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Thread: I am a Scaredy Cat!!!!!

  1. #1
    Junior Member lisajane's Avatar
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    I love to quilt both hand and SORTA machine. I have made lap quilts by both methods. I have got quite a few tops that I have pieced by machine, BUT my problem is I am so affraid of machine quilting, it is awkward, I have a tendency to get tucks on the back that need to be seam rippered, and it is so bulky. Is there a good method for machine quilting? I have took some classes over the years, but by the time it is time to quilt it, you take it home to finish. I would love to be confident when it comes to machine quilting, but I am just not. I see some beautiful free style quilting but I get all nervy when I go to do it, I do not know why. I guess the thought of completing a whole quilt only to find 10 tucks on the back that need to be ripped out makes my stomach churn. Anybody got any sure fire solutions, I do baste, but to no avail.

  2. #2
    Power Poster sueisallaboutquilts's Avatar
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    I'm also a scaredy cat!! I will watch this post. I've always hand quilted.

  3. #3
    Super Member Crqltr's Avatar
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    I had the same problem, now I clamp my backing, bat and the top to my quilt table and use a lot of pins to keep it from shifting. Works better for me that way.

  4. #4
    Super Member Buckeye Rose's Avatar
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    Have you tried spray basting instead of pinning? I am rather new to the process, but I have never had any issues of tucks on the backside using spray. As long as you start with a smooth backing, you will end up with a smooth backing!

  5. #5
    Super Member leatheflea's Avatar
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    Do I have to tell the story of the little engine that could?

  6. #6
    Junior Member lisajane's Avatar
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    I have bought spray basteing, but never used it. I don't know why, but I just haven't. Does it make your material hard for your needles to sew?

  7. #7
    Super Member almostfree's Avatar
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    This is an interesting topic....I will continue to watch, too, because I am NOT good at FMQ and have also found tucks on some of my things. UGh! It does make your stomach churn. Have never tried spray basting.....might have to try it.

  8. #8
    Junior Member lisajane's Avatar
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    I think I can, I think I can. LOL

  9. #9
    Super Member Gramie bj's Avatar
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    When I started to machine quilt my instructer told us there should be no more than 4 inches between any two pins. It is a lot easier to remove a couple of extra pins than to use the ripper.

  10. #10
    Super Member dublb's Avatar
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    Try spray basting. Also try some practice quilts to build your confidence. I've mostly done just SID & the spray basting has worked fine for that. Now I'm practicing for my new DGS quilt. I want to do some swirls.

  11. #11
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    I have used the spray basting stuff to hold the quilt in place while I pin it.

    I don't have a sure fire thing, all I know is practice, practice, practice. Believe me, I'm still in the practicing stage.

  12. #12
    Super Member sewNso's Avatar
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    lots of basting pins.
    roll your quilt in towards the center from both sides.
    so you are working with just about 12" at the most.
    do that 12" the length of the quilt.
    WEAR QUILTING GLOVES.
    if you can, flip the quilt over your shoulder.
    YOU NEED A QUILTING FLAT SERVICE AROUND YOUR MACHING of at least 2' to the left of your machine, and a ft behind your machine. if i forget to put my quilting table up around my machine, forget it. it just doesn't seem to work.
    GO SLOW.
    STRAIGHT LINE quilting was my lst learning way.
    Be sure and clean your machine and the bobbin area out before you start.
    follow the directions that came with your machine for quilting. stitch length. stitch selection. foot, feed dogs up or down, etc.
    practice on like baby quilts lst.
    if i can do it. you can.

  13. #13
    Junior Member lisajane's Avatar
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    Thank you, Sewnso. i will give it a try.

  14. #14
    Super Member RenaB's Avatar
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    Start small to get comfortable and then grow from there. Start with a block. Then grow to two, then three, and so on.

    You are nervous because u do not want to mess up a topper that took forever. 1 - 3 blocks take no time, no big loss so no worries to make u nervous.

    Use lots of pins and take your time. Afterall, Rome was not built in a day.

    Good luck and happy practicing

  15. #15
    Senior Member shnnn's Avatar
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    Absolutely love spray basting - haven't had any tucks with it, and no problems sewing through it. If you set up another table or ironing board at a 90* angle to your machine on your left to hold the weight of the quilt it help immensely as well. And for me -- no straight lines! I cannot SITD at all, total fail!

  16. #16
    Super Member jillnjo's Avatar
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    I really like spray basting-it works for me and it means I'm not taking pins out all of the time. A really small quilt I may still pin. I've never had a problem with tucks on the back, not sure why. It's truly all about practicing and I have done a lot of making designs on paper with a pencil to get the feel of the design I'm planning on quilting. A lot of table space is almost a must to keep the quilt from pulling as you sew. Use matching thread and it covers lots of goofs! Keep on keeping on!

  17. #17
    Junior Member dallen4350's Avatar
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    I don't spray base. I have so many allergies that I don't even want to go there. I do pin, a LOT. I bought all the pins in Walmart... twice. Although my "Complete Idiots Guide" book said to pin every 6", I did more like 3".

    When making the sandwich, I taped backing down tightly (but not stretched). Then added the batting and top. Taped that a bit too.

    I'm not great, but never get tucks in the back. I started with SID. (Okay, I must admit, it sometimes became stitch NEAR the ditch.) But eventually did free motion on a baby's quilt. (Echoing the dinosaurs.) I must admit, I bought 3 yards of the cheapest cotton fabric in Walmart and the cheapest batting and three yards of muslin for the backing. Then I practiced. I never did well with formal pattern like feathers, but then I can't draw with a pin and paper. I do a pretty nice meander now after all that practicing.

    Don't give up and good luck.

  18. #18
    Super Member sewcrafty's Avatar
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    When I was working on a king size, I was petrified that I would have puckers. Was using a DSM. First, I sprayed all my layers together and then I hand basted. Say one long straight stitch and then a short one to the left. Sort of like a zig zag and repeated with the long. The puppy didn't shift at all.

    If I ever do another one that size, I'm sure going to do it that way again.

  19. #19
    Super Member Dina's Avatar
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    I find that putting my ironing board next to my sewing machine, on the left perpendicular, helps me tremendously. The weight of the quilt can be on the ironing board, and it gives me a "fighting chance" against gravity. I also do a lot of SID and cross stitch. I use blue painter's tape as a guide for cross stitch.

    Maybe these hints can help you? I started off hating machine quilting, but now I find it very satisfying. I also use batting that allows up to ten inches between stitches. I don't like lots of stitching messing up my patterns. :)

  20. #20
    Super Member sewNso's Avatar
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    and my easiest, favorite stitch is an opposing loops.
    And i like larger quilting also. it's not a nice soft quilt to me, if there is a lot of real close stitching.

  21. #21
    Junior Member Kim T's Avatar
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    I spray baste and then put in about 10 pins at corners and a few other places to hold the shape. I have tried just pinning or just basting and like this method better and have not had any creases in material.

  22. #22
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Spray basting helps a lot to prevent puckers. Heavy starching also helps. I always use a heavy starch solution on the backing fabric before layering (1:1 solution of Sta-Flo and water), and also use spray starch on the top. Starch stabilizes the fabric to prevent it from distorting while you handle it.

    You might want to try wavy lines using a walking foot. This is a really easy way to machine quilt with no worries about stitch length or staying exactly on a line or in a ditch. You can even do wavy lines in both directions to create wavy cross-hatching. Try it on a large practice sandwich; you might like it!

  23. #23
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    There is a you tube video of sandwiching with 2 boards. The says if u do this there r no puckers!!! I just sandwiched a panel am going to try it!!

  24. #24
    Senior Member Aquarius's Avatar
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    Me t oo. I find it awkward to machine quilt a big quilt with my home machine. I'm afraid of screwing it up after all the work I put into it. So I do hand quilting. It takes longer but I feel more comfortable with it. I am thinking of try quilt as you go. It would be so much easier to just quilt one square at a time then sew it together. Maybe my next project.

  25. #25
    Junior Member Cattyqwltr's Avatar
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    Ever since my husband bought me an open toe foot for my machine, I have fallen in love with FMQ. Couple of suggestions that I have learned the hard way. First, spray basting is the way to go. It doesn't make it harder to sew and will wash out, but it does a wonderful job of keeping the layers together. Secondly, if you are new to this, I would suggest starting with a smaller project so there is less fabric to move around. And third, practice, practice, practice. Have fun with what you're doing and your skill will get better over time.

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