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Quilting a King-sized top

Quilting a King-sized top

Old 04-19-2012, 03:33 PM
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Default Quilting a King-sized top

I've got all the fabric ready to go for the quilt top for my bed, and now I've got cold feet. Can I really do a king-sized top? I'm not worried about the piecing. I can piece until the cows come home. I'm worried about quilting it. I don't have enough floor space to lay it out with batting and backing. And even if I did, how in the world am I going to man-handle a king-sized quilt in my machine? I have a 9" throat, and I've successfully done two twin-sized quilts which weren't too bad. The local longarm quilters are a little out of my budget. Has anyone quilted a king top? If so, do you have any tips about basting and/or quilting?
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Old 04-19-2012, 03:37 PM
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I have not done this and I am just like you. I think it would hurt my neck and shoulders and hands.
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Old 04-19-2012, 03:39 PM
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Why not do a modified quilt as you go? Divide that king into 6 or 8 equal sizes, piece and quilt each piece, then connect the pieces and bind.
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Old 04-19-2012, 03:51 PM
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I have done it a few times and not just stitch in the ditch, but FMQ as well. It takes a bit of thought to make sure that you position your quilt so that you don't have the majority of it in the harp space. As for sandwiching, I don't have a lot of floor space so I sandwich half of the quilt and then do the other half after I have spray basted and ironed the first half. the sandwiching is the worst part of it but it can be done.
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Old 04-19-2012, 03:54 PM
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It can be done, just not easily or at least I don't think it's easy, and I certainly can't FM good, but I can get it done. There are a couple of different ways that I've tried, 1-quilt as you go, 2- you put the sandwich together, to make sure everything's going to fit, then fold the top into 3rds, then cut the batting in large wavey curves, mark right/left and top or bottom, then remove that section, do the same for the other side, then quilt the center but leave some space so that you can hand stitch the batting sections back on, then quilt each section. I've done it both ways and did get them done, but I personally didn't find them a whole lot easier than wrestling with the whole big quilt.

You don't say if your quilting table is the same/approximate height as your machine, if not, that's the first thing I would recommend. Also, I read about the silicone "pad" for your machine, the only thing is, it's just a small pad. I've also read about the fabric safe silicone spray, that you spray on the bed of your machine and quilting table. Just for the heck of it, I bought a can. I COULDN'T BELIEVE the difference it made in being able to MOVE the quilt. I highly recommend it, and when I'm at a quilt/fabric store, I'm going to get several cans of it. GOOD LUCK and I hope that these tips will help you.
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Old 04-19-2012, 04:25 PM
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Marti Michell has an excellent book called Machine Quilting in Sections. It explains several different methods and gives excellent examples of when each method should be used. I did this for quite a few large quilts before getting a longarm.
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Old 04-19-2012, 04:35 PM
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I think I would consider cutting the batt in half. Quilt one half of the king size quilt, fold back the top and back and use batting tape or zig zag to re- attach the second half of the batt back and smooth the top and back out and quilt the other half. If you've done twin size before, this will be like doing 2 twin size?
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Old 04-19-2012, 04:41 PM
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Good luck, can't imagine doing one on a personal machine.
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Old 04-19-2012, 05:28 PM
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Hmm..that Marti Michell book could be helpful. I also like the idea of silicone spray. I don't plan to do any FMQ, just straight line echo stitching.
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Old 04-19-2012, 05:32 PM
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I've done several quilts on my dsm and yes, it can be tricky....but...it is very rewarding when done! I starch pretty heavy on the final pressing as it helps to eliminate puckers and wrinkles when basting the sandwich and also helps to move through the machine easier. I also find a large place to lay it out flat and use spray basting....the layers do not shift, no puckers, no pins! I don't cut the batting, but some do. I use my ironing board as a second table, just to the left of my sewing machine, to hold the bulk of the quilt. I don't roll the quilt when moving through the machine, I "puddle" it, seems to be easier for me. When you start a new design or color of thread, make sure the bobbin is full....pulling out the quilt just to change the bobbin can be a real pain! With the spray basting, I don't have to start in the middle, I start quilting with some basic SITD all over the quilt, mostly to secure the layers, then switching over to fmq if desired. Take frequent breaks as manhandling a king size behemoth quilt will wear you out! Lastly....have fun with it!
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