc. I've watched them over and over. A bit on the "dry" side but full of good information.

    http://www.toptobobbin.com/

  6. #6
    Moderator Jim's Gem's Avatar
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    I just wanted to say welcome to the board, from Southern California!!!

  7. #7
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    Thanks for all the info ladies! I'll look at my local bookstore and those DVD looked very interesting too -- never thought of that!

    Thanks Shelly for the detailed explanations. One question -- so you quilt as you want, but sew on the binding using a 1/4" seam allowance from the edge of the top of the quilt -- but there is an additional 1/4" of backing & batting left sticking out too which gets tucked into the binding making it full. Right? I've been trimming everything at the edge of the quilt top. I think some of my other problems come from my basting, but I have no idea what I am doing wrong.....I don't get tucks or anything but my quilts look too fluffy-wrinkly to me.

    Thanks again!

    Adri

  8. #8
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    Rodales book, and chiltons machine quilting really go into the details. Chiltons book to machine quilting is really thick.

  9. #9
    Super Member nanabirdmo's Avatar
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    i love being able to view the process, also. i love my dvr, like TIVO. i record all the quilt shows and if there is something i want for reference i save it so i can play the show while i am at my machine, stop, rewind, (how funny i still say "rewind"). this is the best way for me to learn.
    now i know how to miter border corners, join bindings for the smooth finish i like, and free motion quilt, lots of methods i just didn't quite get from reading the books.
    hey, whatever works for you.
    as far as a full binding, i leave slightly more than 1/4 inch when i trim the edge of my quilt. can't stand flat bindings. i also learned from a binding class i took that if you enter your quilt in a competition the judges will feel your binding and if it is flat they count off. i haven't entered any competitions yet but i always think of that when i am sewing on my binding.
    good luck. lots of help here.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Shelley's Avatar
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    Andri,

    Yes, attach the binding 1/4" from the edge of the top. Trim with 1/4" additional batting beyond the edge of the top. Trim THAT as necessary as you attach to the back of the quilt. One thing that pops up at quilt shows and fairs is full bindings. This makes sure that you have that full binding.

    The lady the taught me this trick leaves the entire amount in the binding. Sometimes it seems to me to be too full (depends on the batting used), but she wins the ribbons. I'm not going to argue....... :!:

  11. #11
    Super Member Carol W's Avatar
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    I also want to add that if you go to Youtube, you can find instructional videos there.

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