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Thread: Quilting On A Home Machine

  1. #1
    Junior Member knitwitrosie's Avatar
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    Quilting On A Home Machine

    I know this has probably been asked a ZILLION times, but what's the largest you've quilted on a home, non-quilting machine?

    The reason why I ask is I really want to make quilts for my Aunts for Christmas, however paying someone to do the quilting for me is a bit out of the question as it will severely put me over budget. Originally, my sister's MIL offered to do any quilting of mine for cheap/free when she first got her long-arm machine. Things have changed for whatever reason and now the cost to have two lap quilts done is way out of my budget.

    The quilts are approx 60" x 76" each, and I'm probably going to just do SITD since I don't have a FMQ foot for my machine. I've got a Janome Sewist 525s as my primary sewing machine, but I do also have a Brother PC-6500 Embroidery/Sewing Combo Unit that has a slightly larger throat (but not by much) but I don't have a walking foot for that one.

    I guess I'm just looking to see if ya'll think it's possible for me to quilt these suckers on my own without having to send it out to be done.

  2. #2
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    I've quilted one king and a number of queens on my regular sewing machine. It isn't easy, but it is certainly doable. Good luck.

  3. #3
    DJ
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    Super Member DJ's Avatar
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    SID would work. I've done queen size on my Pfaff. I couldn't FMQ something that big with it. You would definitely want to use the walking foot.

  4. #4
    Super Member franc36's Avatar
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    The largest I have quilted is a California King. I cut the batting in thirds, quilted the middle section, then added the batting to the sides and quilted them. My machine has a 7" space for the quilt. With cutting the batting, I did not have a problem with the machine area. My biggest problem was not as much space on the left side of my machine as I would have liked. I put a TV tray on the left and that helped somewhat. I do have lots of table space behind my machine. I try to quilt all of my quilts that are twin size and smaller. I use a combination of stitching in the ditch and FMQ. Best wishes with your quilting. I am sure you can do it.

  5. #5
    Super Member Treasureit's Avatar
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    Good advise from DJ...walking foot a must have! There are things you can do without FM...XXX's - lines, I have done flowers in blocks by making an S from corner to opposite corner then mirror that to make 2 petals and the same in the other 2 corners. I bet if you search around you can find more ideas.

  6. #6
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    I have a Janome 6600 so I think I have a 9" throat - I've FMQ'd a huge king-size quilt (full 10' square) on that one. THAT was a chore!

    On my prior little machine (Brother CS6000i), largest I did on that one was a twin and that was not much trouble. I think I could have done a double sized quilt but probably not much larger than that...at least not without a lot of work and swearing.

  7. #7
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    The largest I did SITD for on my sewing machine, was a twin. SITD can be done by working from the middle out. That only puts half of the quilt in the harp at a time. Remember to switch SITD every other row to prevent the back from wrinkling. I used a batt that allowed for quilting 8 inches apart so I didn't have to do as much quilting.

  8. #8
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    I've done queen size on my small Brother machine....just simple straight line quilting and SITD. I also have done quilting just ouitside the ditch. Maybe you could use some of the fancy stitches that are on your machine.I like to do a fancy stitch...think it's called herringbone stitch...and quilt right on the seam. My friend uses a double needle and quilts either side of the seam.

    As WandaVA said...it isn't easy but it is doable.

  9. #9
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    One possibility is to quilt in sections. I did this until I bought a longarm. I used Marti Michell's book, Machine Quilting in Sections, to learn various ways to do it. I quilted an oversize king, 118x188, that way.

  10. #10
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    I've done a King on my White machine and I had to just remember to keep it rolled up. I took the class on Craftsy for
    doing large quilts on a home machines and she showed how to do in three's and cut the batting in 3 sections but when you cut curve it and then you can either tape the sections together or zig zag hand stitch back together and I'm going to try it on the quilt I'm going to do now it's a King and I think it'll make it easier. Hope this helps you a little. Sue

  11. #11
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    King size. I've done 3 of them - 2 on a machine with a 7" harp and 1 on a machine with an 11" harp. Granted, the larger harp made it easier, but anything smaller than king size is a piece of cake. I'm not familiar with either of your machines, but a lap size quilt on either of them should be a piece of cake. I know I can do a lap size on my Brother machine which only has a 5 1/4" harp. Personally I find fmq a lot easier than sid on a small machine.
    Shirley in Arizona

  12. #12
    Senior Member Terri D.'s Avatar
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    I've done as large as queen size. The key is to use a thin, low loft batting. Once I finally figured that out, machine quilting a large quilt got easier.

  13. #13
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    Have you considered a quilt as you go method? If I read your post correctly you haven't made the quilts yet, QAYG is one method to quilt. The nice thing about QAYG, when you are done constructing the quilt you are done quilting it at the same time. I used the Fun and Done method from Bayside quilting on the quilt that I made. It turned out lovely. Bayside quilting has several patterns available if you need a pattern. I made my own pattern, but, if you need a pattern, they have several for sale.

  14. #14
    Super Member Jeanne S's Avatar
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    You should be able to do SID on that size on your machine. I have done straight line and SID on double size quilts on mine.. It can be tiring wrangling the quilt around especially when you are working on the middle sections, so take frequent breaks!

  15. #15
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    it's definitely possible... just a lot of pulling and pushing through that throat. i try to quilt with the majority of the quilt hanging out the front whenever possible
    Nancy in western NY
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  16. #16
    Junior Member knitwitrosie's Avatar
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    The two quilts I'm needing to do are:

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    Both of which I think I can do just simple, straight stitching on. I don't have a FMQ foot for either of my machines, so that's really my only choice at the moment HUBBY actually suggested we go down to the one sewing machine shop we have nearby and check out their used machines. HE actually suggested we start looking at a bigger machine for me I'm not quite sure if that's the route we need to go down right this minute, but I was impressed that he even suggested it. Lol

  17. #17
    Power Poster ManiacQuilter2's Avatar
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    I have quilted dozens of queen size quilts on my Bernina. You just need support on your left side and you need support behind your sewing machine. Then you don't have any problem with the weight of a quilt. I look at these ads for sit down Long arm sewing machines and it just doesn't make any sense. A larger harp is convenient but not necessary.

    If you want the look in the first quilt, then a LAQ with a frame is maybe what you need. I would have just crosshatched the Lattice quilt. The other quilt is just stitch in the ditch and slightly parallel to the ditch. Good Luck with making a decision.
    Last edited by ManiacQuilter2; 05-20-2014 at 09:42 AM.
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  18. #18
    Moderator Jim's Gem's Avatar
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    I have made and quilted over 20 queen size quilts on my Domestic Size Bernina. My latest, a 100x110, I FMQ a rose and leaf pattern all over.
    The trick is to have a large level surface. A way to keep your quilt on that surface (I used clamps around my desk) and you "nest" the quilt and work on an area in the nest.Name:  001 (6).JPG
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    My newest Grandson, Caleb Austin, was born May 29th. I am now Grandma to 4 precious babies. I am so blessed!!!!

  19. #19
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    I've made several quilts around 80 inches on my Brother that has a 5.5 inch harp. Some SID, some straight line quilting. It's definitely not easy but can be done. I've tried quilting in sections and splitting the batting, I like splitting the batting so much more. Good luck!

  20. #20
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    I hate to keep bringing up the subject but you could hand quilt them. If the tops are already made you have more than six months to get the quilting done. You might be amazed how easy it really is. You could watch TV or spend time with friends and family while you are working. The second one would be extremely easy. You would just have to quilt 1/4 inch on either side of the pieced seams. Just use the seam allowance for your guide. Just think how amazed and grateful your aunts would be. If you don't have a quilting frame you could just use a large embroidery hoop. They sell plastic snap together quilting frames in JoAnns. Look in the quilt supply section.

  21. #21
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    i've done a SITD queen on a janome 6600....that's a 9" harp....just be patient......Leah Day has some you tubes on how to do it......

  22. #22
    Super Member carslo's Avatar
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    I have done at least 12 (twelve) 120 x 120. I start in one corner and work my way around the quilt in about a 10 inch swathe. I work from the outside into the middle. That is what works best for me Good luck! I do not SITD - it is too confining to me, I meander.
    Last edited by carslo; 05-20-2014 at 10:56 AM.
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  23. #23
    Senior Member beaglelady's Avatar
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    Sorry for double post.

  24. #24
    Senior Member beaglelady's Avatar
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    Wow Jim's Gem! I am very impressed with your quilting. It is beautiful! I have a 9" throat on my machine and struggle with quilting lap size quilts. (although I have done lots) I just persevere and eventually get it done but it is not fun. Do you have a stitch regulator on your machine or did you just get super good with practise?

  25. #25
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    Oh my goodness, cutting the batting and quilting it in thirds is brilliant! How do you attach the next batting after quilting the center section? I guess you have to spray or glue baste to do it this way?

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