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Thread: A Problem

  1. #1

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    Hi - I am new here and new to quilting. I took one class earlier this year and made a sampler quilt.

    I am hoping that someone here can solve my dilemma. So here goes. I went to a quilting shop and fell in love with a quilt that was on display for upcoming classes - so I signed up. However, I discovered after I got started that working with chenille is rather challenging. Cotton is flat and easy -- chenille is lumpy and bumpy and a bit stretchy. The chenille is in 12 inch squares.

    Anyway, I got the top finished and then I decided to safety pin the layers together and stitch in the ditch. But things are not going well!! The quilt is just a single bed size but I am getting bogged down with that "sausage" that you have to roll up when you are working on one end of the quilt. Then, if I go horizontally one way (across the short side) - I have this huge sausage and when I get to the end and try to turn - well I just about tear my hair out trying to pull the "sausage" back through the machine to go in the opposite direction.

    That problem, combined with the face that when I sew on the chenille, it tends to bunch up ahead of me and creates a lump at the end of the 12 inch square - I am ready to tear my hair out!!

    Is this just a problem that you have to cope with when you are trying to stitch in the ditch on a regular sewing machine - or is there an easier way to do it?

    I really appreciate any help more experienced quilters can give me.

  2. #2
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    Not sure how to help you as I tie all my quilts and I'm still quite new. Hopefully someone can help you out, But I'd sure like to Welcome you from Washington :D

  3. #3
    Moderator Jim's Gem's Avatar
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    Hi and Welcome from Smokey Southern California. I have never worked with Chenille, but do you have a walking foot on your machine? If not that may help with the layers bunching up as is helps to feed the top layer in as the feed dogs feed the bottom layer.

  4. #4
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    This might have required some fairly close basting before trying to quilt it by machine.

  5. #5
    PamH's Avatar
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    Not much help with the quilting part, but i have made several quilts with chenille and flanel and I always tie those. That has worked great with mine.

  6. #6
    Super Member Janstar's Avatar
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    Welcome from Washington. Good luck on your quilt. I'm no help unfortunatly.

  7. #7
    Super Member mary quite contrary's Avatar
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    Welcome from Dallas, Texas

    I agree on the walking foot and basting really close. Lots of pins or hand basting. I'm not that experienced with glue basting to know how well that works on something like this.

  8. #8
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    Tying might have worked out better with this project.

    Worse case scenario - take out the machine quilting and tie it.

    Another learning experience!

  9. #9
    Super Member DA Mayer's Avatar
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    Are you sewing all chenille or do you have other fabric with it? If you are attaching chenille and other fabric a tip is to sew with the chenille down and use the walking foot.

  10. #10
    Super Member GailG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bearisgray
    Tying might have worked out better with this project.

    Worse case scenario - take out the machine quilting and tie it.

    Another learning experience!
    I think this is good advice. Until you are more experienced with chenille, perhaps tying is a good idea. I would think the tied floss would look nice with the chenille. I, too, have trouble with the "sausage" but one thing I've learned is I don't try to turn. I end my stitching and get that direction later when I have rolled it the other way. Congratulations for your determination. Let us see pics when you are done.

  11. #11
    Super Member Quilt4u's Avatar
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    I have never worked with chenille. But tied sounds best if you do not have a walking foot. Welcome from Mass.

  12. #12

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    I know exactly where you are coming from. I too found early in my quilting a simple block type nine patch w/chenille. I too bought the kit...came home and made that quilt. The chenille was difficult to cut trying to keep it straight..for it wanted to move. Once the top was done and I spent the next 2 weeks still dechenilling my sewing area...I sent it off to be quilted!:))I decided at that point it was too thick for me and I was sick of the shedding;))Love the look and the texture but geeze what a pain! If I were to quilt it on my machine the only way would be to thread baste it due to the thickness. And, then go w/it from there however you want...movement such as stippling (which would have to be big stippling or you will loose the plush)or straight line quilting done w/a stitch reg. that replaces the sewing foot you have on your machine at the moment. Keep us posted on the progress!! You are one determined quilter that I am sure we will see some great quilts coming from you!!:))Skeat

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Purley

    Anyway, I got the top finished and then I decided to safety pin the layers together and stitch in the ditch. But things are not going well!! The quilt is just a single bed size but I am getting bogged down with that "sausage" that you have to roll up when you are working on one end of the quilt. Then, if I go horizontally one way (across the short side) - I have this huge sausage and when I get to the end and try to turn - well I just about tear my hair out trying to pull the "sausage" back through the machine to go in the opposite direction.
    If you're talking about actually handling the bulk of the quilt while you're trying to quilt it... I feel your pain. This issue is what has stopped me so far, from trying to make anything bigger than a table runner or wall hanging.

    I don't know how people manage beautiful quilting on bed sized quilts, made on little bitty sewing machines (non-longarms).

    I really don't know how you manage the bulk of a large quilt through that small opening in the sewing machine. Even the small projects I work on can make me wanna pull my hair out.

    Maybe that's why a lot of people just make the quilt tops and then send them out for quilting by someone with a longarm machine. But I don't want to and can't afford that. Plus, I want the satisfaction of being able to do it myself.

    So, question to you quilting veterans... How do you manage the bulk of a quilt while quilting on a standard sewing machine? I know about rolling up the excess and all that. Even doing that, doesn't seem to help much. :?

  14. #14
    Super Member vicki reno's Avatar
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    I think haveing a walking foot would ease some of the frustration. It feeds top and bottom layers together at the same time. Soem people call it the even feed foot.

  15. #15
    Super Member sewjoyce's Avatar
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    Welcome from Indiana!

    I think I'd either tie this one or send it out to be professionally quilted. Please don't get discouraged and keep on quiltin' :wink: :wink:

  16. #16
    Senior Member LoriJ's Avatar
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    I have found that rolling the quilt makes it too big to fit through a small throat. I tend to pull through the sides and try to get as much in fron of and behind my sewing machine as possible. Much easier for me to manage. I do not try to turn the quilt, just pull it out, turn it, then re-feed. I was able to do a queen-size this way. Not quickly or easily, but it can be done. Good luck and keep us posted!

  17. #17
    Super Member GailG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sewjoyce
    Welcome from Indiana!

    I think I'd either tie this one or send it out to be professionally quilted. Please don't get discouraged and keep on quiltin' :wink: :wink:
    I encourage the quilter to do the tying. The satisfaction you get from completing it yourself will be great. And the practice will be good. Use a floss that blends well with the chenille. And good luck. You will go far with quilting.

  18. #18
    Super Member DA Mayer's Avatar
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    With chenille as bulky as it is I would do the tying, that will leave the quilt looser and a better 'feel' to the quilt, the quilting might not show up and/or detract from the chenille.

  19. #19
    maggiebooboo's Avatar
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    I know that my mom uses her tiny machine to quilt, but she uses a method she calls "quilt as you go" ?? I am not familiar with how it works, I have a long arm.

    But I tried long ago to do a baby quilt on my regular machine and ended up in tears. At that time, I had never heard of a walking foot. It bunched up on me too. The bottom fabric and top fabric are not moving at the same pace.

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