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Thread: Quilting a King-sized top

  1. #1
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    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?
    Jenny in DC

  2. #2
    Super Member sewingsuz's Avatar
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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.
    Suzanne
    Asking a seamstress to mend is like asking Picasso to paint your garage.

  3. #3
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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.

  4. #4
    Junior Member oldhag's Avatar
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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.

  5. #5
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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.

  6. #6
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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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.

  7. #7
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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?

  8. #8
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    Good luck, can't imagine doing one on a personal machine.

  9. #9
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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.
    Jenny in DC

  10. #10
    Super Member Buckeye Rose's Avatar
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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!

  11. #11
    Super Member hopetoquilt's Avatar
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    Some places rent time on a long arm machine. I think the one place quoted $20/hour. You will probably want to and be required to take a class to learn to use the machine. Much less expensive than the LAQ charge + S/H to the LAQ.

    I choose carefully which quilts I will pay to have LAQ. It is a special treat for me to have quilts LAQ'ed.

  12. #12
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    I thought about doing a LAQ intro course and renting time, but I've heard the learning curve is pretty steep.
    Jenny in DC

  13. #13
    Super Member deedum's Avatar
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    I plan on quilting a King size sometime soon. I have a King size top almost done and I am hoping it is not going to be a big deal. to quilt it on my old Singer.

  14. #14
    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
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    I'll tell you why I no longer try to FMQ anything larger than a small twin at home.

    Several years ago (when I was much younger, less achy, and more nimble than I am now) I pushed to get a quilt FMQ'd at home for a show and didn't want to pay for a LAQ rush job. For 8 weeks after that show, after quilting that quilt myself, I visited the chiropractor several times a week to "fix" the shoulder I'd "killed" trying to do it my self.

    I could have paid the LAQ easily with the co-pays/deductibles I spent! Never again. I PROMISED myself.

    Jan in VA
    Jan in VA
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  15. #15
    Senior Member QuiltingCrazie's Avatar
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    I'm going to do a king but I'm taking the other road lol I'm tying it.....probably machine tying!! Like you I have a simple machine with a small throat. Good luck and Happy Quilting
    *Rachel*

  16. #16
    Super Member audsgirl's Avatar
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    I had posted a link to Oh, Fransson! where she shows how she quilts large quilts. She has some interesting techniques that make the job less taxing on your body. It's in the links and resources forum.

  17. #17
    Super Member quilterella's Avatar
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    It can be done. I lay it across my kitchen table to do the pinning and then I quilted it on my Janome with only a 9" throat. I had quilted several that way before I got my Tin Lizzie. If you use your ironing board or two kitchen chairs to help keep the weight from dragging, it is not too bad. I have done FMQ and crosshatching on my Janome, including SID. It can be done! Good Luck!
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  18. #18
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Which brand of silicone spray is safe for fabric? I'd like to order a can!

    I split the batting on large quilts into 3 pieces and quilt the middle section first. I first saw this technique described in a Debra Wagner book, but I think it is included in the Marti Michel book too. I use a Sharpie permanent marker to create registration marks before storing the other 2 sections of batting; makes putting the batting back together much easier. I also use the new batting tape (or pieces of nylon tricot fusible cut into strips) to fasten the batting back together.

  19. #19
    Senior Member DawnFurlong's Avatar
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    I recently finished quilting my king size quilt on my dsm (and a vintage machine at that - a Singer 15-91). And I was worried about the same things you are worried about. So - decided to cut my batting into thirds. I chose to do meandering on the entire quilt, and I started with the middle section. I used a fusible tape to attach the batting back together. I used 505 spray for basting.

    When reading about cutting the batting for a larger quilt, it was recommended to cut in in a wavy pattern, not a straight line. I ended up with an extreme wave, which I would not recommend. Next time (yes, I would do this again) - I will do a gentle wave. Also, I think it would make it easier to add back in the batting pieces if the stitching stopped in roughly a straight line down the quilt a couple of inches in from the edge of the batting. The quilt was so big, I kind of got lost as I meandered around, feeling for the edge of the batting. Some of my stitching came perilously close to the edges.

    Honestly, I think I could have done this without cutting the batting in thirds. Yes, it would have been tight in spots, but doable. Next time I would probably just cut the batting in half. I have to admit it was nice to be able to move around the middle of the quilt easily. I puddle my quilt when I FMQ.

    I am attaching a picture of my quilt while I was working on it, as well as the end result (almost end result - I still need to do the binding). I also added a picture of my favorite sewing machine - the one I used to FMQ on this top.

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    Dawn

  20. #20
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    Being cheap, instead of buying another something - silicon spray - I used Pledge spray furniture wax and it worked excellent. Didn't hurt my machine or my table.

    I have also heard - but haven't tried - using car wax.

    The next time I am quilting something large I am going to try the technique mentioned on Oh Fransson. That sounded very logical.

  21. #21
    Senior Member sewgray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by audsgirl View Post
    I had posted a link to Oh, Fransson! where she shows how she quilts large quilts. She has some interesting techniques that make the job less taxing on your body. It's in the links and resources forum.
    Would you share the link again. I did a search, but couldn't find it. Thanks.
    Lord, please keep your arm around my shoulder and your hand over my mouth.

  22. #22
    Super Member jitkaau's Avatar
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    I have managed it with my 9" throated machine by putting two large tables behind the machine and the whole quilt is supported on the tables as I go. There is minimal drag as I sit on the very right hand side of the front table and the quilt is thus to the left of me and to the front of me. All the best with your efforts.

  23. #23
    Super Member Stitchnripper's Avatar
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    I quilted a king size quilt on my dinky Brother mechanical. It was stid, but the blocks were set on point, so i started in the middle and worked out down the corners. It was tricky at times, but doable and came out fine.

  24. #24
    Super Member Annaquilts's Avatar
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    Been there done that several times this year. Here is the link with all the posts when I asked a similar question about doing a CalKing quilt.
    http://www.quiltingboard.com/main-f1...ne-t94447.html
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Annaquilts; 04-21-2012 at 04:17 AM.
    Anna Quilts

  25. #25
    Super Member MaryKatherine's Avatar
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    You could try a quilt as you go technique. That way it is in managible sized pieces.
    MaryKatherine
    marykayhopkins123.blogspot.com

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