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Thread: Need advice on bed quilt

  1. #1
    Senior Member vivientan's Avatar
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    Need advice on bed quilt

    I'm quilting on a Hungry Caterpillar bed quilt for my daughter and need some advice. This quilt is driving me crazy as it's huge and I spend more time fighting with it under the machine than the actual quilting. I've attached some photos so you could see the quilt I'm working on.

    1. What's the best way to quilt on the caterpillar/butterfly motifs? I suppose it would be to quilt around the shapes? For this, would it be easier to handquilt than FMQ? I'm quite new to FMQ and not sure if I'm able to maneuver round the turns and corners of the motifs without them getting out of alignment.

    2. I'm using the Warm & Natural cotton batting. Would it bunch if I just quilt round the motifs and SITD (or maybe some around the borders)? As mentioned, the quilt is huge and the thought of doing too much FMQ really freaks me out!

    3. Is it possible to hide stitches in cotton batting? I find this pretty hard compared to poly batting.

    4. Any other advice on sewing a large quilt?

    Hope to get some advice on the above!
    Attached Images Attached Images


  2. #2
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    I quilt on longarm so am not sure how to advise you on dsm, sorry! But I wanted to say your quilt is sooooo cute, I love it!!!!

  3. #3
    Super Member quiltsRfun's Avatar
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    I'd outline the butterfly, then quilt along a few of the lines in the wings. That would secure your batting a little better and add dimension to the quilt. For the larger caterpillar I'd outline it including the segments, then outline the eyes. I'm a novice at FMQ too but discovered I do better with an outline than I expected. You might want some meandering in the white area as well.

    Cute quilt. Is the model the recipient?

  4. #4
    Senior Member COYOTEMAGIC's Avatar
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    The key, in my opinion, is to go slow. Honest! Going around the wings and all the curves you'll really need to take your time. I would start by going around the blocks themselves, that will stop your batting and backing from shifting on all the curvy parts. Beautiful quilt by the way

  5. #5
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    That is such a gorgeous quilt.

  6. #6
    Junior Member NanaCindyLou's Avatar
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    Love the quilt!

  7. #7
    Senior Member vivientan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quiltsRfun View Post
    I'd outline the butterfly, then quilt along a few of the lines in the wings. That would secure your batting a little better and add dimension to the quilt. For the larger caterpillar I'd outline it including the segments, then outline the eyes. I'm a novice at FMQ too but discovered I do better with an outline than I expected. You might want some meandering in the white area as well.

    Cute quilt. Is the model the recipient?
    Yes that's for my daughter shown in the pic! She's a big fan of the Hungry Caterpillar and has been urging me to complete the quilt!

    Thanks for those tips. Guess I should do some practicing before I start on the actual thing. My gut feel is that FMQ doesn't seem as easy when I have lines to follow.

  8. #8
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    That is a cute quilt! From my experience my suggestion is to go slow, makes all the difference in the world!

  9. #9
    Senior Member vivientan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by COYOTEMAGIC View Post
    The key, in my opinion, is to go slow. Honest! Going around the wings and all the curves you'll really need to take your time. I would start by going around the blocks themselves, that will stop your batting and backing from shifting on all the curvy parts. Beautiful quilt by the way
    My experience with FMQ is that the stitches get longer & unsightly as I slow down. How can I get around this problem...going slow with the curves but still have nice stitches?

  10. #10
    Super Member Cris's Avatar
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    Love it, great quilt!!!
    Cris

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    Is your sandwich well basted with thread or lots of safety pins? I like 505 spray or Hobbs 80/20 fusible batt to keep the sandwich from getting puckers on the back.
    I find it best to stabilize the sandwich with lines of machine stitching in the sashing if possible. I would use my walking foot to stitch down the center sashing line first. I would then stitch the horizontal center line next. I would then stitch the top horizontal line next. After these lines are stitched I would switch to my FMQ foot and start outline quilting the motifs. After they are outline stitched I would use a background FMQ filler like meander.

  12. #12
    Super Member Delta's Avatar
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    IF YOU ARE STIPPLING on your regular it would probable be easier to just stipple than try to
    go around all the figures. you can stipple up to the caterpillars and not over them if you like.
    It is a awesome quilt. nice job.,
    Dawn in Waco
    SMILE- it will make everyone wonder what you are up to.
    Stay strong and keep looking up.

  13. #13
    Super Member HillCountryGal's Avatar
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    A friend recommended I roll the queen size quilt I was machine quilting. **I just have a regular manual sewing machine. Started in the center and worked my way out. It was well pinned. If I had it to do over again, I'd baste instead of all those darn safety pins. They seemed to forever get in the way. I did stitch-in-the-ditch and cross/diagional.

    Love your quilt. Can understand why your daughter is anxious for you to finish.

  14. #14
    Senior Member vivientan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tartan View Post
    Is your sandwich well basted with thread or lots of safety pins? I like 505 spray or Hobbs 80/20 fusible batt to keep the sandwich from getting puckers on the back.
    I find it best to stabilize the sandwich with lines of machine stitching in the sashing if possible. I would use my walking foot to stitch down the center sashing line first. I would then stitch the horizontal center line next. I would then stitch the top horizontal line next. After these lines are stitched I would switch to my FMQ foot and start outline quilting the motifs. After they are outline stitched I would use a background FMQ filler like meander.
    I spray basted my quilt with some safety pins at the sides to stablise the quilt to prevent shifting.

    I've done what you had suggested, doing SITD to stablise the quilt. This is another question I have. When doing SITD on a large quilt like this, what's the sequence to go? Horizontal, vertical, then horizontal again? I've read that it's a better idea to always sew straight lines from the centre out. Would it make any difference if I sew all horizontals first, then verticals or vice versa? It's really a tedious job to go centre out horizontally, then vertically & so on for a huge quilt....if you know what I mean!

  15. #15
    Senior Member vivientan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Delta View Post
    IF YOU ARE STIPPLING on your regular it would probable be easier to just stipple than try to
    go around all the figures. you can stipple up to the caterpillars and not over them if you like.
    It is a awesome quilt. nice job.,
    Dawn in Waco
    Is it necessary to do lots of quilting on cotton batts? I've read that they don't bunch up as much as poly batts. Therefore, I only intend to do some meandering or stippling around the sashes and borders and hope this works for me.

  16. #16
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    The reason they want you to go from the center out is because if the layers shift a little, it moves the extra out to the edge so you won't get a pucker. It doesn't really matter if you go horizontal or vertical first but I tend to do the longest one first so that any shifting is out to the edge. With any lines that cross over another stitched line, the problem area will be where those 2 lines meet. I am careful to keep the section secured well with my hands (kind of pulling the sandwich outward) as it get close to the needle.
    If you decide to stitch across the whole quilt rather than center out, be especially careful where the lines cross. Good luck and with the sandwich spray basted, it should go well!

  17. #17
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    hmmmm, FMQ slowly should give you shorter stitches, not longer.
    if you aren't comfortable with FMQ, just do some curvy lines below the catepillar to look like movement and same with butterfly. or echo around them. just something to fill in the background of those large blocks. STID or 1/4 inch stitching around the others should work fine. good luck. cute quilt! just take it slow and go for it.

  18. #18
    Super Member crafty pat's Avatar
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    I agree with what HillCountryGal told you. I have RA and when I quilt my back starts hurting so bad when I struggle with a quilt. I have found by rolling it and working from the center out takes a lot of pressure from my arms and back. I love your quilt it is so pretty. Good luck with it.

  19. #19
    Senior Member vivientan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tartan View Post
    The reason they want you to go from the center out is because if the layers shift a little, it moves the extra out to the edge so you won't get a pucker. It doesn't really matter if you go horizontal or vertical first but I tend to do the longest one first so that any shifting is out to the edge. With any lines that cross over another stitched line, the problem area will be where those 2 lines meet. I am careful to keep the section secured well with my hands (kind of pulling the sandwich outward) as it get close to the needle.
    If you decide to stitch across the whole quilt rather than center out, be especially careful where the lines cross. Good luck and with the sandwich spray basted, it should go well!
    I've been getting puckers on my quilt, where the lines cross. Have tried my best to pull the sandwich as I'm sewing. How can I prevent this from happening again?

    The other question I have is whether it's possible to hide threads in cotton batting. I find this more difficult than polyester batting.

    What's the best method to start/stop stitching for FMQ? I usually start with tiny stitches, and gradually increase. Then I clip the threads at the beginning & end without the need to hide them in the batting. Is this the best way?

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