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Thread: Quilting a large quilt on your normal-sized sewing machine...

  1. #1
    Junior Member QuilterMomOf3's Avatar
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    Quilting a large quilt on your normal-sized sewing machine...

    Have any of you tried quilting a large quilt on your normal-sized sewing machine? I have a quilt that I'm just now working on and I don't have a machine quilting frame yet, so, I enrolled a class on Craftsy to help me by teaching me 5 ways to quilt it!
    "Some people have bunches of WIPs (works in progress) and UFOs (unfinished objects)....I prefer to think of them as PhDs (Projects Half Done)!!" ~Elena Boen
    "Just keep in mind that your function here is to have fun and not to be someone else's interior decorator! So ... go forth and have fun!" ~Krystyna
    I cannot count my day complete 'til needle, thread and fabric meet.

  2. #2
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    Machine Quilting in Sections by Marti Michell - I used that book to quilt many large quilts before I got a longarm. One thing to take into consideration while you're making your quilt is that each method works best on quilts of certain designs, and you may need to know which method you will be using before you start assembling the blocks in the quilt.

  3. #3
    Super Member Buckeye Rose's Avatar
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    I love the way LA quilting looks, but can't afford the price. So I learned to do quilting myself on my Janome 6600. I do the baby quilts all the way up to the huge king sized ones. Granted, my quilting isn't near as good in quality, but my family loves them anyway. I can do a decent feather, stipple, and cross hatching. I have a finished top (and another almost done) that will be getting my first attempts at an edge to edge or panto-like design. While quilting on a regular sewing machine isn't easy, it can definitely be done. It does take lots of practice before ever starting to do a quilt, and sometimes the patience of Job to get the tension right, but absolutely doable!

  4. #4
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    Check out Leah Day's website for great ideas on how to quilt using a domestic sewing machine. You can also sign up for her newsletter which shows new quilt designs. I found her website to be very helpful.

  5. #5
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    I quilted a king size on my viking designer11. Wearing quilting gloves and accordian pleating instead of rolling helped me. My machine has a little more throat room than some brands.

  6. #6
    Super Member carslo's Avatar
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    I have a Viking Sapphire and it has quite a large harp area and do all my own quilting. I meander and I do not roll my quilts I puddle them and work from the outside in. I Elmer washable school glue or spray baste my quilts so there is not shifting of the sandwich. A LA quilters is out of my budget so I just learned to do it. I did dolly quilts to practice and then jumped in with a queen size quilt. Each quilt turns out better and better and the recipients love them!
    A bed without a quilt is like the night sky without stars.

    http://californiaquilting.blogspot.com/

  7. #7
    Super Member Sierra's Avatar
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    I've quilt all my quilts on my DSM which is a Janome 6600 with a 9" throat. I roll it up on two cardboard tubes and clip the sandwich on both ends to keep them rolled and stable. I don't do intricate patterns but often use (1) a long wavy line from top to bottom and then sideways, or (2) a cross hatch pattern (starting from the middle), or (3) a simple crossing of stitches that reminds me of the the tied quilts my mother used to make (start at the center, go 5 large-ish stitches out, backtract 10 stitches, forward 5 and end up where you started; then turn 90 degreees and make the second line of stitching to get a + shaped stitch. I don't stitch in the ditch because I find that hard, but sometimes I echo stitch. Also, sometimes I pillow case (?) my quilts and anchor them down and then quilt them. It all depends.... But it seems important to me to make my own quilts. I'm older and very aware that these quilts are what I will be leaving my family, and I want them to be quilts I made totally, warts and all. If perfection is your goal let a pro do it for you; if love for family is what it's all about for you, then quilt it yourself.

  8. #8
    Super Member SueSew's Avatar
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    I use the bunching-puddling technique of Leah day but I don't try to emulate her clever little designs. I just stick to SITD followed by simple lengthwise patterns like loose waves with curls on them, or outlining motifs. Anything which doesn't require birthing the quilt over and over again.

    I just did a medallion quilt 86" x 86" and it worked great because you sip along each border in the medallion, moving the quilt naturally and you don't get 'lost' in the middle.

    Good luck, I know you will make something which will make you proud!
    SueSew
    "If it's messy, eat it over the sink!" Mom

  9. #9
    Super Member justflyingin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuilterMomOf3 View Post
    Have any of you tried quilting a large quilt on your normal-sized sewing machine? I have a quilt that I'm just now working on and I don't have a machine quilting frame yet, so, I enrolled a class on Craftsy to help me by teaching me 5 ways to quilt it!
    Yes. I did several on a Pfaff Hobby 401 or something like that--the throat wasn't very large. I managed, but it wasn't easy. I upgraded (serious understatement) to a Janome Horizon 7700 and it made a world of difference with a huge harp and feed dogs that lower, etc. It was so much easier.

  10. #10
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    One lady in the quilt guild does all her own quilts on a home sewing machine. She wins many awards with her quilting. I'm just beginning but am quilting a double size on my sewing machine. It can be done.

  11. #11
    Super Member Stitchnripper's Avatar
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    I have quilted up to a king size stitch in the ditch on a dinky Brother mechanical and everything in between. I can do a respectable FMQ on the dinky Brother too. Sometimes it takes some struggle, but, I am happy with the outcome. Not perfect, but, good enough for me.

  12. #12
    Senior Member alisonquilts's Avatar
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    I quilt my stuff (up to oversize king) on my Kenmore 385. I do the "puddling" method like so many others, and I still baste with safety pins for my larger quilts (starting to use glue for the little ones). I don't do a lot of fancy FMQ on big quilts, unless it is at the edges where it is easier to manouver.

    I found it made a huge difference to wear grippy gloves - I use "Machingers", but lots of other options - and I found staying conscious of my posture important, too. I have a tendency to let my shoulders creep up by my ears which is exhausting AND makes it harder to slide your quilt around smoothly!

    You can definitely do this, and I bet you'll be pleased by the results fairly quickly!

    Alison

  13. #13
    Senior Member quilter1943's Avatar
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    I quilted a king size on my viking designer11. Wearing quilting gloves and accordian pleating instead of rolling helped me. My machine has a little more throat room than some brands.


    Thanks for the idea of pleating instead of rolling. I'm going to start quilting a king sized quilt for us on my Mega Quilter. The throat is wider, but it's going to be a challenge, I'm sure.
    Nana Jan
    Friendships are gifts from God that should be cherished and nourished

  14. #14
    Junior Member QuilterMomOf3's Avatar
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    I ended up taking this class, which teaches 5 ways to quilt a large on your normal machine:
    http://www.craftsy.com/class/Quiltin...all-Machine/51
    "Some people have bunches of WIPs (works in progress) and UFOs (unfinished objects)....I prefer to think of them as PhDs (Projects Half Done)!!" ~Elena Boen
    "Just keep in mind that your function here is to have fun and not to be someone else's interior decorator! So ... go forth and have fun!" ~Krystyna
    I cannot count my day complete 'til needle, thread and fabric meet.

  15. #15
    Super Member Annaquilts's Avatar
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    http://www.quiltingboard.com/picture...e-t191035.html

    http://www.quiltingboard.com/main-f1...4-t173170.html

    http://www.quiltingboard.com/picture...p-t101630.html

    http://www.quiltingboard.com/main-f1...ne-t94447.html

    I had 3 of my children get married in a little over a year. Too many large quilts on a regular sewing machine. ~smile~

    I spray basted the quilts and pinned around the edge only. DH marked them with crayola washable markers (besure not too iron and was two to threee times to get all the marks out before drying.) I puddle, meaning start in the center and work my way outward. sometimes I go along rows. It all depends on the pattern. If you can do the center, you can do the whole quilt. I use machinger quilting gloves. Get a real small size so they fit thight.
    Last edited by Annaquilts; 03-24-2013 at 08:59 AM.
    Anna Quilts

  16. #16
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    i've done many queen sized quilts on my domestic- the viking, the janome & my little 1956 singer 99-K; i like using my small machines for (close- detailed) quilting. i use the long-arm for large easy flowing designs...the small machines for tiny (up=close & personal) quilting. i baste well (usually with the long arm) then i puddle...it works well for me.
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  17. #17
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    My few quilts, mostly @ full size, have all been quilted on our regular machines (either the Singer 301A or Pfaff 1540). Worked fine for lines without a lot of close turns. On the last one I did outline some fairly complicated shapes so the quilt had to make @ 2 full turns for each one. I won't do that again LOL .

    For the 301A, I thread-basted. For the Pfaff, I just used a few safety pins and I do mean a few; it has the dual feed so things don't shift much as you're sewing.

    For relatively straight lines from one side or end of the quilt to the next, I roll or accordian-fold the excess. For more complicated things, I just sort of bunch it up so it's easier to manipulate on a turn.

  18. #18
    Super Member charsuewilson's Avatar
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    I do most of my quilting on a regular sized machine (Singer Touch and Sew) or Pfaff 2xxx. I puddle like many others here. i've tried the Flynn frame for some smaller quilts. Spray basting has worked better for me than pin basting. For the next quilt, I'm going to try piecing the batting and quilting in sections. I already have a wide back, so the only thing left to cut is the batting. I've read about a number of techniques, but most end up with a sashing between blocks, and those that don't, end up with a back being pieced.

  19. #19
    Super Member justflyingin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuilterMomOf3 View Post
    Have any of you tried quilting a large quilt on your normal-sized sewing machine? I have a quilt that I'm just now working on and I don't have a machine quilting frame yet, so, I enrolled a class on Craftsy to help me by teaching me 5 ways to quilt it!
    Yes, definitely. I squished and shoved!...then I got a Horizon!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sierra View Post
    But it seems important to me to make my own quilts. I'm older and very aware that these quilts are what I will be leaving my family, and I want them to be quilts I made totally, warts and all. If perfection is your goal let a pro do it for you; if love for family is what it's all about for you, then quilt it yourself.
    Sierra, I love what you're saying. I make my quilts for friends and loved ones, too, and I think the imperfections are a sign of my love and labor!
    Jenny in DC

  21. #21
    Super Member deedum's Avatar
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    All the time on my 1951 singer 15. Just puddle the quilt, be sure to support your quilt and not let it drag. Works just fine. Mine isn't perfect like a long armer but I am happy with them. Everyone seems to think they are beautiful too.

  22. #22
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    I did a king size on my Bernina 1090. It was a challenge that I just had to conquer! You just have to take your time and work in one area, then shift and work in another.

    What did you think of the craftsy class? I signed up for some free ones and paid for one class on advanced fmq. I'm still working my way thru those classes but there are a ton of quilting classes that I plan to take thru craftsy. (I have no association with craftsy.) Just want some advanced classes in quilting.

  23. #23
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    if you go on www.youtube and search how to make a cheap quilt table you,ll find this link on how to make a table to use with your regular swing machine, i built one and it worked so good with my bernina or my other machines i have . you might find it more helpful and useful to quilt on your machine along with your crafty,s class
    we can make our plans but the out come is in god,s hands nellie diaz

  24. #24
    Junior Member QuilterMomOf3's Avatar
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    Thanks for reminding me about those Youtube videos...I had forgotten about them...but we're really tight on money right now & can't afford those materials...


    Quote Originally Posted by nellie View Post
    if you go on www.youtube and search how to make a cheap quilt table you,ll find this link on how to make a table to use with your regular swing machine, i built one and it worked so good with my bernina or my other machines i have . you might find it more helpful and useful to quilt on your machine along with your crafty,s class
    "Some people have bunches of WIPs (works in progress) and UFOs (unfinished objects)....I prefer to think of them as PhDs (Projects Half Done)!!" ~Elena Boen
    "Just keep in mind that your function here is to have fun and not to be someone else's interior decorator! So ... go forth and have fun!" ~Krystyna
    I cannot count my day complete 'til needle, thread and fabric meet.

  25. #25
    Junior Member QuilterMomOf3's Avatar
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    I love those old machines. My dad is operating a sewing machine rescue and has a bunch of those old machines with different makes and models...All ranging from old treadles & up.

    Quote Originally Posted by deedum View Post
    All the time on my 1951 singer 15. Just puddle the quilt, be sure to support your quilt and not let it drag. Works just fine. Mine isn't perfect like a long armer but I am happy with them. Everyone seems to think they are beautiful too.
    "Some people have bunches of WIPs (works in progress) and UFOs (unfinished objects)....I prefer to think of them as PhDs (Projects Half Done)!!" ~Elena Boen
    "Just keep in mind that your function here is to have fun and not to be someone else's interior decorator! So ... go forth and have fun!" ~Krystyna
    I cannot count my day complete 'til needle, thread and fabric meet.

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