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Thread: how to machine quilt???

  1. #1
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    Hi there, I just got a new (new to me 2 years old) Juki machine, TL98Q How do you go about quiltling on it? with all the pins on your quilt and starting in the middle it seems like a very stressful thing and I want it to be as fun as putting the top together. By the way I dont have a frame and don't know when I will be able to get one as we are on a fixed income like so many others. I read this everyday, you gals are the GREATEST...
    Thanks Marge

  2. #2
    community benefactor Knot Sew's Avatar
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    I have not machine quilted but I guess it all comes down to basting or to removing pins as you go. A lot of people use a spray adhesive to hold the layers together. good luck

  3. #3

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    I am in the middle of machine quilting an oversize lap quilt. I basted it first with big basting stitches and started quilting stitch in ditch on the straight lines. That keeps it together along with the basting. Now doing fancy stitches. Its getting there and almost done. YES! I never use a frame. NJBarb

  4. #4
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    Marge, I normally "stabilize" the quilt by doing stitch in the ditch through all the main vertical and horizontal lines. Then I start with the fun stuff, unless I'm going to stitch in the ditch the entire quilt.

    It is daunting the first couple of times you do it, but after awhile you will find it easier.

    You might pick up a book on learning to machine quilt, they're very helpful if you don't have anyone around to advise you. Being fulltime in an RV, I've learned everything I know from books, DVD's and emails with help from generous helpful quilters.

    Good luck!

  5. #5
    Shari1967's Avatar
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    I just purchased a book (Better Homes & Gardens Complete Guide to Quilting - highly recommend it) and for machine quilting they suggest evenly rolling or folding the quilt and using clips to hold that in place. It says that most quilt shops carry these clips for this purpose. I've not machine quilted yet, but when I try I'm going to try it this way.

    Good luck!

  6. #6

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    hi ruth are tou talking about a commercial machine for doing quilts?

  7. #7

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    Hi I am a machine quilter I do all mine pushing the fabric around under the needle (not moving the machine over the quilt) I usually pin or spray baste. I don't like to hand base, it takes too long and if you sew over your basting stitches they can be very hard to get out. The first thing I recomend if you are going to be doing a large quilt is to get your machine into a flat top cabinet or table. I find it almost impossible to quilt with my machine on top of a table. The quilt does not move the way I want it to because I cannot possition my hands to control it going up and over the bed on a table top. It does need to be pretty good size ( mine is 36 x 54) to support the weight of the quilt, you can really wear your self out struggling to manuver a quilt around without proper support. I am out of time, but will share an inexpensive idea for building your owan table that has worked well for me as well as several of my friends in our quilt group.

  8. #8

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    Hi Ruth Can't wait to find out about that table.I to am a machine quilter and find it really hard to handle big quilts Quilter

  9. #9

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    Hi again I am going to try to explain my quilting table to you. It will require a little help from some one with some basic carpender skills to help you out.
    The first thing is to find a large solid surface for your top, no table with leaves. (as I said mine is 36 by 54) I found mine at a discount furniture store in their back room of dammaged goods (the legs had been broken in shipping) the top was also a little scratch but solid oak. They charged me $25.00 for it.
    One of my friends went to a counter top place and asked for their dammaged goods and found a top that was perfect for her smaller room (30 by 48) Another friend went to a going out of business sale and found a farm house table ( solid wood top no leaves) with no chairs for only $75.00.
    You may need to take a day for a scavenger hunt but I'm sure you can find something.
    My top needed legs and I found that microwave carts were just the right height for me. I found two (also on sale) and attached them to the bottom.
    One of my friend used banquet table legs (from Low's) so she could fold it up and store it if she ever needed to. Another friend used short file cabinets.You may get creative and think of some other ideas that will work for you.
    The last but most imporant step is getting the machine down into the table top. You will need to build a box ( I used plywood) out of something very sturdy to support your machine. The depth is critical, it needs to be the depth of your machine bed minus the thickness of your top. It should also be about 2 inches larger than your machine all the way around.
    I wanted the right side of the machine about 8 inches from the right side of the table and 7 inches in from the front. This is your own decision. If you aren't sure go to a place that sells sewing cabnets a sit at several and take note of the placement of the opening.
    When you are sure put masking tape on the top where you want your machine, then place the machine on top of the tape and trace around it with a marker.( This works best if your machine is a flat bed not a free arm.) If you have a free arm you will need an insert to fill in around the free arm, this can be ordered from your sewing machine dealer. If you do need to do this the traced line will be aroung the insert not the machine.
    Now the final step it to have the hole cut out on the traced line. This needs to be done by someone who knows what they are doing. I took mine to a local carpender who does counter top cut outs for sinks. You will need to take note of where you cords come out of the machine. I had the hole cut about 2 inchs wider on the right side so I could feed the cord down under the lable and not have them up on top in the way.
    Now attach the box you built under the hole and you are ready to set the machine in and quilt.
    The other thing I did was to put about 3 coats of poly varnish on my top and waxed so it is really slick, it makes moving the quilt around so much easier. My total cost was under $100.00. Some of the cabinets I looked at were in the thousands. Good luck

  10. #10
    Moderator kathy's Avatar
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    OR... your husband can build it out of good grade 3/4 plywood and put formica on top. Mine should be ready when I get home from work today and I'm very excited. ( Ibought my legs at Lowe's)

  11. #11
    Super Member mar32428's Avatar
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    I had the same problems, Marge. I finally learned to stabilize my quilt with pins which I hated. I also tried basting, which I hated. I used my regular machine with a short throat. That's the space from needle to machine body. I finally used the ping pong table to hold all that fabric. Finally decided that I had to have a quilting frame and machine. I'm also on a fixed income and started out with Flynn's frame. Too cunbersome. I finally got a frame made by Grace and I'm in seventh heaven. And it didn't break my bank. The pleasure I get from quilting now more than pays for it. If you do a lot of quilting, consider it.

  12. #12
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    Please tell more about your new Grace frame. Which one did you get, what size of quilts can you do etc. I have been looking at them online, and am very interested.

  13. #13
    Super Member mar32428's Avatar
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    Hi Kathy, I bought the full length machine frame on line. I got the full size one because I have room to set it up permanently and it cost $650. You have to assemble it yourself but that is a breeze tho time consuming. I can quilt anything up to a king size. It is the best frame I have every seen in that price range. The wood is excellent and all the holes and screws fit where they are supposed to. It helps if you have a friend (husband?) to help you hold things. It has the third rail so you don't have to put your filling on the floor.
    I use a Jenome sewing machine with a nine inch throat for sewing. I had to practice awhile till I got the hang of it but wouldn't have it any other way now. Let me know if you have any more questions. Marion

  14. #14
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    Thanks so much for the info Marion. I am reeaally eyeing the Grace frames. Does yours take up much room? It is hard to tell by the dimensions how much room they actually take up when all set up. Also do you like most of the designs it does? Thanks again. I bet you are just loving it.

  15. #15
    Super Member mar32428's Avatar
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    Hi Kathy, My Gracie is 9 1/2 feet long and needs a depth of about five to six feet for working room. As I said before, it will take a king size quilt. I bought it from Kathy's Quilts on ebay. I couldn't have been happier about their shipping etc. I even called them before I ordered and they happily answered all my questions. A year later the company came out with ball bearing roller wheels and Kathy emaiiled me. I ordered them and had delivery within a week. Any questions emailed are answered immediately. Check out the Grace company on line to see all the models and attachments. I think they make a class AA product. Marion

  16. #16
    Super Member mar32428's Avatar
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    I forgot something. Since I'm still a novice quilter, most of my actual quilring is either in the ditch or
    stippling or meandering. There is a stylus you can ad which I have, to trace paper designs but I haven't graduated to that level yet. I'm 79 years old and had to have some body parts fixed up which slowed me down a bit. I'm going on a 2 week vacation soon so will take the next step when I return. Marion

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