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Thread: Question about doing the quilting part

  1. #1
    Metanoia's Avatar
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    Hi everyone.

    I am making my first "real" quilt at the moment and I'm starting to get the blocks together.

    I found some hlepful youtube videos on using a rotary cutter, doing the binding and some other tips, but nothing on the quilting part.

    I would like to keep costs down rather than taking it to a professional so I am hoping I can do this on my home machine - a janome memorycraft 7500

    So far I think that the process is that you lay out the top, bottom and batting, and leave enough batting and bottom incase of a little shrinkage. Then the whole lot is pinned with safety pins starting from the centre out.

    Then is it ok to put this through my sewing machine?
    How do you do things like straight lines if you're in the centre of the quilt and have no machine lines to help line everything up?
    Any tips for tackling this? I dont' want to ruin my quilt top when I get up to this stage.

    It would be great if there are any tutorials available, especially video tutorials.

    And here is one of the blocks I have done so far.

    [img]http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3344/...477d872e_m.jpg[/img]

  2. #2
    Power Poster cutebuns's Avatar
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    I love your block, there is several ways to tackle the quilting, you need to decide what kind of quilting you are going to do, free motion, stitch in the ditch, are just two, there are a lot of things that you can do. depends on what you want it to look like when you are done. what size will it be when you are done?

  3. #3
    Metanoia's Avatar
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    Hi cutebuns.

    The finished quilt is planned for a single bed. It will be 12 blocks joined with the same thin black border as in the block and then a thicker border of black at this stage. I am waiting until the blocks are together before deciding for sure on the border.

    I have no idea about types of quilting terms. I don't think I am up to free motion quilting at this stage. I know i have the right foot attachment, but when I had a go I was all over the place in terms of control with it. Something with straight lines would probably be better. Is there a style you would recommend for a beginner?

  4. #4
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    There are a number of methods you can use to mark a quilt if you want straight lines to follow. There are pens with disappearing ink, inks that wash out, chalk pens....You may want to google quilt marking and this is a lot of info out there on this :D probably on U Tube, too :D :D :D

  5. #5
    Power Poster cutebuns's Avatar
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    I would be tempted to do some echo quilting. Which means that you sew beside the lines, you use the lines that are there to follow. you can line the side of the foot up to them. Or if you want to sew further than that from the black lines there are sometimes guide pieces that come with some machines.

  6. #6
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metanoia
    So far I think that the process is that you lay out the top, bottom and batting, and leave enough batting and bottom incase of a little shrinkage. Then the whole lot is pinned with safety pins starting from the centre out.
    Yes, you sandwich those three components, but the key is that they have to be flat when you do them. I press the backing and the top prior to assembly, and I make sure that the heavy creases are out of the batting. I lay out the backing (right side down) on a large table and tack it down with a wide blue painter's tape (easily removable). Then I center the batting on the backing, making sure to pat it down smooth. (The tape will help keep the backing from shifting.) The top goes down last and it too needs to be patted out from the center to the edges.

    It is a good idea to plan the quilting before pinning the sandwich, so you don't put a bunch of pins right in your line of sewing. The recommendation is to pin a distance no larger than your hand - that should be sufficient.

    Stitch in the ditch (SID) is one of the easier straight-line options to quilt. You sew right down the seam line on your block. It's hard to say where the seams fall on your quilt, but you can certainly quilt down each block row in both directions. Then you can always add lines for each block.

    Good luck.

  7. #7
    Moderator Jim's Gem's Avatar
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    Welcome to the board from Southern California. An easy way to quilt would be to come across the diagonal on the blocks or use a wavy or decorative stitch in the ditch between the blocks. I love to stitch across the diagonals with a decorative stitch, so fast and easy.

  8. #8
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    Your block looks awesome. Love the colours. My twin daughters want a quilt made with similar blocks. Sigh - Will I ever get out of my s-room??

    There is a wealth of quilting information out there on the internet. Just google quilting and you will be bombarded with a plethora of information. Have a quick look at some of the sites, then, refine your search to something a bit more specific eg: machine quilting or hand quilting etc. You can spend a lot of time on the net, but, it is worth it. I have spent hours on the net, and basically, have taught myself what to do. Books are great too, tho' they are very expensive.

    This forum is great for tips, advice and tutorials - you only need ask and the answers are given freely. A truly wonderful group of people.

    Good luck with the quilting and we want progress reports and piccies please.

    Whereabouts in South Australia are you? Dianne

  9. #9
    quiltluvr's Avatar
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    Very good job on those blocks. Can't add much more than the tips already given. If you're near a public library see if there's any books that have some good pictures of different quilting methods.

  10. #10
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    For a beginner quilter, Stitch In The Ditch (SID) is the easiest and best. You can make practice pieces later to practice other techniques on. There are lots of youtube videos on quilting, here is a good one to start with:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGsGxY7V920&feature=fvw


    You can always go to one of your local quilt shops and ask if they have any beginner lessons, or if someone will demonstrate the technique for you. They should be happy to help.

    Good luck, and be sure and show us the finished product.

  11. #11
    Metanoia's Avatar
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    Thank you very much everyone for your answers.

    I like the idea of "shadowing" the design.
    I also like the stitch in the ditch idea, but I guess I won't be able to visualise how this will work out until the blocks are together.

    Is there a distance that the quilting stitches should be apart as a maximum? There is so much conflicting information on the internet.

    It looks like I will need a walking foot so I think I will take a trip to my janome specialist in the near future and ask some questions there.



    Adelaide Girl: I am in the north east of Adelaide - Modbury area.

    quiltluvr: Good idea on the library. I keep forgetting we have quite a large one nearby. Thanks!

    gaigai: youtube video was great thanks!


    Thankyou everyone for your help so far! I will come back with updates (and more questions probably)

  12. #12
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    Definitely, definitely go to your Janome dealer and get yourself a walking foot! It will save you LOTS of frustration and help to prevent those little wrinkles in your quilting. As for the maximum distance between quilting lines, check the directions on the package of the batting you're using. It will tell you there how close it has to be quilted. I use Warm and Natural and it can be quilted up to 10 inches apart according to its directions. You have lots of options with your block. I love your colors. Your quilt will be beautiful. You can do this! Welcome to the board. :)

  13. #13

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    Welcome, your block is lovely.
    No matter which method you pick to quilt you top, it is never time or material wasted if you make a block or two extra and practice. It will help you get an idea how it is done, and what the blocks will look like when they are finished.

  14. #14
    Metanoia's Avatar
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    I have been working on my blocks tonight and have 4 done now so I thought I would drop them in this thread.

    Thanks for the extra advice. I have a light blue plain practice block which I did to check cutting and sewing together the borders. I will keep it as a test for the quilting too. I will definitely check the batting. I have no idea on different types of batting, but hopefully I find a local quilting shop before I get to that stage.

    I really am hoping that this works out because I am enjoying it immensely so far. I have learnt a LOT. And it is quite relaxing to piece together the blocks now I know what I'm doing.

    Here are the blocks:

    [img]http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3637/...e51abd55_m.jpg[/img] [img]http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3344/...477d872e_m.jpg[/img] [img]http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3300/...a1807d82_m.jpg[/img] [img]http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3306/...7963407b_m.jpg[/img]

  15. #15
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    Welcome from NE CA. Glad you joined us. I love your design and colors. I can't add much to what's already been said, except that "quilt as you go" hasn't been mentioned.

  16. #16
    Junior Member Lainee's Avatar
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    Welcome from NE Illinois...I love the colors and design of your blocks...great job!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metanoia
    It looks like I will need a walking foot so I think I will take a trip to my janome specialist in the near future and ask some questions there.


    When you go to the Janome dealer for your foot (be prepared, they aren't cheap!) they should sit down with you and give you a lesson on how to use it. If they don't, find another dealer!

  18. #18
    Super Member Mplsgirl's Avatar
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    Welcome from Roscoe, Illinois.

  19. #19
    Senior Member motomom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metanoia
    Is there a distance that the quilting stitches should be apart as a maximum? There is so much conflicting information on the internet.
    The thing to remember is that lots of the "quilting advice" on the internet is just someone regurgitating old advice. And some of them do not take into account that if you use cotton batting, it is not the old stuff, but new modern batting that is punched onto a scrim or otherwise stabilized. In other words, if they say you have to have quilting very close together if you use cotton batting, they may not be correct, depending on the type of batting you use.

    Think of those cheap comforters that you can buy. You know, after you wash them a few times how the fluffy stuff inside bunches up and leaves cold spots? This is what you want to avoid. So use good batting, and it won't be an issue how far apart your stitches are.

  20. #20
    Junior Member Quilting G's Avatar
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    Metanoia- What pattern is that. I have not seen a block like that. It is great.

  21. #21
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    The best place for free videos.
    http://quilterstv.com
    Full lenght professional videos.

  22. #22
    Super Member wraez's Avatar
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    Very nice blocks, they will have a lovely 'stained glass' look to the quilt when you are done.

    I also suggest 'stitch in the ditch' for your first time at quilting. Just put your stitch length at about 3.0, no need for it to be smaller than that but it is a personal choice so you can go smaller. And yes a walking foot is a 'must have' when quilting 3 layers together.

    Can't wait to see your finished quilt.

    warm quilt hugs, sue

  23. #23
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metanoia
    Is there a distance that the quilting stitches should be apart as a maximum? There is so much conflicting information on the internet.
    That depends entirely on your batting and each batting has a recommendation for maximum quilting distance. I use Warm and Natural or Warm and White and I usually don't quilt less than a hand width. Usually, my design tells me how it wants to be quilted when the top is done.

    Sometimes, I combine SID and a tied center, using embroidery floss.

    I just took a look at your blocks, and I assume that you will put sashing between. You could SID along each side of the sashing (both directions). Inside each block, you could draw an irregular8-pointed star with a point where the dark line meets the edge, and an inside point centered on the next line. It would require a little free-form quilting, but it is still a straight line.

  24. #24
    Super Member quilt addict's Avatar
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    I really like your blocks, it will be a nice quilt.

    The only thing I have to add is if you decide to mark your quilt design, do it on the top before you make your sandwich. Also, I get my batting out of the package and let it rest for a day before I make the sandwich.

    I like the idea of echo quilting around the "windows". Just slightly different than stitch in the ditch.


  25. #25
    Metanoia's Avatar
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    Thankyou very much again everyone! This is a great forum so far :)

    gaigai: Thanks again. I will start putting aside money. If I get into this hobby I am sure the foot will be worthwhile compared to the cost of a professional quilting service. I will keep that in mind about the lesson too.

    Quilting G: The concept is from a pattern by Kathleen Bissett, however I couldn't find a source to purchase her pattern, so I have been making it up as I go along. It was actually this quilt that inspired me first to have a go myself, but it seems you can do your cuts anywhere you like on your fabric squares as long as you end up with 9 pieces to put back together.

    Rose Marie: Thanks for the link. I will check it out when I am at home.

    MadQuilter: I like the idea of a star in the centre of each coloured area.

    So I have 3 ideas now:
    - Stitch in the ditch (creating a replica of the pattern in stitch lines on the reverse)
    - "echo quilting" about 1/4" inside the edge of each coloured area
    - Star shapes in each coloured area

    And I need a walking foot and good quality batting.
    I always pick the expensive hobbies :lol:

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