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Thread: Question by a newbie

  1. #1

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    I have a question as a newbie to the message board.
    I've learned to quilt a little bit and made a small quilt which I like very much.
    My question is about big quilts. I don't have a quilting machine and I am not of the means to have a quilt quilted by a company with a big long arm machine. Too rich for my budget.

    Can I quilt my own quilts on my regular sewing machine anyway. I don't really care how time consuming it is. But is it possible?

    Thanks for your response and help
    Diane

  2. #2
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    it's totally possible. :P i'm personally not very good at it, but Search on phrases like "freemotion quilting", "Machine quilting", etc. gazillions of posts.

    keep watching this thread, too, because i'm sure you'll get lots of good advice. :P

  3. #3

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    Thank you Patrice I will do just that.
    Aw your little kitty there is so cute.
    A friend tells me all this " one can never have too many cats" I have one.

    I've had the experience of only quilting in the ditch. Which worked just fine actually for that time.

    Diane

  4. #4

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    Diane
    I just finished a King Quilt this past July, Machine quilted, I have made several and machine quilted. I'm presentely working on 5 others. It seems daunting at first, but read all you can, look at different techniques, and then decide which way you want to go. I hand quilted for years, but I started researching machine quilting, attempted a few, stayed committed, found my best technique, and now I'm delighted with the results. Alot faster to. Just stay determined, and pratice before the big jump. Fear is your enemy.

  5. #5

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    Rebecca thank you . Honestly fear is not my problem
    You see I really think I can do anything but then have to know a little something just to protect the whole effort. Mistakes don't make me real happy. With paint, I can just paint over a mistake.
    This is different. I won't give up
    Diane

  6. #6
    Super Member zyxquilts's Avatar
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    DianeN, the Fearless Quilter!! I love it! That is definitely a great attitude.
    You may not want to paint over a quilting mistake, but you can do the dreaded "rip stitch"....or you could paint over it too - why not?

    And, as to cats....I recently learned a new saying that is begging me to make a quilt out of it:

    "Every life deserves 9 cats"

    :D

  7. #7

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    Truth about the whole thing is that once I learned to paint then in different mediums I developed this attitude as why not I can do anything I suspect. Well I've just started to learn portrait painting and the good lord has blessed me with a wonderful teacher. So we'll see how that goes. And believe it or not you most certainly can paint quilts. Quilt squares painted have been happening for some time now. I recently purchased brushes to help with this.
    In Ohio at the convention for painters I just attended the girls who sponsor this event painted and raffled a wonderful quilt with a bird painted in each quilt block. It was absolutely gorgeous. Now when they call me as to being the winner of it I'll take a picture and show you.
    They also quilted around each bird. Very pretty indeed.
    Diane

  8. #8

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    I forgot to say your cat looks like mine except my Rusty has long , very long hair and it 's a permanent fixture in my house the hair that is.
    Can't get away from this very fine all over the place hair.
    Love the kitties that's for sure
    Diane

  9. #9

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    You have a painting background, so do I. Took lessons in oil, switched down the road to acrylics. Have made a few quilts with hand painted sqs, as well as novelty seasonal quilts, and used paint for highlites and shadowing. The sqs I painted where of violets and hydranges, it was and is a keeper, for my G-daughter.

  10. #10

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    Got a picture of that lovely quilt for your granddaughter.
    I'll bet it's really nice.

    Diane

  11. #11
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    Yes, of course you can quilt a big quilt on most regular sewing machines. It can get bulky and cumbersome, but it CAN be done. I do it all the time.

    You can even break them down and do them in units - in panels or in blocks (like Georgia Bonesteel's Lap Quilting). There are probably books at your public library that can help you get started with that.

    If time really isn't an object, you could even hand quilt them! :D

  12. #12

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    Thank you Cathe for telling me you do this all the time
    Hand quilting well ya I guess but honestly I'm not going to do that , not in this lifetime. Way too busy on too many need to get done things

    If it's just cumbersome and time consuming then I can deal with that. A little at a time gets done eventually.
    Thank you so much

  13. #13
    lin
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    Hi Diane :) I've machine quilted many quilts on my domestic machines. I started out doing a small project so I could get my bearings, so to speak, but worked up to much larger projects. It is cumbersome as Cathe said, but definitely doable! Just take your time, and may I suggest you play around with different needles, threads, tension settings, etc on some scrap fabric and batting before diving into the real thing? It'll save your sanity! Don't ask me how I know this. LOL

    Some of the needles I've worked with are:
    Universal 90/14--not generally a good choice in my experience, but I've had some success when using a 40wt cotton covered poly thread.

    Schmetz Microtex Sharp 70/10--good with 50wt embroidery thread, 50/60wt silk, Bottom Line (which is a bobbin thread, but I use it as a top thread sometimes too.

    Quilting needles 9/11/14 for regular cotton thread 30-40 wt

    Schmetz Metallic 80/12-good for threads like Sulky metallic or Sulky Ultra twist.

    Klasse` Sharps 70/10 for 40wt or finer threads, cotton or rayon
    Klasse` Quilting Titanium 80/12 for 30/40wt cotton or rayon

    Standard Point Top Stitch for heavier threads or when working on a heavier fabric like flannel.

    DISCLAIMER! LOL...this list is just a general list of what I have and what I've had some success with. Your machine might handle things a bit differently, and different fabrics/batting wts can make a difference in what needle will work best, so it's best to get a couple of types and play around with them and the thread you want to use until you find what works for you and your project. Don't let it all overwhelm you though. I started out just using the top stitch and Quilting needles listed above, along with the Universal now and then. I'm now almost as addicted to different needles and thread types as I am fabric! ALMOST, but not quite. ;)


  14. #14
    Senior Member pinecone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DianeN
    I've had the experience of only quilting in the ditch.
    Well this proves it. I have quilted but my fave is meandering, for me the in the ditch is a challenge. Welcome to our world of quilting. (I used to do Tole and decorative painting years ago.)

    piney

  15. #15

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    Hi Piney nice to hear from you
    I learned a trick or two in that first class I took. We had a really good teacher. It was fun. The ditch part I finally got that down pretty good.

    As for painting. It running in my blood I think. Oils, acrylics, watercolor you name it I love it. I've challenged myself many times only because I fgured if I'm going to teach which I do love, I have to know about different mediums. That's the reason for many different ones.
    Besides we get so complacent if we never change. I think change is growth. But of course thats a person issue I guess.

    I'm not gonna be discouraged about this quilting part now so many of your have offered so much advise and help.
    I sure do appreciate it.
    Diane

  16. #16

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    LOL Are you sure Lin that you don't want me to ask you how you know this?

    Thank you so much for this information. I will definately test different things here to be sure.

    I'm not really a dive in person but proceed cautiously.
    I don't like doing things twice.
    Thanks so much for sharing this information with me

    Diane

  17. #17
    lin
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    Quote Originally Posted by piney
    I have quilted but my fave is meandering, for me the in the ditch is a challenge. piney
    This is me to a "T" I have to go really slow when I sitd or else I wind up going up over the other side. Hate when I do that! :x

  18. #18
    lin
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    LOL Diane. I ripped more stitches (and discovered I knew quite a few more...ahem...ripe words LOL) than I care to admit to. :lol:

    And, you're very welcome. I hope some of that can be of practical use for you as you give this a try!

  19. #19

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    This teacher had us buy a special pair of gloves that are rubbery or sticking or something can't remember now to pull apart the seams when stitching in the ditch. They really work too. Much better than putting grease from had cream on your quilt I'm sure. You know that darned old dry skin well my darned old dry skin anyway
    Diane

  20. #20

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    Oh absolutely I just needed to know if others were doing this machine stitching. I've done the numbers on this king size quilt I want to make. I figured 8 or 900 dollars to have it quilted pretty much defeats my whole purpose. I also thought that maybe I'm in wrong business LOL
    Diane

  21. #21
    lin
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    Eight or nine hundred dollars??? Wow, no one around here gets anywhere near that much. Usually under two hundred unless it's micro-stippled and it's a king. I charge $.02 per square inch plus the cost of thread (since I don't order it wholesale) plus $25 if I have to baste anything larger than a small wall hanging. I might charge a little bit more if they want it really heavily quilted (like the lady I'm working for right now) but I've never heard of anyone getting much more than that. But, no matter what someone charges, if you can learn to do it for yourself, then all the better. :)

    I tried using the gloves and found I didn't like it. I don't feel like I really have my hands on the quilt that way, so less control. I use "Sortkwik" fingertip moistener and it works great. Leaves no stain or residue, and it's sticky enough that I have good control. I got mine at Office Depot, but they may sell it at Walmart. I say use whatever works for you. Even with the moistener I have trouble getting the sitd straight if I don't go somewhat slow. Maybe with a lot more practice I'll do it easier.

  22. #22
    Boo
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    Some quilt shops have long arm machines that they rent time on. Most require some sort of training session, but that is understandable. At our shop it is $16 a hour, but that varies from shop to shop. I would suggest you check around or ask at you local shop about long arm quilters. I think you will be surprised at the price. Over all meandering type quilting is the cheapest, but most long arm quilters who do custom work have set rates. It doesn't cost anything to inquire. :D

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