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Thread: Newbie question about sewing machines

  1. #1
    PrettyKitty's Avatar
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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!

    THANKS FOR ANY ADVICE!!!

  2. #2

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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.

  3. #3
    Power Poster sewnsewer2's Avatar
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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.

  4. #4
    PrettyKitty's Avatar
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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 Images Attached Images



  5. #5
    mgshaw's Avatar
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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!!

  6. #6

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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. ;)

  7. #7
    Super Member Moonpi's Avatar
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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.

  8. #8
    Junior Member Louise C's Avatar
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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:

    http://crazymomquilts.blogspot.com/2008/03/free-motion-quilting.html

    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.

  9. #9
    Andi's Avatar
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    Your first quilt is adorable, love the colours and I am sure the parents will love it too.

  10. #10
    Super Member Chele's Avatar
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    A first ever quilt? It's so cute! You must make more and more! You're a natural!

  11. #11
    Super Member Marcia's Avatar
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    Great first quilt! I love your soft colors. Lucky baby :-)

  12. #12
    Super Member b.zang's Avatar
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    Very nice quilt! I love how you stitched inside the blocks rather than in the ditches, it made a nice effect.
    I have never sent a quilt out for stitching. I'm not sure whether I'm just too cheap or am still thinking I can do it myself. Like you, it's been shove and squeeze every turn. With my last quilt, I tried rolling and pinned the rolls to hold them shut. I'm going back to the stuff and shove, because the rolls made heavy lumps that kept falling off the table or getting stuck and not letting the fabric feed under the needle properly. That said, as I shove, I roll too, just not fastened. And, I bought a pair of garden gloves with the cloth backs and rubber nubbly palms that work great.
    You have a lot of quilting in you before you need to have someone else do it and with the beautiful start you've made, you may never send out a quilt.

  13. #13
    Power Poster littlehud's Avatar
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    Your quilt is wonderful. What a lucky baby this will be. Til I got my juki machine I quilted everything on my Brother sewing machine. I found rolling the quilt made it harder to move, so I just pushed it through and it worked great. Keep up the good work. :)

  14. #14
    Super Member Celeste's Avatar
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    What a pretty quilt! I especially like the third picture because it looks like I'm snuggled under it! :D

  15. #15
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    I think it is a nice quilt and good job.

  16. #16

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    I love the soft colors!!! Very pretty!!! I think we are all too hard on ourselves. I say relax and enjoy the process, HaHaHa!!! It is easier said than done.

  17. #17
    PrettyKitty's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone for your nice comments, you've really boosted my confidence!

  18. #18
    Super Member Butterflyspain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PrettyKitty
    Thanks everyone for your nice comments, you've really boosted my confidence!
    Just something you may not have thought about, if you have a very large quilt do it in 1/4´s or 1/2´s it makes life so much easier. My first one I pushed and shoved, second one I have made in two halves and then doing the borders separately as well. Read an article where when they were on the road in the old wagons going across America they did it block by block. There is a book on how to do this and I can find out if you think its a good idea. :D
    Me I am all for making life easier. :D Elle

  19. #19
    Power Poster sandpat's Avatar
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    Yep, I do all mine on a regular machine. I fluff and stuff the quilt through the hole! The last one was 102" x 96" Good luck!!

  20. #20
    Senior Member judee0624's Avatar
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    :D That's very good work for a first timer! You did an outline quilting with the straight lines. That isn't easy! Keep up the good work. I,too, have a small throat on my machine. I just finished a lap and a twin sized. Pushing and shoving the fabric is what you have to do. It is worth it, as you have found out.

    judee

  21. #21
    Senior Member barbsbus's Avatar
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    I like to make the quilts that you quilt each block and then join them together with sashing after all of the quilting is done. I have made several king size quilts using this method. Some of the quilts I did in sections. I love to hand quilt so most of the larger quilts I make are hand quilted. I have a large floor stand PVC pipe frame and also a Aunt Becky hoop lap frame. I use Aunt Becky in the winter because I perfer not to have the quilt on my lap in the summer.

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