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Newbie question about sewing machines

Newbie question about sewing machines

Old 07-10-2008, 06:24 AM
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Hi Everyone, thank you for taking the time to read my question....

Ok, the experienced quilter out there might just howl and throw things at your computer when you see my question, and I may be asking a question that is so obvious to many, but here I go.

I have a normal electric sewing machine that is the one my mother taught me to use when I was little.

My question is about sewing machines you use for machine quilting. Can I use my standard machine to quilt something bigger than a baby quilt? I would love to do a adult size quilt for my Mom next, but I am concerned about the ‘throat’ of my sewing machine not being big enough. The baby quilt I am doing at the moment (40x50 inches) seems to clog up the throat of the machine each time I move it through to change direction on my echo quilting.

Any tips on if it is indeed possible to quilt large items on a normal machine, and how do you manage all the bulk through the throat of the machine!

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Old 07-10-2008, 07:28 AM
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Hi Pretty Kitty! We don't have stupid questions here. We take them all.

Now I will sight your question with my experience alone. ;) I am currently using my standard sewing machine to quilt a 86X86 quilt. Yep, I don't even having a darning foot (which would help LOADS) instead I'm doing stitch in the ditch, which means lots of turning.

Now. Some people would tell you the trick is to ROLL the quilt, so the roll is off to your right while you work. This works wonderfully when you're darning. Mine I just shove and pull the best I can and since I'm half done it seems to work just fine. Only once did I have trouble and that was because somehow the quilt had gotten folded so instead of the right side of the quilt being in there, it was folded back on itself so there was twice that much in the freearm area. I pulled it out, and no trouble since, I'm more careful now. ;)

It can be done I promise! :D salisaquilter, (I might be miss spelling it) has done many many more quilts in her standard sewing machine than I have and has done them bigger yet still.
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Old 07-10-2008, 08:04 AM
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I'll second that. I quilt mine on my sewing machine too. I did see a video last night (but I can't remember what site is was) saying it is better to just shove the quilt thru the hole rather than roll it.

I guess what ever works best for you, do it. Mine are usually about 58 X 70.
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Old 07-10-2008, 12:47 PM
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Well, I finished quilting it just now! I will wait to see the sex of the baby before adding pink or blue binding. So what do you think for a first ever quilt???!?!
Attached Thumbnails attachment-43176.jpe   attachment-43392.jpe   attachment-43418.jpe  
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Old 07-10-2008, 12:50 PM
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I think it looks wonderful :thumbup: :thumbup: You did an excellent job getting all your corners lined up!! Everything looks great. Give yourself a big ole pat on the back!!
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Old 07-10-2008, 03:05 PM
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That's beautiful PrettyKitty! I think everyone who cuddles with it with love it! The colors and your stitching, just great! I did a "cheater" baby blanket with flannel earlier in the week, and I wish I'd put that much time and love in it. ;)
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Old 07-10-2008, 04:04 PM
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Precious! You can get all sorts of clips to hold bigger quilts in rolls while you work, or quilt them in sections, then join the parts.
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Old 07-10-2008, 05:30 PM
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Well, Pretty Kitty, I had a thorned conscience about this myself. One of my friend is a member of the Cercle des Fermières, an association of women in this country that promotes quilting and general craftworks with reunions every month etc.. This association is very strict: everything in a quilt must be handmade.

I was in the same situation as you and I was torturing myself, not quilting because of the time consuming for an active woman like me.. So, last month, I took a decision: forget about the restrictions and go ahead with my own experience. I had a baby quilt top that was finished; I made my sandwich with the stuffing from an old bedspread that I had kept, and the underlayer from a white cotton bedsheet and basted it with pins.

It stayed like this until last week when I saw a lady on a video about free motion on her ordinary machine. Here is the link:


She mentioned to have the darning foot and to put the plate to hide the feet dogs. Another thing I did is to wear surgical gloves so that the fabric does not slip under my hands.

Next week, I will place a picture of my very very first quilt made this way. You will be the judge. I have a Singer Touch'N Sew that dates from the 70'ies and another Singer Quantum Futura for embroidery. I made the quilt with the TNS.
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Old 07-10-2008, 06:29 PM
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Your first quilt is adorable, love the colours and I am sure the parents will love it too.
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Old 07-10-2008, 06:50 PM
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A first ever quilt? It's so cute! You must make more and more! You're a natural!
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