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How Do You stitch on oversized quilts?

How Do You stitch on oversized quilts?

Old 01-06-2023, 06:27 AM
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Default How Do You stitch on oversized quilts?

I've been sewing quilts for a number of years and for whatever reason, they seem to be the queen and king sized so huge. My machine is on a stationary table up against the wall and nope, there is no place else I can move her either. My basement is my sewing room and it's filled to the gills.

Anyway, by the time I get all the blocks together to make the body of the quilt, it's starting to get troublesome to get it thru the machine for each row. Then once you get to the sashings and borders, you're really having problems to push it thru the machine without it dragging on the floor.

So for now while it's still on the cutting table and I've got the next whatever pinned to be stitched on, I've folded the body of the quilt starting in the center outward enough so I can still sew. It's folded widthwise and then again lengthwise so it can be either on my lap or on the side table. I unfold it as it goes thru the machine and then try to fold it again once it's thru so it's not all bunched up behind the machine. I started pinning these folds to keep the folds in tact while it's being pushed thru the machine and then turn it around, fold it up lengthwise again to stitch the other side. Hope this is understandable.

Anyway, does any one have ideas how to do it easier than this or am I doing it about the only way possible? I keep telling myself I need to make smaller quilts as I know they're so much easier but my recipents always seem to want the larger ones so I keep doing it.
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Old 01-06-2023, 06:37 AM
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One thing I’ve learned is there’s only one bed in this house. I don’t make king/queen size anymore.

When I did have king/queen I quilted by check.
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Old 01-06-2023, 07:36 AM
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the last large one i did was in three sections, then joined. But i won't do that again either. I'm not making huge quilts again-unless I can ever afford to have it done by a long armer!
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Old 01-06-2023, 07:42 AM
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I would say put tables around. They don't have to be permanent. ( I have an ironing board behind my table the same height and a table to the left) and a Brother PQ1500 and I can manage a pretty big quilt. I start at the center and work out. The tables support things such as borders and bindings.
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Old 01-06-2023, 07:48 AM
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I'm a larger quilt lover. I have hand issues and its just too much to keep struggling with a large quilt over and over again. I pretty much only make Queen size quilts. So how I do it, is to do 'Quilt As you Go".

So, so much easier. The only two bigger (bigger parts of the quilt) sewing on it are: 1. When attaching rows, but I just start with the first row and follow through so that all of the weight of the quilt is on the left side, either on my sewing table with the overhang on a chair beside me. And, 2. Putting on the binding, which isn't bad because again, I keep the quilt all to the left of me and have a chair supporting the overhang to keep it off the floor and just go around the outside of the quilt. So, I only have to handle the full weight of the quilt very minimally.

Occasionally if I do borders, I'm doing them now with the edge blocks, and blocks on the first and last row for the top and bottom borders. Then when I put the blocks together, the sashing over the border area is the same fabric as the border, and then changes to what fabric I'm doing the sashing for connecting the blocks, or I might even use the same fabric for the connecting sashing as the border fabric as a design element.

Doing the "Quilt as You Go" method, all the twisting and turning with the 'quilting' (I do machine quilting with shaped quilting rulers) is done on each block by itself, before the blocks are attached to each other into a row.

These are the last two "Quilt As You Go" quilts I made. They are bedspread size - on a queen size bed here. I make them big enough for tucking in the pillows as well and have overhang on the sides like a bedspread. (the pillows aren't tucked in on the pictures here, as I left more overhand on the bottom of the bed so the picture would show the top of the quilt.)
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Last edited by quiltsfor; 01-06-2023 at 08:06 AM.
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Old 01-06-2023, 10:08 AM
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I prefer larger quilts as well and I quilt them all on my DSM. It helps to think about quilting 5 inches at a time. It gets over whelming otherwise. Also, allover patterns are not your friend. They are designed for long arm quilting. I usually try to quilt one block at a time and just have that under my needle with the quilt supported by a spare ironing board set up next to my sewing table. I have tried folding and rolling the bulk of the quilt but I think it makes things more difficult. Simple quilting like straight lines is also attractive and easy (ish).
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Old 01-06-2023, 10:09 AM
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Okay you're not taking about quilting it; you've specifically said you're sewing rows together and attaching borders, and I see that you have an Innova longarm listed in your signature. So obviously pulling and shoving a quilt sandwich isn't what you're talking about.

So, brainstorming:
  • Is there another room in your house where you can permanently move your DSM? An unused bedroom that would have enough space for this activity? You don't HAVE to have both your DSM and your longarm in the same room (although it would be nice). Or maybe temporarily use the dining room when you are assembling rows and attaching borders, you might be able to get that done in one day and have the use of the table by dinnertime?
  • Can you use space in your church or at a friend's house? My quilt buddies meet once a month in a friend's metal barn/shop for an all-day sew day, there would be plenty of space for this activity in her shop.
  • You could always tell people no, you can't make king or queen sized quilts anymore.
  • Maybe it's time to clean out the basement. My husband complains that there is no room in the garage for his woodworking projects and other things he wants to do. But there is a ton of crap out there that he refuses to get rid of - a motorcycle that hasn't been licensed in over 10 years, a jetski that nobody will ride, boxes of old hunting clothes that no longer fit him, etc. I told him if he got rid of stuff we no longer use or need, he would have plenty of room but somehow he's emotionally attached to all of it. Sigh. Anyway - is there stuff in your basement that hasn't been touched or used in the last 5 years, and no one would miss it if it went away?
You seem focused mostly on the "how" but I honestly think you would be happier if you simply had more space.
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Old 01-06-2023, 10:50 AM
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Would this help?


You could probably design one similar using parts from the hardware store.
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Old 01-06-2023, 12:52 PM
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I would second using a different space for putting the top together. Perhaps pick up a vintage machine used and keep it upstairs so you can bring it out when needed. I made a king size quilt for our bed using Marti Michell's Quilting in Sections method. You might use it to assemble the blocks in sections and then bring them upstairs and sew them together. Just a thought . . .
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Old 01-06-2023, 01:52 PM
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I know what you mean, I have quilted quite a few big quilts - queen, king and it is a challenge. I have found that I have to pull my sewing machine out (on a table) a little ways so the quilt has room to drape over the side. I put a chair on each side and that works for me. You may not have that much room but this how I handle it. I too have said I am not doing big quilts anymore but this one snuck in as I need a spread for our queen size bed and I want it to cover the mattress and box spring, so it is nearly to the floor. I am using a lot of my fabric as I need to downsize. I just am not into quilting as much as I used to. I am 78 years old and maybe that comes with age. There are other activities I have also lost interest in. So goes life.
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