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Thread: New to machine quilting--is there a fairly easy way to quilt a king size?

  1. #1
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    Question New to machine quilting--is there a fairly easy way to quilt a king size?

    Hi all,

    I need an Arizona-summer-weight quilt for my queen-sized bed. I'm making it king-sized for a little extra adaptability. For ease, I've decided to make it out of 2 king-sized sheets with very, very thin batting. I was going to just quilt it by sewing lines horizontally and vertically, but a few good people here encouraged me to use the opportunity to make it a little more interesting (thanks so much for that!)

    The easiest thing I can think of that doesn't require much extra money or supplies would be to machine quilt it, employing some sort of simple, but nice, design. Our sewing machine here at home is an older Singer from the 60's, so I'm guessing things will have to be kept pretty simple since it's an older machine. The good news is I should be able to work on a fairly large surface (our dining room table pulls out to 13 feet,) so maybe I won't have to wrestle with the bulk of the quilt so much.

    Would I be biting off more than I can chew to machine quilt something so large? Are there ways to do it fairly easily?

    I'd really appreciate any advice anyone might have to offer.

    Thanks so much!
    b

  2. #2
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    I have quilted a jumbo queen on a regular domestic machine with a 4.5 inch throat. It wasn't easy, but I got it done.

    Have you looked at Marti Michele's methods of quilting in sections and splitting batting? It might be a good place to start. You start with a strip of batting only in the center section of the quilt. This allows for less bulk going through the throat of the machine and makes it a bit easier.

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    If you want to do simple quilting then do so don't let others influence you unless you want to be influenced

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    Go for it!! I like to do loop-de-loops and spirals, that way when I get stuck in a corner I can just loop-de-loop out of it and nobody knows the difference! The lines are SUPPOSED to cross, I swear!

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    I took a class on craftsy on quilting large quilts with DSM. It is very possible. You need to baste it real good, but as you quilt you only need the area you are working on free enough to move as you work. When I first started many years ago, they told us to roll it into logs. It is much harder to work that way. Just squish it around to get the area you want to work on flat on top and smooth on the bottom. Then do what you want to do on it.

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    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    Machine Quilting in Sections book is good. also Sharon Pederson's Reversible quilts. quiltville.com has some tutes on doing that also. if you don't want to do sections, you still can quilt the whole quilt on your machine. the larger throat space, the easier of course. start somewhere in the middle and quilt toward the side under the throat space. turn and quilt the other side. always moving the quilt away from the machine, rather than stuffing more and more under there. good luck.

  7. #7
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    Machine quilting in sections is the easiest way to handle a large quilt on a DSM, especially if this is your first time quilting. I join the others in recommending Marti Michell's book. You said that you're using two large sheets, so some of the methods in the book don't apply. Splitting the batting would work.

  8. #8
    Super Member mike'sgirl's Avatar
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    Leah Day has Youtube videos addressing quilting on a DSM. She does it in sections too. She divides the quilt into 4 sections and starts with one section instead of the middle which is what I always used to do it. Like NativeTexan said, keep the bulk out in front of the machine, not in your lap or in the throat space.

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    Super Member Abby'smom's Avatar
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    good luck -- a lot of the suggestions sound great -- there is a stitch on many of the older machines that I want to try -- it is a 6 stitch zigzag that when used with the widest (or so) settings makes a wavy-like pattern that would be good for machine quilting -- again good luck
    diane

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    Super Member ube quilting's Avatar
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    Your ? Is there an easy way? No, No, No, No, No, No, but it can be done.
    peace
    no act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. Aesop

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    Senior Member happyquiltmom's Avatar
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    The largest I've done is queen (only because I don't have a king sized bed). I quilt from the center outward toward the edges, bunching up the excess under the harp and constantly shifting the bulk as I move to a new area. I have an extra large table for resting the bulk of the quilt (both on the left and behind the machine) so that there is no drag, and I use Machingers gloves. Harriet Hargraves' book, Heirloom Machine Quilting, is a very helpful resource, as are Diane Gaudynski's books.
    Cindy

    Curator of an 1889 Singer model 27 Fiddlebase Treadle, a 1951 Singer Centennial Featherweight, a 1956 Singer 401A, and a 1982 Bernina 830 Record.

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    Senior Member cherylmae's Avatar
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    Could just make your lines curve instead of being straight too?

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    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    using a walking foot is an easy way to make easy curves. just move the quilt to the left then the right as you sew along. have fun!!

  14. #14
    Super Member Stitchnripper's Avatar
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    I did a king size on my dinky mechanical Brother. I did stitch in the ditch. The middle was tricky but I wasn't deterred and was happy with the results.

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    Senior Member alisonquilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by happyquiltmom View Post
    ... I have an extra large table for resting the bulk of the quilt (both on the left and behind the machine) so that there is no drag, and I use Machingers gloves. Harriet Hargraves' book, Heirloom Machine Quilting, is a very helpful resource, as are Diane Gaudynski's books.
    Definitely get some Machingers gloves (or similar) - they will make a HUGE difference to how sore your shoulders get! And I second looking at Diane Gaudynski's books.

    Quote Originally Posted by nativetexan View Post
    using a walking foot is an easy way to make easy curves. just move the quilt to the left then the right as you sew along. have fun!!
    And I second nativetexan's point about walking feet - much much easier to work with than leaping straight into free motion quilting, and you can do quite a bit of curvy quilting with a walking foot.

    You can definitely make a beautiful quilt with two plain sheets, some thin batting and a bunch of straight lines: simple, clean, elegant. If it were me I would do that, and then (if I liked machine quilting) I'd move on to experimenting on a smaller quilt, where there isn't as much bulk to fight!

    Alison

    PS And I do all my machine quilting on a Kenmore mechanical domestic machine from the early 1980's - I have done several king size, quite a few queens and countless little 'uns - and I am entirely self taught. You can so do this!!

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    You could always just tye it. That is the easiest method I know. I grew up sleeping under quilts that were 2 sheets and batting, tyed with yarn.

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