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Thread: Qulting-how long does it take you to do the actual quilting?

  1. #1
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    Qulting-how long does it take you to do the actual quilting?

    I make quilts for charity with a great group of ladies. In the past I just made the tops because honestly, I don't like quilting...yes, I know, sort of an oxymoron. Plus I get a bad back ache when I do I guess from the shoulder strain of leaning over the machine and once it's working I don't want to stop.

    Our group had been blessed with several professional LA'ers and a couple people who had just gotten LA's and wanted to practice. (With the understanding that if it wasn't working, they had to stop and help un-sew everything) Well, that was the old days. People have had to go back to work, others are taking in paying quilt jobs and our group has grown tremdously, used to be 5-10 of us consistantly making tops and now we have ~30 and it's overloading the LA's

    I have to quilt now, boo hoo. So I have some small ~45"x50" ones that I'm going to work on. Nothing too challenging at first.

    So on a DSM, how long does it usually take you to quilt a small quilt-barring Murphy's law (everything tha can go wrong, will go wrong), how long does it take you to finish, when the sandwich is ready? I'm having problems getting started becaue I feel like it's going to take forever.


    I've watched the Leah Day videos on youtube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6nz0QwNv1AA She has great ideas, the one thing i don't like is she uses a small square to show and hey, even I can quilt a 9" sqare with no problems. It's the huge thing that take over the whole sewing table and floor around it, and sometimes the cat.

  2. #2
    Super Member Deborahlees's Avatar
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    I have a 6 foot table I set up to just quilt on....put my machine in the middle of the table....I tell myself it will take a week (called psyching yourself out) then it is a contest of how long it is actually going to take. I usually trying to get up and walk around at least every hour.....go start a load of laundry, get something to drink, and then go back....some times it has taken me 10-12 hours depending on my mood....other times 3-4 hours....other times 1-2 hours....It will also depend on the mood of your machine at the time, as sometimes "SHE" just does not want to quilt in any shape or form, and other times she can not go fast enough or smooth enough........
    Yes that is a real picture of my hometown Temecula, California. We feature premiere Wineries, World Class Golf Courses, Pechanga Indian Casino and Hot Air Balloons

  3. #3
    Super Member crafty pat's Avatar
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    Sometime when my back is really giving me a hard time I tie mine setting in my comfortable chair with my feet up. When I use my machine it depends on the quilting pattern I use. I am working on one now that I am using FM and I did half in an hour yesterday.

  4. #4
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    if you just do simple-straight line quilting to get it done a quilt as small as you are speaking of should easily be done in an hour or so- if you just follow the blocks/grid- if you want to do free motion quilting you should put together a few small practice sandwiches & practice a bit to become comfortable with the process---relax & drop your shoulders- put on some nice music that helps you get into the flow- it really doesn't take that long once you sit down & do it. especially if using batting like warm & natural that allows up to 10" between quilting lines.
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  5. #5
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    I've done a medium stipple on a twin size quilt in a day that was also filled with doing laundry and other chores.
    I've also worked for 15+ hours on super tight, micro stitching for a 12" square. So there isn't really a time it takes to quilt, it totally depends on what I am doing.


    Charity lap quilts usually take me 3 hours to quilt. I just do an all over pattern, not usually stippling.

    The key is to have a plan- how are you going to move in and out of blocks? And to have a really good support for the quilt. I put an out-feed table behind my machine, and set an ironing board to the left of my machine table. No part of the quilt is unsupported.

    I also don't roll, I bunch.

    Leah day does have some videos on how to quilt giant quilts. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-eOp...source=message is a good one to see. If she sped it up 8x and it is a 15 minute video, this quilt took her 2 hours.

    Even though all of her designs CAN scale up- I think many of them don't work nearly as nicely on large scale, because they are filler designs. Most bed quilts don't need filling designs.

  6. #6
    Power Poster RedGarnet222's Avatar
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    Well time flys by if you are having fun. I would say try to have fun with it in some way that tricks you into ENJOYing this part of making your charity quilts. If the batting is an 80/20 you only have to quilt ten inches apart, so keep that in mind. Also there are some really nice continuous line designs that would make it go faster if you are quilting end to end.

    Just get yourself in a great mood with some nice music and go for it. I think dreading it has you at a stopping mode.
    RedGarnet222

    "Take your needle, my child, and work at your pattern ... It will come out a rose by and by. Life is like that ...one stitch at a time, taken patiently."
    *Oliver Wendell Holms

  7. #7
    Super Member Dina's Avatar
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    I find the quilting part very satisfying, for some reason. I prefer to stitch in the ditch or do a cross stitch design (diagonal). I think in an hour or two you could quilt a small quilt, using either of these methods. I use the Warm and Natural batting, which allows me to have more room between stitches, and that would make a big difference too.

    I put my ironing board next to my machine to help support the weight of the quilt. You might find that helpful?

    Good luck though. You can do this, and you may even find it satisfying.

    Dina

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedGarnet222 View Post
    Just get yourself in a great mood with some nice music and go for it. I think dreading it has you at a stopping mode.
    That is so true, I'm dreading starting and I have 5 tops to complete. The good thing is that there is no deadline, just whenever I get them done I can turn them in. I made a few with just plain fleece backing just to see if it would work. I need to throw them in the wash to see how they wash up. A lot of the kids like the feel of fleece on quilts.

    A friend of mine works on the 'box of wine' quilting style. "Open up a box of wine and relax, have a glass or two of good wine, then start quilting." I tried offering her a bribe of a box or 3 of wine if she'd quilt mine but for some reason she thinks it's time to for to conquer this challenge.

  9. #9
    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    A large meander shouldn't take more than a couple of hours for that size quilt. I personally like to meander block by block with something else in the alternate blocks, but that is more time consuming. I've done an allover and while I found it harder as it was bigger quilt, it turned out well. When I first started FMQ, my upper back hurt, but I used a child's backpack with 2 pounds of weight. I don't need it anymore. I'd say the chubby part of the pattern in my meandering is as wide as my 2 thumbs together. Think puzzle pieces in a child's puzzle.

    Music: I do best with Rod Stewart or Bon Jovi. Not exactly relaxing, but it works for me.

  10. #10
    Senior Member quilter1943's Avatar
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    I quilted and finished the binding on a 40 x 50 this afternoon in 2 1/2 - 3 hours at the most. Even did a design in three of the center blocks. Usually I just to basic top to bottom and side to side blocks for the quilting on the Linus quilts I do. Sometimes I'll add some hearts or do special designs if there are plain blocks. Try the straight quilting without using free motion. I think you'll find it isn't that stressful.
    Nana Jan
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  11. #11
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    Might I suggest you try using painters tape for marking the lines for quilting! It easy and fast . The sizes you have noted should not be too bad to do on a regular machine. I do hope you have a walking foot... and spray basting ... those are two things I can't do without.

  12. #12
    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    Just for the record, I find straight line sewing much harder than meandering and it's harder on the body because you have to move the quilt around more. We each have our preferences.

  13. #13
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I almost always do a large stipple, I sometimes keep track of the time, once I'm done I forget how long it took. I love FMQ and don't really care how long it takes. I'm usually doing laundry so some breaks are needed.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

  14. #14
    Super Member Stitchnripper's Avatar
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    The fastest way to quilt for me is a large meander. It goes so much faster than straight line or ditch in the ditch. I think the last one I had a time crunch on I did in a day, with many breaks. It was a very large wall hanging, about the size of the top of a twin bed with no drape.

  15. #15
    Senior Member sewplease's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by charity-crafter View Post
    I'm having problems getting started becaue I feel like it's going to take forever.
    I feel your pain. I love to piece, but have a big stack of quilts that need quilting. I dread the sandwiching and the quilting on my DSM. I just need to get over it and get started. Is there a simple all-over pattern anyone can recommend? I've heard doing a basic pattern is sometimes easier than stippling (?)

  16. #16
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    I dread doing the quilting so have tops stacked up that I may never get around to.

  17. #17
    Super Member grammysharon's Avatar
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    My answer is, "as long as it takes." If you are doing easy it can take as few as 4 hours or as many as 25 to 30 hours for a complex quilting pattern.
    A quilt is a blanket of love. Sharon

  18. #18
    Senior Member alisonquilts's Avatar
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    I don't really have an answer to the "how long" - although I agree that an allover large-ish stipple is a pretty quick way to do it. I am going to suggest that you invest in (or dig out from wherever it is) a portable tape/CD player with headphones, and listen to some books on tape (from the library) while you work. Music is great too, of course, but sometimes getting hooked into a good plot can really make the time fly!

    Alison

  19. #19
    Super Member Rose_P's Avatar
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    It depends a lot on what is appropriate for the quilt, but I found that the quickest quilting I have tried that turned out well was using a walking foot and just doing a slightly wavy, irregular grid all over at about 2 1/2-3" intervals. I did one almost the size of yours in about an hour and a half. It actually took longer to do the binding. If it makes you nervous to take off without a guide, you could pin a strip of paper down and follow it within a short distance. You might need that only for the first line in each direction. Many blocks have seams that serve as handy mileposts. The grid can also be done on the diagonal.

    For some designs, wavy streamers look nice - the same idea, only going one direction. For that, I would make the lines a little closer together, with some of them crossing each other here and there. I have used that on some placemats that were stitch and flip, so no quilting was really needed, but I liked the effect, and it was very speedy. Fairly big, random loops or hearts or leaves are all pretty quick to do, but I wasn't keeping track of the time, so can't give a good guess. If you're in a hurry, remember to select batting that doesn't require close quilting. If you feel your shoulders bunching up, it's time to give yourself a break and a stretch. Hope you enjoy your project!
    "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." - Voltaire

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