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Thread: How do you maneuver the quilt through the machine?

  1. #1
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    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!

  2. #2
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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.

  3. #3
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    there are suspension aids like jenhoop, patsy thompson has one on her site patsythompsondesigns, just google quilt suspension
    Brother (XL-3500i, CV3550, SQ-9050, Dreamweaver XE6200D), Juki MO-2000QVP, Handiquilter Avante

  4. #4
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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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:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJGph8am6BE&t=100s
    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".

  5. #5
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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.

    Cari

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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!

  7. #7
    Super Member SusieQOH's Avatar
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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.

  8. #8
    Super Member helou's Avatar
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    Hi!
    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
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TES6wjybja4

  9. #9
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    Since you mentioned QAYG, I would recommend the Marti Michell book 'Machine Quilting in Sections'

    https://www.amazon.com/Marti-Michell...lting+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.
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
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  10. #10
    Super Member bjchad's Avatar
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    You mentioned a roll. Don’t roll, puddle. Much easier.

  11. #11
    Super Member KenmoreGal2's Avatar
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    I don't make large quilts for that very reason. Even a throw sized quilt can be a bugger sometimes. I am using a machine in a cabinet which does help as Cari said. I put my ironing board against the back of my machine, I adjust the height so it's the same as my cabinet. I also put a small table to my left. It's still tricky. I love to make small wheelchair quilts for a local nursing home since the size is so manageable. I do FMQ.

  12. #12
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaperPrincess View Post
    Since you mentioned QAYG, I would recommend the Marti Michell book 'Machine Quilting in Sections'

    https://www.amazon.com/Marti-Michell...lting+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.
    This is exactly what I was going to recommend until PaperPrincess beat me to it. Before I got my longarm I quilted many big quilts in sections, using several of the methods in this book. Marti Michell now has a Craftsy class on this subject too, and it may go over the same things in the book.

  13. #13
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    I have more luck with puddling as well and now I've got a straight stitch Juki with a large throat which helps immensely but I made tons of quilts and blankets on my domestic and remember the struggle well! I recommend do what you can for the weight like a large table, ironing board, once for a really tricky spot on the side of a large quilt I even bribed a friend with dinner to sit nearby and hold a large part of the quilt sandwich for me . I also recommend Machiners gloves (although the smell if I store them for more than a day or two in one of my plastic bins is awful, looking for alternatives) and lots of frequent breaks.

  14. #14
    Junior Member yolajean's Avatar
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    One helpful hint for me was to throw the large part of the quilt facing you over your shoulder (I use both shoulders according to where the weight of the quilt is). Also, an extra table at the back of your machine or I used to use my ironing board for more flat surface behind my machine. I now have the PVC frame (which was posted and we copied). It fits around my sewing table and is about 7 feet high. I used shower curtain rings on the PVC and attached 2" elastic (each about 30" long) onto each ring. I use heavy duty clamps (the red and black from Menard's) to clamp my quilt to the frame. I have 7 rings; 3 to the left of my sewing area and 4 to the back. You do have to readjust your quilt but these clamps hold the weight of the quilt off of your sewing area and makes it much easier to FMQ. Here are a couple of photos. Cannot remember the woman's name who thought this up and posted directions. So sorry!

    Name:  PVC quilt holder 2.jpg
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Size:  351.1 KBName:  PVC quilt holder1.jpg
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  15. #15
    Super Member Teen's Avatar
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    I move my Babylock to the dining room table after I extend and add leaf to table. I don't have a large sewing table so, since this just temporary, it works for me. And, I puddle large quilts or fan fold. I use to roll but this created a heavy mass that was so inflexible to move around. Slide guides help as do quilting gloves. I use these even just appliquing. Looks like lots of great suggestions I'll be considering too.
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    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    I'm still back on trying to figure out what "wrassling" is! I googled and found out that it's a game of some kind, but that doesn't make sense... I guess it's a good thing that others seem to be answering the question.

  17. #17
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Wrassling is slang for wrestling, I think.

  18. #18
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    Yes, wrassling is wrestling, just wirh a more freewheeling vibe. I have a huge table, as well as a pretty big cabinet (due to the large fold out flaps) but the problem i have is when its in front of the machine instead of in back. I think that i need to try it with accordion pleats. Will watch the videos. Thanks, and also for the pictures.

  19. #19
    Super Member Irishrose2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cari-in-Oly View Post
    It's much easier to quilt with the machine set into a table or cabinet so the work space is level.

    Cari
    Agreed. Wax the surface, put the ironing board or another machine cabinet to the left to support the weight, puddle the quilt and concentrate on just one area at a time. It will get done. Love the 301 for better visibility, too.

  20. #20
    Super Member GEMRM's Avatar
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    Another idea to level the table surface with the machine bed is to get thick foam, cut out a space to recess your machine in, then cover with a plastic table cloth or some other slippery type surface so the quilt slides. You'd need to cut a hole for your bobbin/needle area.
    This was suggested by someone earlier on the board. If you're going to do a fair amount of large quilt quilting on your domestic sewing machine, this is worthwhile for the ease of moving it out of the way to resume regular sewing.
    A husband is the perfect confidant to tell your secrets to - he can't reveal them to anyone else because he wasn't really listening when you told him!

  21. #21
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    Plan the quilting from the center out. That way you only have to deal with half the width under the throat. I don't roll unless I stitch in the ditch. Instead I pleat or puddle. I also wear gloves to move the sandwich. Make sure that none of your quilt hangs up on the table or falls off the back. If that happens, you end up with uneven stitches. Craftsy has a good class by Ann Peterson about handling a large project on a domestic machine.

  22. #22
    Super Member JENNR8R's Avatar
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    Free-Motion Quilting Aids

    I use a taped-down Teflon cookie sheet with a hole cut it in for the needle and dog grooming arms to hold the quilt up. I bought some clamps from Home Depot to attach to the grooming arms.

    https://www.amazon.com/Linden-Sweden...+cookie+sheets

    https://www.amazon.com/Go-Pet-Club-Aluminum-Grooming/dp/B00DYYLRRY/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1515680956&sr=8-7&keywords=dog+grooming+arm
    Attached Images Attached Images

  23. #23
    Super Member EmiliasNana's Avatar
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    I have a Tiara mid-arm sit down quilter, but Leah Day uses the same system on her DSM. I posted a thread about it here: https://www.quiltingboard.com/pictur...t-t276062.html It made a world of difference on my shoulders, neck and back and improved my FMQing by reducing the drag. Good luck.

  24. #24
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    I do a lot of smooshing and puddling, but I love the suspension idea. Noodling that one over for my own workspace in the future.
    “Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” ~Scott Adams

    Piecefully,
    Lisa

  25. #25
    Senior Member cavmom's Avatar
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    i agree with madquilter. I divide the quilt into quarters and work from the center out. That way only half the quilt is puddled under the arm of the machine. You also need a surface big enough to support the quilt so that it's not hanging off the table and not letting you smoothly move the quilt under the needle.
    Last edited by cavmom; 01-11-2018 at 03:59 PM.

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