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Thread: Just curious...quilt tops?

  1. #1
    Senior Member momto4's Avatar
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    I am wondering if there are others out there like me who have quilt tops DONE but do not have the machine to quilt them nor the money to pay to have others quilt them. I bought the supplies to give hand quilting a go, with the prices of fabric going up as well now I honestly have no idea how I will afford to quilt. It is actually a quite depressing thought. I read other ladies saying they have enough to last years...gosh I think I have enough fabric to last MAYBE 3 months if I stretch it. I cant imagine paying to have it quilted on top of that. What are you guys going to do? Pile up or learn to hand quilt?

  2. #2
    Moderator Jim's Gem's Avatar
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    I have never paid to have a quilt quilted. Though I have one I am doing for my bed a super queen sized one that I am considerng sending out. I can't afford to send mine all out.
    I machine quilt all of my quilts on a regular machine. They are quilted a little more simply than if they were done on a long arm, but i have finished many queen size as well as smaller

  3. #3
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    Why can't you quilt it by machine yourself? What makes your machine unable to do it?

  4. #4
    Moderator Jim's Gem's Avatar
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    I do have quite a pile of finished tops waiting for me to get them quilted.
    I am not going to hand quilt, I do not have the time.
    many of us quilt our quilts on regular sized machines. Most of the one's I have quilted I have either stitched in the ditch or have done diagonal quilting across the quilt in lines.
    You ought to re-think about quilting on your sewing machine!!

  5. #5
    Senior Member humbird's Avatar
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    Well, I know an awful lot of people machine quilt on thier regular home sewing machine, and get along just fine. I personally am not very good at it. I have hand quilted almost all of my quilts. Hand quilting is not difficult to learn, but time consuming. Then there is the option of tying the quilt. If you have a quiltling buddy, you could have a "tying party" You might also consider the quilt-as-you-go method. I have done a few of those. I have never sent a quilt out to be done, and never will, but I respect those who do. And I surely do respect the quilters who do the quilting. I have seen some beautiful quilting done by them. You CAN do this. Just find what works for you. Good luck.
    Humbird

  6. #6
    Senior Member momto4's Avatar
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    My machine is a really cheap one from walmart without a.. walking foot? I think that is what someone told me I need to quilt. I did quilt a baby blanket for my niece but it was tiny and just did stitch in the ditch and it turned out fairly well I think lol. Most of the quilt tops I make are queen or very nearly anyhow. My family doesnt really use the smaller ones very much. Well no one except me I use lap quilts when I watch tv since I am always chilly.

  7. #7
    Senior Member momto4's Avatar
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    humbird I am a part time student and stay at home mom so I DO have quite a bit of free time (well more than most people anyhow) I just do not have anyone to learn from and have been quite intimidated by trying it but I think economy is forcing my hand (no pun intended) and I will try and give it a go!

  8. #8
    Super Member SherriB's Avatar
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    I would love to have all the tops I have made quilted by a long armer but could never afford it. I just do the best I can on my machine. I have had a couple special quilts done and it wasn't to expensive. It was $64 for two throw sized quilts.

  9. #9
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    Momto 4..Walmart machines are nice too. I started on one and still use one so I don't have to change out my walking feet. And you can get a walking foot for it too. Read your maual and check. Joann's has several. I have at least 40+ quilt tops I machine quilted and 12 that I hand quilted. I send the ones for machine quilting to be done by friends and pay 45.00 per top. However, I am a handquilter and I do all my own. Word got out so I get called to handquilt for people all the time and I do. I charge according to how big, the amount of stitching I need to do to make it beautiful..and then I consider who it is for. My seniors cannot afford a lot and the young ones with kids can't. You do what you can and when you can. You can take an online machine quilting lesson and there is a good book for it to. Sorry this is so long. Take a smaller quilt and try to machine quilt it. You do not have to have a walking foot. Years ago we did with what we had. Now they want us to spend more money. Happy quilting

  10. #10
    Power Poster cjomomma's Avatar
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    Hi Momto4, I also have a WM brother machine that I paid $59.00 for 2 yrs ago and I use it for everything, it is my favorite machine. I to am starting to give quilting a try. So far just SID but over time I think I will be able to try other styles. Go ahead and try it. I too do not have a walking foot because I can not afford it. Just use what you have and go for it. You will never know if it will work for you if you don't try.

  11. #11
    Senior Member humbird's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by momto4
    humbird I am a part time student and stay at home mom so I DO have quite a bit of free time (well more than most people anyhow) I just do not have anyone to learn from and have been quite intimidated by trying it but I think economy is forcing my hand (no pun intended) and I will try and give it a go!
    Hand quilting is so relaxing. I'm sure you would enjoy it once you get started. I was self taught, but now days there is so much on the internet that I'm sure with a search it could get you started. Your stitches may not be perfect to start with, (mine are still not, and I've been doing it for maybe 40 years!) but as said many times here on the board, there are no quilt police. All I can say is "just do it!!"

  12. #12
    Power Poster CarrieAnne's Avatar
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    I wish you were closer, I'd help you hand quilt! I love it too, it is relaxing. Mine isnt the best, but I enjoy doing it.

  13. #13
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    Do you have a quilt guild in your area? I'm sure some of ladies there would love to help you learn how to hand quilt.

  14. #14
    Super Member Oklahoma Suzie's Avatar
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    I have some ready to go, I want to learn to machine quilt.

  15. #15
    Super Member katier825's Avatar
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    You might be able to get a generic walking foot that isn't too expensive. I've seen them under $20. I am planning on doing just the tops during the summer because it's too hot here in FL to be under it quilting. Once it starts cooling off again, I'll do the quilting on the larger ones. Baby quilts or small things I'll still go ahead and quilt.

    Start with stitch in the ditch or 1/4" away from the seams and work yourself up to the free motion. The more you do, the more comfortable you get with it. :)

  16. #16
    Super Member pollyjvan9's Avatar
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    I have a LOT of tops that need to be quilted. It is just so much more fun to me to piece the tops, but at some point you have to get them quilted. I taught myself to free motion quilt by checking books out of the library and watching tutorials on the computer. I have gotten to the point where I am pretty satisfied with my work. It won't win prizes at the quilt shows, but I don't intend to enter any!

    I started out using a quilting foot and stitched in the ditch. This got pretty boring, that is why I changed to free motion. I started out with a loop-de-loop design because I could draw that real easy. then went to things like loop & star and leaves and flowers and water, etc. It really isn't hard unless you want perfection like the prize winners. I can quilt a twin size in about 2 days and a small table topper in a couple of hours. Saves hundreds of dollars! And the project is ALL MINE!

    Good luck whichever route you take.

  17. #17
    Super Member I go To The Sea To Breathe's Avatar
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    I will try hand quilting as long as my hands hold up.

  18. #18
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    Can you find an add-on walking foot for the machine? The ones I have done SID were completed on a regular-sized machine. Usually, I roll the quilt sandwich to the center and sew one line at a time until one side is finished. (I make sure that the sandwich is nice and tight to avoid puckers.) Then I turn it around and roll the other side. It is definitely do-able.

  19. #19
    Super Member Maride's Avatar
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    You tube has tons of videos that can help you learn how to do it. I am self taught by reading and watching videos. In a couple of years you will look back at this message and laugh. I joined a guild to learn to quilt and took a class on machine quilting with my 20 years old Kenmore. I walked out of the class in tears because the machine wasn't helping and I didn't get it. Today I teach specialized techniques on machine quilting. Just don't give up. As for stash, keep an eye open. Opportunity appears when you are not expecting. Either a post on the classifieds here, going to you local thrift shop, yard sales, etc. Find your local frecycle (www.freecycle.org) and join. You may find someone giving away fabric or post asking for it. Sometimes people has it, they just don't think that anyone needs or wants it. Good luck.

  20. #20
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    You can buy a universal walking foot for your cheap Wal-mart machine. I did. It makes straight line quilting easier. I also bought a FMQ foot for it. They were about $12 each. I can even do a sort of respectable FMQ now. Quilting gloves ($4 at Joann's) really helped, too.

    Give it a try. I'm pretty sure Wal-mart doesn't sell a junkier machine than mine and I can do at least 52 x 72. That's the biggest I've tried.

  21. #21
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    Momto4, before I got my longarm machine I hand quilted my quilts. I was working full time outside the home, but would set aside 30 minutes every evening before bedtime to relax and quilt. It took about 4 months to quilt full size quilts by hand. When the grandkids came along, I wanted my quilts done quicker so I quilted them on my domestic machine (a little Kemmore that I gave $75 for new. No walking foot) Have you considered the "quilt as you go method"? or "strip quilting" where you layer the backing, batting and maybe 1/3 of the top and quilt it before adding another 1/3 or so of the top to the backing and batting. Making a little less bulk to handle.

  22. #22
    Super Member IrishNY's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by momto4
    humbird I am a part time student and stay at home mom so I DO have quite a bit of free time (well more than most people anyhow) I just do not have anyone to learn from and have been quite intimidated by trying it but I think economy is forcing my hand (no pun intended) and I will try and give it a go!
    I was a mom to 4 at one time (while I guess I still am except they are older now) and I didn't have ANY free time. I must have been doing something wrong. :-D :-D :-D

  23. #23
    Power Poster erstan947's Avatar
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    My first 8 or 9 quilts I tied. This is a very good alternative to regular quilting. The quilts I make are to sleep under and wash often. Try different ways and see what works best for you.

  24. #24
    thismomquilts's Avatar
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    I have never had any of my quilts machine quilted - just can't afford it. I have handquilted all my work. Practice, practice, practice... you'll be good before you know it!

  25. #25
    Super Member quilt queen 2's Avatar
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    I have a cheap machine from sears that I do all my free motion quilting with I bought a generic quilting foot and walking foot taped over the dogs for free motion and it works great. I have a computerised machine also with a 100 stitches alphabet etc but I can't free motion with it. I bought the feet from a local Singer store I practice on 12 inch squqre befor doing a big quilt the use these mini practice squares for the inside of potholders I have done several quen quilts this way

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