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Thread: Qulting on regular sewing machine

  1. #1
    Senior Member teddysmom's Avatar
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    Qulting on regular sewing machine

    My DD has a Singer that belonged to my DH's mother. It runs like a top but she is needing to start doing her own quilting (cost keeps going up for a LA). She is debating about buying a new machine or getting "feet" for this one. What feet would she need and would she be better off going this way rather than buying a new machine (can't believe how much a new machine costs).

  2. #2
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    I have an older Singer (1960's) that will still outsew a lot of newer machines if you take away electronics. I have quilted more than one quilt on it with sucess. There are people who quilt with even older (treadle) machines. You would need a walking foot and free motion foot (can be obtained through places like Nancy's Notions). There are techniques for reducing bulk when dealing with a whole quilt (Marti Mitchell comes to mind). Go for it!!
    Last edited by IowaStitcher; 07-27-2012 at 04:25 AM. Reason: spelling

  3. #3
    Super Member nabobw's Avatar
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    She needs to make sure she can drop the feed dogs on that machine and if she can the she needs a free motion foot.

  4. #4
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nabobw View Post
    She needs to make sure she can drop the feed dogs on that machine and if she can the she needs a free motion foot.
    IF they won't drop, you can tape a piece of plastic overtop of them, so they won't grab the fabric.


    New feet are always a lot less costly than a new machine!

    One of the ladies I've "met"here on the QB does wonderful FMQ .... on a treadle!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Sew many ideas ... just sew little time!!
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  5. #5
    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    What machine does she have? Is it short shank or slant needle? The FMQ foot has to match that. There are high shank machines, too, but I don't think any are Singers. I do not have to drop the feed on my 1956 Singer 301 from with the FM foot I purchased from april1930sshoppe. I usually do, but it works well without doing so.

  6. #6
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    In addition to the feet, I highly recommend she get the book "Heirloom Machine Quilting" by Harriet Hargrave. It is full of wonderful tips, hints and techniques for DSM quilting, sandwiching and design and can be picked up used on Amazon for a very modest price.

  7. #7
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    If she buys a new machine, she definitely would want to buy one with a larger harp (throat size under the arm). This is the biggest limitation on using a domestic machine for quilting. Having a larger throat size really helps, especially with bed size quilts. The Janome 6500p and 6600P are examples of domestic machines with the larger harp.

  8. #8
    Senior Member IAmCatOwned's Avatar
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    Generally, what she wants is a darning foot. Then, tell her to quilt a couple of smallish quilts (giveaways or holiday stuff). You need that time to accustom yourself to going the right speed. If after she's done several quilts, she should know if she is happy with the results or not. Doing a large quilt can be exhausting, but if you limit it to one hour a day, it is way easier..Way easier. I could quilt without a problem with my old Kenmore. Great stitches. No tensions issues. Then my machine was used without my permission and the tension disks were damaged. I bought a Brother PS1000. Horrible machien for quilting - you are fighting with tension all the time. The back looked horrible, the stitches wouldn't lock correctly. All in all, terrible for quilting, but fine for plain sewing. I have since bought a Bernina and am much happier.

    So, my suggestion is that she should quilt a few quilts on her current machine. She may be happy with the results. A new machine with a wider distance between the needle and the motor housing makes quilting easier, but if she is happy with her current machine, she can save towards getting a new machine (all the doo dads are great!). Or not. Up to her.

  9. #9
    Super Member Deborahlees's Avatar
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    I agree use the machine you have, just get a new foot, one called a "Bigfoot" is also a good one....Another suggestion is a good pair of quilting gloves will really help with moving the quilt, I personally like my White Machiners that I buy direct from the designer....If you don't want to spend the money then a good pair of gardening gloves will also work in a pinch, I just find them a little warm to wear for any time. And yes doing something small to start is an excellent idea, will sure help getting your feet wet, perhaps a potholder, then a placemat, then a table runner, then a lap quilt, I am sure you get the idea. And you really, really really need to stop and take breaks, for your back, your hands and your eyes and finally for you sanity !!!!!

  10. #10
    Super Member crafty pat's Avatar
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    I have the 401A from the 50's that I quilt on just fine. I bought a darning foot for it and have had no problems.I also bought a walking foot for it.

  11. #11
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    I actually like straight-line quilting, both the finished look and the process. For me, it's easier than FMQ. I have two vintage sewing machines, a Singer 15-91 from 1951 and a Bernina 830 Record. I bought walking feet for both. I actually like to use the Singer for most things because the walking foot for an old straight stitch machine is less bulky since the feed dogs aren't as wide. I think it can be tricky to find one for older machines that works, but Jenny at sew-classic.com usually has a brand that fits most old machines. I just quilted two baby quilts with a walking foot, one on each machine. One had closely spaced wavy, current-like lines and the other had parallel straight lines 1/2" apart.
    Last edited by elizajo; 07-27-2012 at 03:18 PM.
    Elizabeth

  12. #12
    Senior Member sept97's Avatar
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    if the feed dogs won't drop she can get the easy glider???? I think that's what it's called. It's for machines that can't drop the feed dogs. I machine quilt on my sewing machine and the throat is normal size. Just gotta be patient.

  13. #13
    Super Member HillCountryGal's Avatar
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    I have a regular sewing machine.. nothing special. And have straight-lined machine quilted most everything I've made with good results. Totally agree with everyone else, have her try something small to see how it works.

    The main thing is she needs to have fun and enjoy the process.

  14. #14
    Super Member Latrinka's Avatar
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    I agree to try getting the right foot for it as opposed to buying a new machine. Good Luck!
    If a woman's work is never done....why start?

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    I am using my mothers White machine that was purchased in the 60's...also have a Bernette Bernina and a Brother (Brother is used for embroidery only)....I do my quilting on the BB as I am not sure what the Whites limitations are ...my 1st quilt on a machine was a king size quilt (done on the BB) I am considering purchasing a darning foot for the White , cover the feed dogs and trying some FMQ on the old girl...and I am a beginner at all this, the sky is the limit...good luck in whatever she decides to do.

  16. #16
    Super Member k9dancer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nabobw View Post
    She needs to make sure she can drop the feed dogs on that machine and if she can the she needs a free motion foot.
    I quilt on a vintage Featherweight. The feed dogs do not drop. Simply set your stitch length to zero and it works just fine. Also, reduce the pressure on the foot. So older machines are just great for quilting! She will want a darning foot for FMQ. Some people use a walking foot, but I never do, even though I have them. A SID foot works fine for straight stitching.
    Stephanie in Mena

  17. #17
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    IU, too quilt on a 401A with no problems. Get a pair of gardening gloves with the rubberized dots on them or purchase a set of Office Fingers from Michaels. These are heavy-duty fingertipe what will grip your fabric. Use tables or ironing boards to support your quilt while you quilt.

  18. #18
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    Check out Leah Days site; she teaches quilting on a reqular machine. I'm not sure how long she'll be doing it though; I've heard she's getting ready to teach for Craftsy.
    Judy

  19. #19
    Super Member margecam52's Avatar
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    A darning foot (I even have one for my old 1920's singer...came with)...if the feed dogs don't drop...use a piece of plastic cut to size from a plastic lid, or use a regular playing card...tape it over the feed dogs)...and you can use most any machine to free motion quilt...it does take practice.


    Quote Originally Posted by teddysmom View Post
    My DD has a Singer that belonged to my DH's mother. It runs like a top but she is needing to start doing her own quilting (cost keeps going up for a LA). She is debating about buying a new machine or getting "feet" for this one. What feet would she need and would she be better off going this way rather than buying a new machine (can't believe how much a new machine costs).
    Marge Campbell
    TL18LS/Qbot automated quilter
    http://www.Lmcampbel.com

  20. #20
    Super Member MacThayer's Avatar
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    Right now there's an on line course at Craftsy.com on quilting (FMQ) a larger quilt on a home machine. I bring it up because it shows you how to do the quilt in pieces and then put it all together. It really isn't as difficult as you might imagine, and I'm using it all the time now because I've done my last King Size under a 7" harp! Not that it can't be done, but you ladies all know what I'm talking about! A King size is so much easier when quilted in 4 pieces, and then zipped together. It's awesome! Check it out! Plus she has other techniques if you don't want to quilt in pieces. Very​ helpful. Highly recommend. And there's no reason the techniques wouldn't work on an older Singer either.
    MacThayer

  21. #21
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I can do queen and larger on my Juki TL98QE and ny Babylock Jane, straight stitch only, with no problems. I have quilted alot of quilts on them, the 9" throat makes it alot easier. I have no room for a long arm.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

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