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Thread: Machine Quilting

  1. #1
    Super Member SuziC's Avatar
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    From looking at the many gorgeous quilts pictured, i wondered about the actual quilting techniques. I know there are hand quilters and machine quilters but i wanted to ask if there are many who still machine quilt with just an average sewing machine? I have seen the long arm quilt machines and will probably never own one nor will i get the expensive computerized ones that quilt for you. I like working one on one with my plain sewing machine to creat the stitching. What are your thoughts on this?

  2. #2
    Super Member katier825's Avatar
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    It can be done. It's easier if your machine has a larger throat, but I did once see a king size that was being quilted on a regular machine. I think it's hard on the shoulders. Everyone finds their own system that works. If you start in the center and work out to the corners, you are dealing with a smaller area. I scrunch it up, rather than roll. I find it easier to control. I now have a Viking Sapphire, with a 9" throat. I've done a 60x80 without much problem. Eventually I'll get around to my queen sized quilt. I don't expect to have a problem. I'll just take my time.

  3. #3
    Power Poster Sadiemae's Avatar
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    I know several quilters in my area who use domestic machines and they do beautiful work. It is just a little different moving the quilt instead of the machine as longarm machines and some midarm machines do.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Ginaky's Avatar
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    Check this website. She does all of her quilting on a Bernina and if I remember right, she told me it was an older one. I've seen her quilts up close and personal and they are absolutely beautiful. She teaches at several LQS in the area.
    http://www.julieylambert.com/index.html
    She really shows what can be done on a regular machine.

  5. #5
    Super Member franie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ginaky
    Check this website. She does all of her quilting on a Bernina and if I remember right, she told me it was an older one. I've seen her quilts up close and personal and they are absolutely beautiful. She teaches at several LQS in the area.
    http://www.julieylambert.com/index.html
    She really shows what can be done on a regular machine.
    Awesome work. Not computerized either!

  6. #6
    Senior Member tortoisethreads's Avatar
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    I have 2 machines I quilt on, a Husqvarna Viking, and a Singer Touch-Tronic. Both have small throat space, but I have done queen size on them!!!

  7. #7
    Super Member Friendly Quilter's Avatar
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    Althought I have a Long Arm I still love quilting on my regular machine. I love making the small flowers the stippling. I just enjoy it. I am think of making a quilt and sm machine quilt each block as I go. I will keep the backing and batting larger than the front the sew them togeather later. I am still in the planning stage, but think it will be fun.

  8. #8
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    i say whatever you want to do you can ,just takes time and practice

  9. #9
    Super Member sidmona's Avatar
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    I use my Juki domestic machine to quilt and have made up to a king without using a frame. It just takes patience and a lot of practice. I scrunch the quilt into the throat, I don't roll it and it seems to work fine for me. I find the quilting very relaxing.

  10. #10
    Super Member grammyp's Avatar
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    I don't have a computerized machine, I like things simple. DH got me a mid-arm and frame for Christmas last year, but for simple straight line quilting I prefer my tabletop Janome.

  11. #11
    Super Member 0tis's Avatar
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    I have only done small baby quilts and lap quilts - its a struggle but can be done. My neighbor has been quilting for a long time and she turns out some beautiful work using her sewing machine...

  12. #12
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    It's possible to do heirloom machine quilting on a regular domestic machine. Harriet Hargrave, Diane Gaudynski, Maureen Noble, and Sharon Schamberg and many other quilters have won prestigious awards without a longarm.

    If the bulk gets too much to handle, there are ways to do a quilt in sections so that the sectioning does not show. Marti Michell has a book on this now, but I first saw the method explained in detail in a book by another quilter (whose name escapes me at the moment; she hasn't published in awhile) who won best of show at Paducah several years in a row.

    For myself, I found it much easier on my body to machine quilt on my domestic machine standing up. (Much easier on the shoulders!) Building a large work surface that is flush with the bed of the sewing machine helps a lot too.

  13. #13
    Super Member sewingladydi's Avatar
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    I hand quilt and also use a 30 yr old Kenmore and a 15 yr old Viking for machine quilting. The big ones are more difficult to manage, but I mostly make smaller (like QFK)quilts

  14. #14
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    You have brought up a subject that I have been thinking about alot lately. I have hand quilted everything I've done until ayear ago when my son got married and I knew I wouldn't be able to get a hand quilted quilt made in time, I am very slow. I designed a rather intricate quilt, with both hand applique and machine pieced. It was my first time to send a quilt out to be quilted. I was very disappointed in the quilting- not the long arm quilter, but in what I asked her to do. I knew that she was fairly new at quilting, but I knew I really couldn't afford what others cost. I have since had her do two more quilts which I have been much more pleased with, I knew a little more, so I could ask more for what I wanted. But, I still am not really happy with the quilting. I can't afford to pay for custom quilting of my quilts, and hand quilting takes me so long, unless it is very basic. I just feel so sad, I guess, that I have this pretty great quilt (forgive me for tooting my own horn) and I feel like the quilting of them has dropped them down a level. I have a 24 year old Bernina and only recently discovered that it has the capability of quilting, the feed dogs drop, and I do have a darning foot. I made a practise "quilt" and gave it a try....I couldn't even follow a line!!! Wow, was that a shock. Anyway I feel like I have soooo far to go before I could even consider machine quilting anything small, and something large seems impossible right now. My guild has a show coming next June and when I think about putting these recent quilts in it, I'm kind of embarrassed about the quilting.

  15. #15
    Super Member katier825's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roselady
    You have brought up a subject that I have been thinking about alot lately. I have hand quilted everything I've done until ayear ago when my son got married and I knew I wouldn't be able to get a hand quilted quilt made in time, I am very slow. I designed a rather intricate quilt, with both hand applique and machine pieced. It was my first time to send a quilt out to be quilted. I was very disappointed in the quilting- not the long arm quilter, but in what I asked her to do. I knew that she was fairly new at quilting, but I knew I really couldn't afford what others cost. I have since had her do two more quilts which I have been much more pleased with, I knew a little more, so I could ask more for what I wanted. But, I still am not really happy with the quilting. I can't afford to pay for custom quilting of my quilts, and hand quilting takes me so long, unless it is very basic. I just feel so sad, I guess, that I have this pretty great quilt (forgive me for tooting my own horn) and I feel like the quilting of them has dropped them down a level. I have a 24 year old Bernina and only recently discovered that it has the capability of quilting, the feed dogs drop, and I do have a darning foot. I made a practise "quilt" and gave it a try....I couldn't even follow a line!!! Wow, was that a shock. Anyway I feel like I have soooo far to go before I could even consider machine quilting anything small, and something large seems impossible right now. My guild has a show coming next June and when I think about putting these recent quilts in it, I'm kind of embarrassed about the quilting.
    Keep at it, it will improve! When I first started, mine was horrible. All I could do was laugh at it. But after awhile, you look at your practice sandwiches and notice that the stitching is more consistent, shapes are much more like what they should be and the "eyelashes" are gone from the back. I can now comfortably flip it over and sew around shapes on the back without worrying how the front will look. They say if you practice 10 minutes a day, your skill will improve immensely. I can't do that because I don't have a dedicated sewing room. But, I still practice before every quilt. You'll get there! :)

  16. #16
    Super Member quilterella's Avatar
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    My avatar quilt is a generous king size done on my Janome that has a 9 in throat. Yes it is hard to do, you have to have lots of patience and I also scrunch it up as opposed to rolling it. Between shoulder surgery and MS, some days I don't have much strength in my arms, but, it is very doable on our domestic machines. I haven't sent one out to the Longarm lady in probably 4-5 years. There's something about starting and finishing it myself.

  17. #17
    Senior Member CompulsiveQuilter's Avatar
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    I'm determined to FMQ my first -on my domestic machine. I have an awesome, large template and the Ultimate Pounce (disappears with a steam iron). The template is a glorified meander. ------ but some say start in the middle and some say otherwise. What's the best way? And is an all-over quilting pattern easier/better than stopping and doing something different on the borders? 4" border - what pattern would you use there?

  18. #18
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    Barbara Barber from the U.K. spoke at one of our guild meetings. She told us she starts her quilting at a corner. She has also been a quilt judge for some time and says that one always looks at the center of a quilt first so mistakes will 'stick' out more. Makes sense to me. Another thing to consider.

  19. #19
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CompulsiveQuilter
    I'm determined to FMQ my first -on my domestic machine. I have an awesome, large template and the Ultimate Pounce (disappears with a steam iron). The template is a glorified meander. ------ but some say start in the middle and some say otherwise. What's the best way? And is an all-over quilting pattern easier/better than stopping and doing something different on the borders? 4" border - what pattern would you use there?
    When hand quilting in a hoop, one always starts in the middle so any excess fabric moves to the sides instead of getting "trapped" in the middle.

    When machine quilting, it's extra work to bury threads if you start and stop in the middle. It's enough if you start at one edge and work towards another edge. That way, if you run out of bobbin thread, you have only one thread per bobbin to bury. Starting in a corner sounds good. You could also start at the middle of an edge and work towards the other edge. The biggest thing to avoid is quilting the border first; you could have extra material trapped in the center that will not "quilt out".

  20. #20
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Roselady, keep in mind you can use a walking foot to quilt; free-motion isn't your only option. With a walking foot (and the feed dogs up) it's possible to do straight lines, cross-hatching, and gentle curves. If appliques are larger so they don't have very tight curves, you can even use a walking foot to echo quilt. (You just have to stop and lift the presser foot frequently to adjusts the angle of the quilt feed.) It takes time to master free-motion quilting; meanwhile, quilting with a walking foot is relatively easy.

  21. #21
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    Thank you, Prism, for your advice.

  22. #22
    Super Member SuziC's Avatar
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    I never thought to start in the corner....all the books say start in the center. I will try that on my next one.

  23. #23
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    You are all so encouraging, always, thank you so much. I really need to decide "I can do this", because I know I won't be happy until my quilts are 100% done by me.

  24. #24
    Power Poster Tweety2911's Avatar
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    I only have my sewing machine and do all my quilting on it. Twin size quilt is all I have attempted so far. Ditto to Katier825. My first attempts were horrible. I saved them and do pull them out once in awhile to see how bad I was. Practicing on muslin sandwiches shows your progress very clearly. Draw a design and practice FMQ. Tracing paper on a roll is my best friend. Good Luck, keep at it. Make it fun.

  25. #25
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    The Amish say that nothing is perfect but God so you quilt does not have to be perfect. Try to do the best job that you can since who ever you make the quilt for will appreciate your effort and not look for perfect. "practice makes progress" (not perfection). If you are using free motion practice using pencil and paper to practice so that you brain will remember the motions. Also in my area you can rent the use of a long arm for $10-18 per hour after taking a learning class that is about $40. Sounds like a deal to me and I will try it this winter when I have to stay in (Brrrrrr),

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