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Machine Quilting

Old 01-21-2018, 09:22 AM
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Default Machine Quilting

I am a relatively new quilter. What are your recommendations for instructions on beginning machine quilting? Books, classes, whatever might be helpful. Piecing is going well, but need help on the actual quilting.
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Old 01-21-2018, 09:29 AM
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all of the ones above and lots of practice
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Old 01-21-2018, 09:53 AM
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I have found that practicing with smaller pieces has made all the difference. It's much easier to handle smaller pieces to get the hang of the quilting process and what your preferences are.
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Old 01-21-2018, 10:10 AM
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My biggest recommendation is to "Just Start"!

Whether you are doing FMQing or Straight Line Quilting,
it's all about ... practice, practice, practice ...
Don't fret too much if it is not as perfect as you want it to be.
Then ... practice, practice, practice ... more!

I'll agree with ASabrinao to a point ... work with smaller pieces, but not too small.
At first I was doing smaller pieces and then discovered I did better with larger.
Why you might ask?
With a small piece you are running "off the edge" and having to deal with that constantly.
The more "Wide Open Spaces" of a 24" or 30" square,
gives you a chance to FMQ without running out of space.

Another suggestion ... Keep notes!
I keep a small notebook with the name of the project and date at the top of the page.
Then I list tension, stitch length/width, stitch #, thread kind/size/colour, needle make/size,
batting type and any other pertinent data.
When I do a similar project, I start with those same settings.
They may get changed, but it is a starting point ... and I note the changes.

Last edited by QuiltE; 01-21-2018 at 10:13 AM.
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Old 01-21-2018, 10:11 AM
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I've gotten a lot of help from Youtube videos.
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Old 01-21-2018, 12:25 PM
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Lots on YouTube as already mentioned and Craftsy has a lot of great classes covering all aspects of quilting. They run sales regularly and are inexpensive relative to going out to a class.
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Old 01-21-2018, 12:42 PM
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Leah Day has a lot of how to videos. See if your local quilt shop offers lessons.
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Old 01-21-2018, 02:18 PM
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for ideas on what to quilt, check out Leah Day and The Inbox Jaunt come to mind. Leah has more designs and Lori Kennedy/Inbox Jaunt has more motifs.

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Old 01-21-2018, 02:33 PM
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GLoves are a must. I use garden gloves that have some vinyl "grippy-ness" to them. Otherwise your hands will not be able to hold onto the fabric without slipping around and messing up your stitches.

1. Sometimes fast is better than slow stitching. Find a pace that you like.
2. Relax your hold. No death grip on the fabric. If you are tense, you take the "free" out of "Free motion." LOL
3. Use fabric that's either solid or tone or tone on at least the top side so you can see your work. Plain muslin or just whatever you're fine practicing on.
4. Watch youtube till you find someone whose method, voice, style, and pace you enjoy and can learn from. THere are some good teachers out there.
5. Get a very large scribble pad--biggest, cheapest you can find, then take a marker and doodle some designs as you watch the youtube videos. There is no substitute for practice--eventually you will have muscle memory.
6. You will have ugly, uneven, messy, crazy, wacky stitches on your first several tries. That's okay. It's normal. It's a learning curve. But the more you doodle, the easier you can transfer to machine. The more you practice on ugly fabric, the better you'll get and the more confident you'll become. Eventually you will find yourself having fun. Push past the uncomfortable, awkward, ugly, tense phases of not liking the process until you realize you are liking it .
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Old 01-21-2018, 02:55 PM
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I highly recommend using a walking foot for your first quilt. I also recommend making wavy lines (rather than straight lines). You can do them all in one direction, or do cross-hatching. This is a very modern approach to quilting on a domestic machine, tends to look very good, and is probably the easiest to do. There are many different designs you can make with a walking foot, but this is a good way to start. I do not recommend trying to free-motion quilt your very first quilt, and also definitely recommend against doing stitch-in-the-ditch. These are all things you can try later. By starting with a walking foot you will be free to learn how to handle the quilt under the arm of the machine and notice many other things -- such as how your quilting setup works, whether your quilt needs additional support, etc.

Google "quilting with a walking foot" to find a number of online tutorials and examples to help you get started. Do a similar Google and click on "images" to get an idea of the number of different designs that are possible with a walking foot. I just do not recommend choosing a design that requires turning the quilt (e.g., spirals or straight-line triangles) as that will add a lot of work you really don't need to be doing on your first attempt.

Do you know how to sandwich a quilt? That is the most important thing to do well before sitting down to sew. There are many different methods. My recommendation, before you start sandwiching, is to heavily starch both the top and the backing. This stabilizes the layers so you are less likely to get puckers and tucks. I like spray basting, but you need to see some tutorials on the proper way to do it. If you just tackle it without a methodology you can end up looking like a snow bear. If you haven't already, use the "search" function at the upper right of this quilting board to find interesting conversations about spray basting, sandwiching, etc. And remember, Google is your friend.

(Off to watch football now......)
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