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How do you maneuver the quilt through the machine?

How do you maneuver the quilt through the machine?

Old 01-09-2018, 08:39 PM
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Default How do you maneuver the quilt through the machine?

I feel like I'm wrassling an anaconda, and mostly its winning! I think its a combination of stiffness of the quilt, the spool pin is mounted on the back deck so it keeps getting smooshed by the quilt roll, and its my first quilt. I'm really seeing the beauty of quilt as you go, or as someone said, basting by check, and using a long armer. Also, I'm thinking of rigging up a frame and pvc pipe set-up, nut its so long! I'm guessing without the use of a frame to slide the machine, I'm going to have to combine moving the quilt through the machine with moving the machine to counterbalance the width of the quilt.

So, what do you do to move your quilt through your DSM while you are doing the quilting?

I guess the good news is that I am overcoming my perfectionism, and just going for "finished." This is really going to be a surprise Christmas present, because at this rate, they'll get it for Easter, lol!
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Old 01-09-2018, 08:42 PM
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Forgot to say, I'm switching from the Lydia to the 301, out of its table and just set on my big drafting/work table. the Lydia is working great, but the spool pin placement is bad. I could us an outboard thread holder, so that's a possibility, too.
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Old 01-09-2018, 08:51 PM
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there are suspension aids like jenhoop, patsy thompson has one on her site patsythompsondesigns, just google quilt suspension
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Old 01-09-2018, 09:31 PM
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I agree with the suspension aid. One of the biggest issues with quilting on a domestic machine is adequate support for the portions of the quilt not under the arm of the machine. Here is a link to a Jenoop demo:
Some quilters make their own suspension systems -- some from PVC, some with suspenders hanging from ceiling hooks.

What batting did you use? Warm and Natural is quite stiff. Other battings, such as Hobbs 80/20, are easier to maneuver under the arm of a machine.

I found it easier to accordion-fold the quilt under the arm rather than roll. Rolls are stiff. Large accordion pleats are "smooshier".
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Old 01-09-2018, 10:29 PM
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It's much easier to quilt with the machine set into a table or cabinet so the work space is level.

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Old 01-10-2018, 12:12 AM
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Are you doing free motion, or straight lines? I find straight line quilting much easier on a domestic machine. Rolling the excess quilt works well for straight lines, but pleating or "puddling" it works better for free motion.

I think the 301 will be a good machine to work on, but you will find it easier if you leave it in its cabinet. As Cari says, it's much easier to quilt if you have a level workspace. You can place a card table, ironing board, tv tray, etc. strategically around it to support the extra parts of the quilt. Don't move the machine to counterbalance the weight of the quilt; just put supports in place, and bunch up the parts that aren't currently under the needle so that they aren't pulling on the working part.

A suspension system would certainly help, but isn't a necessity. I don't have one, but used a friend's and it was great! I have quilted a couple queen-sized quilts on a normal little domestic machine, and it's certainly doable.

You seem to be on the right track. I suggest working for short periods of time, taking lots of breaks (wrestling this quilt will give you a shoulder workout!). And remember, done is better than perfect. Keep plugging away, and you should have it done well before Easter!
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Old 01-10-2018, 03:41 AM
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I'm fairly new to FMQ and here's what helps me:

A large table so the quilt doesn't hang off
A snow carpet to make the surface slick. I cut a hole for the needle plate and tape it to the machine
Machingers gloves

They have helped me a lot. I also bought a Juki with a wider throat.

I've always been a hand quilter but wanted to learn to quilt by machine. Lots of practice is helping me too.
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Old 01-10-2018, 04:23 AM
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I don't have any fancy aids and I found that, with something to hold the quilt on the left side, like an extra table or even my ironing board, helps taking the weight off the quilt and it moves easier under the needle..
I bought cheap drawer grip liner and cut 2 pieces to use under my hands when quilting. It helps a lot. some people use quilting gloves.
Here's one I just found this morning for you
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Old 01-10-2018, 05:00 AM
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Since you mentioned QAYG, I would recommend the Marti Michell book 'Machine Quilting in Sections'


QAYG is a blanket term for many different techniques, some require hand stitching, some don't. Some require sashing some don't. This book covers lots of ways to accomplish this task. Your library or guild may have a copy.
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Old 01-10-2018, 05:12 AM
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You mentioned a roll. Donít roll, puddle. Much easier.
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