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Thread: Finally got the hang of it!

  1. #1
    Super Member GladGrams's Avatar
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    A while ago I wrote in asking about the thread always breaking when I am free motion quilting. I just bought a brand new Husqvarna sewing machine and was sure there was something wrong with it.

    Well, there was definitely something wrong, only the problem was --- ME :oops:

    As a beginging quilter I was not running the machine at a steady speed and the stopping and starting and stuttering was breaking the thread. I have now spent untold hours practicing and guess what? NO THREAD BREAKS because I am now able to just let'er rip and stop worrying.

    I am no where near being able to do any specific designs but am proud of finally gotten this far.

    NEW QUESTION: Is it possible to do fancy designs using just my sewing machine or does one need a long arm? (which is way out of reach on my budget :mrgreen: )

  2. #2

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    I am 'no' pro here, just a piddler of many quilts quilted(of my own) and yes, you do not need a long arm to do anything 'fancy'...:0)If you have mastered the flow of the machine and stitches and feel confident to move on to greater things...then it is time!LOL Using stencils and pounce or any other good marking tool I have found very helpful and easy. We will be anxious to see your quilting creations soon:)Skeat

  3. #3
    Senior Member key4unc's Avatar
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    Congratulations on getting the hang of it. I'm still not very good at the quilting part. I have a LOT of quilt tops that are ready to be quilted but I keep making more tops because the actual quilting part is not yet an enjoyable process for me.

    The only thing that limits you with a domestic machine is the size of the quilt. Although I have heard of folks who have quilted a queen-size on a domestic machine. Pantographs are designed for long arms. But if you found one that you really loved, you could always transfer the design to the quilt top with a quilt-marking pen.

  4. #4
    Super Member Quilt4u's Avatar
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    Congrats on your machine quilting. I still need a lot more pratice on my machine.

  5. #5
    Super Member GladGrams's Avatar
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    I was too naive to think about needing expertise to complete a quilt. ROFLOL, I thought the piecing of the top together WAS quilting! When the teacher in my first class told me I had to sew rows of stitching crosshatched over my beautiful patchwork, I was not happy about it! :evil:

    You can imagine I was the laugh of the class when I expressed my displeasure. Guess I won't ever live that one down!

    I am learning now that the top stitching can make or break the pattern. I decided to make 7 little sample pieces for my grandchildren and one a big larger for a friend's child. I used these in an attempt to try out different patterns of my own design; I am still not secure in being able to use an actual pattern to follow. So I tackled, straight line, stitch in the ditch, out lining and free motion now I need to train my eye for what looks best, where and what can ruin things.

    At least the thread is no longer breaking.

  6. #6
    Super Member Quilting Aggi's Avatar
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    wooo hooo!! I'm so glad you are getting in the swing of things with your new machine and no more breaking threads! I have a Husqvarna too and I looooooooooove my machine!

  7. #7
    Power Poster sandpat's Avatar
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    Congrats on your progress so far! I use only my little domestic machine and I've done several rather large quilts...108 x 95. I just stuff them right through the hole! It works, so no...you do not need a LA, although it would make it lots easier :wink:

  8. #8
    Senior Member Roben's Avatar
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    If you get the chance, pick up a copy of Joanie's Quilting Elements by Joanie Zeier Poole - the book comes with a CD with some PDF designs to practice with. Joanie is awesome, does her competition quilts on home sewing machines. Her website is http://www.heirloomquiltingdesigns.com (I got my copy at Joann's.)

    Just somebody else I want to be when I grow up :lol:

  9. #9
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    Granted a longarm does make intricate patterns easier to quilt, especially larger patterns. But you can make the same designs with your home sewing machine. It takes a lot of practice, practice, practice, but it can be done. BTW - It takes a lot of practice to do on a longarm, too! There are some well known quilters using only their home machines to quilt award winning quilts.

  10. #10
    Super Member carrieg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roben
    If you get the chance, pick up a copy of Joanie's Quilting Elements by Joanie Zeier Poole - the book comes with a CD with some PDF designs to practice with. Joanie is awesome, does her competition quilts on home sewing machines. Her website is http://www.heirloomquiltingdesigns.com (I got my copy at Joann's.)

    Just somebody else I want to be when I grow up :lol:
    After looking at this website, I realize I saw this woman and her quilt at the 2008 Chicago show. Her quilting is awesome!

    I need to practice my quilting.... :?

  11. #11
    Super Member Joan's Avatar
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    I just completed a free motion machine quilter with my standard sewing machine. I have never been so frustrated and yet intrigued in my whole life. It was fun but it is obvious to me that it requires a lot of practice.

    One word of advice I would like to pass along is regarding thread. Being cheap, Coats and Clark has been my best friend for my quilting projects and has seemed to work well. This was NOT the case at the class I took when I was trying to learn how to do free motion quilting. My thread kept breaking toward the end of the class. After class at home, I was practicing and my machine started acting up. It didn't matter what I did: rethread, fooled with bobbin, adjusted tension. I just could not get a decent stitch. Finally, my DH took apart the bobbin and found lots and lots of short little pieces of red thread. (like I had used in class) Apparently, Coats and Clark thread is composed of short cotton fibers and will "plug" up your machine. The better thread has long, long fibers and works better for machine quilting.

    I learned cheap isn't always best. Good luck on your machine quilting. (BTW, wish me luck too!!!!! :mrgreen: )

    p.s.---yes, you can do fancy designs!

  12. #12
    Power Poster Ninnie's Avatar
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    Yea, good for you!

  13. #13
    Super Member sewsewquilter's Avatar
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    Congratulations!!!!!

  14. #14
    Super Member Shemjo's Avatar
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    Congrats on practicing. I kow that is what I need, but, life gets in the way. It is like everything else, set it as a priority, and it WILL happen! :lol:

  15. #15
    Super Member GladGrams's Avatar
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    Good luck Joan! Lessons learned from others are good investments. Thanks GG

  16. #16
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    Thats a very interesting web site.
    Im still practicing free motion after 3 yrs. It is so hard.
    I did find that by grid quilting the middle of my quilts then using free motion for the borders, that it is a great way to learn. This way you are not fighting the quilt since the borders do not have to be shoved thru the machine. All the quilt is to the left of the machine.
    Simple continuous line hearts or leaves is a great way to practice.

  17. #17
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    Congrats to you :D :D :D Get as fancy as you want :D :D :D

  18. #18
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    I just bought Elegant Machine Quilting. Joanies book on Amazon. Got it for 6.99 used and 3.99 shipping.
    Cant wait to get it.
    They have more.

  19. #19
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    Glad it is working out for you. I have used stencils to do fancy stitching on my quilts and I do not have a long arm. Maybe someday when I win the lottery. Tee Hee

  20. #20
    Super Member b.zang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rose Marie
    Thats a very interesting web site.
    Im still practicing free motion after 3 yrs. It is so hard.
    I did find that by grid quilting the middle of my quilts then using free motion for the borders, that it is a great way to learn. This way you are not fighting the quilt since the borders do not have to be shoved thru the machine. All the quilt is to the left of the machine.
    Simple continuous line hearts or leaves is a great way to practice.
    That's a great tip, Rose Marie. Although my free motion quilting is not close-up-photo worthy, I still have plugged along and given it the old try, contorting my quilt up so it fits under the machine arm and gives me a flat surface. I'm going to take your idea, though, and do more practice on the outside only.

  21. #21
    Senior Member motomom's Avatar
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    I have an employee who used to work in the computer industry, and his term for this is:

    PEBCAM

    Problem Exists Between Chair And Machine.

    I have been the problem on plenty of occasions. :roll:

  22. #22
    jacquemoe's Avatar
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    Yes, you can do fancy stitiching on your machine. Start talking with Melissa, mgshaw. She's just ahead of you in the learning process.

  23. #23
    Power Poster sandpat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by motomom
    I have an employee who used to work in the computer industry, and his term for this is:

    PEBCAM

    Problem Exists Between Chair And Machine.

    I have been the problem on plenty of occasions. :roll:
    Hmmmm,I'm VERY familiar with this problem...just didn't have the technical name for it! :lol:

  24. #24
    Super Member janice4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GladGrams
    A while ago I wrote in asking about the thread always breaking when I am free motion quilting. I just bought a brand new Husqvarna sewing machine and was sure there was something wrong with it.

    Well, there was definitely something wrong, only the problem was --- ME :oops:

    As a beginging quilter I was not running the machine at a steady speed and the stopping and starting and stuttering was breaking the thread. I have now spent untold hours practicing and guess what? NO THREAD BREAKS because I am now able to just let'er rip and stop worrying.

    I am no where near being able to do any specific designs but am proud of finally gotten this far.

    NEW QUESTION: Is it possible to do fancy designs using just my sewing machine or does one need a long arm? (which is way out of reach on my budget :mrgreen: )
    did you write the quote ? Great one !

  25. #25
    Super Member grammyp's Avatar
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    Good for you. My dad would say it was a problem with a nut behind the controls. It took me a long time go realize he was talking about me, guess I'm kind of slow sometimes.

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