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Thread: Machine quilting advice

  1. #1
    Member sewingjunkie's Avatar
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    I'm moving on to my next level!! I'm ready to take on free motion quilting using my Singer 301. I have 4 baby quilts ready & all will be donated to Quilts for Kids. I've free motioned totes and a few other smaller projects, so am aquainted with the process, but quilting a larger piece has me NERVOUS.
    There is so much I don't know: Should I start in the middle? Should I pin? Should I hand baste? on & on.....

    Any advice you are willing to share will be "sew" appreciated.

  2. #2
    np3
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    Power Poster np3's Avatar
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    All of the above! I pin first, then hand baste. It is the way I learned and I can't change. I don't use the basting spray, but a lot of quilters do use it with great success.

    Starting in the center is the best way to go, also the way I learned. Good luck!

  3. #3
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    I pin baste then start in middle,

  4. #4
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    I was told to start in the middle and divide the quilt into 4ths and do a 4th at a time.

  5. #5
    Super Member mhunt1717's Avatar
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    I use the basting spray, and love it! Start in the middle and work out; I work outward in a spiral. Good luck!

  6. #6
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    Sandwich some scraps first and practice to get your speed right. Quilters gloves help you grip the fabric and have a bit more control. Don't let your quilt hang over the sides of the table, make it all sit on your table so it doesn't weigh the quilt down. (Not so important on a baby quilt but it could get caught on your table edge. Most important, have fun!!!!

  7. #7
    Senior Member sewgray's Avatar
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    Chewing gum. It helps you concentrate and get the rhythm.

  8. #8
    Power Poster feline fanatic's Avatar
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    After getting Harriett Hargraves and Diane Gaudinski's machine quilting books I learned this great tip... Both recommend, after pin basting, SID to help stablize the quilt for FMQ. I tried it and it made a world of difference. You can take out the pins once you have SID a grid which makes the quilt much lighter and easier to move for FMQ. Say you have 12" finished pieced blocks. You only need to SID around the blocks not on each element within the block.

    Oh and when SID, they both recommend doing all your horizontal lines before doing any vertical (or vice-versa, do all vertical then all horizontal)

    Start in the middle and work your way out. As you work to the ends it gets easier becasue you don't have all that bulk in the throat of the machine.

    They also stress a good work area where you can sit comfortably and pay attention to how you hold your arms so you don't fall into the bad habit of raising those elbows up like bird wings which lead to stiff neck and fatigue.

  9. #9
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    WOW . love the advice.... i think I will print for future reference. thank you

  10. #10
    Super Member GrammaNan's Avatar
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    I turn my machine sideways with the foot and needle towards me and the right side of the machine to the back. I don't have to worry so much about throat space. It took a little time to get used to it. I fumbled with the new location of the pressure foot lifter and the wheel at the back but once I got used to it, FMQ was so much easier.

  11. #11
    Member sewingjunkie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrammaNan
    I turn my machine sideways with the foot and needle towards me and the right side of the machine to the back. I don't have to worry so much about throat space. It took a little time to get used to it. I fumbled with the new location of the pressure foot lifter and the wheel at the back but once I got used to it, FMQ was so much easier.
    Oh my...what a concept....very cool! What machine do you use? If I turned my 301 sideways, yes the front of the needle would be towards me (some of my other machines thread front to back).However, I have it in a cabinet that has 2 folding panels when open, 1 on each side. The side that I would be sewing against is the smaller of the 2, so it may be managable I think. I am short & absolutely need my machine in a cabinet, situated flush. Out of the cabinet & on a standard height table it's just too high & for sure not comfortable for FMQ.

    I love & appreciate all the advice. I will for sure be chewing some gum!

  12. #12
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    I am currently enrolled in a machine quilting class (8 sessions) and we are sort of following along in the Machine Quilting made Easy book. Even the tie-on and tie-off process was totally new to me and I am very much looking forward to learning more.

    http://www.amazon.com/Machine-Quilti...5716186&sr=1-2

  13. #13
    Super Member tjradj's Avatar
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    There is a teflon mat called a "supreme slider" that I use when FMQ on my domestic machine. It reduces the friction of the quilt on the sewing machine bed. Now I won't quilt without it - it makes that much difference.
    I pin baste. That way I can adjust it a bit if one layer pulls in more than the other. With regular basting, I don't have that flexibility. I don't use basting spray.
    Good luck with your quilting!

  14. #14
    Member mamasuze's Avatar
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    I use the teflon Supreme Slider and it really does make a difference in helping the quilt slide. Make sure you have plenty of table space to the left and to the back of your machine to take the weight of your quilt. Any time the weight of the quilt is dragging it down, your quilting will suffer.

    I use safety pins and don't baste. If you're doing a fairly large quilting pattern, you can quilt around the pins without having to remove them. I've done a meandering pattern and just made a loop around the pins. I've done SID and made sure to put the pins in places that I knew I wouldn't be quilting. Not removing the pins saves a lot of time, but you have to be sure to stay well back from the pins so they don't catch on your darning foot.

    Good luck!

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