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Thread: What are some must have tools for beginners and how do I start?

  1. #1
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    What are some must have tools for beginners and how do I start?

    I'm a beginner and I'm wondering what tools I'm missing. I have pieced a couple quilts and would like to quilt them on my sewing machine but I look at them, get nervous and put them back up. I've never had a quilting class so I'm thinking I just don't know exactly where to start.

    I pieced a twin size quilt (more of a bedspread) for my daughter and she doesn't want a lot of quilting on it. It's big pieces and she wants it simple. I was thinking that I would quilt it in lines 4 inches apart. I have a walking foot for my sewing machine which is what I was going to use. I'm assuming I need to mark my lines first (is there an easy way to do this?) but then I didn't know where on the quilt to start quilting. Do I start in the middle?

    Sorry for all the questions! I know I just need to jump in and it will come together but I just haven't had the courage to do it yet.

  2. #2
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    You can get a guide for your walking foot if it didn't come with the foot. It's just a bar of metal that you put on your machine so that you can stitch evenly without marking the quilt. As for how far apart you quilt, you must read the batting instructions. Different battings will require different quilt spacing. Some of my battings instruction tell you to quilt 3-4 inches apart others have 8-9 inches apart. To find out how far to space your quilting,be sure to keep the wrapper that you batting came in.

  3. #3
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    First of all - very important. Sandwich the quilt - backing - wrong side up - batting - top right side up. I use large safety pins about every 3-4". I always start in the center. I don't want any surprises when I get to the edges. I wear mostly garden gloves with the rubber nubs. Makes moving the quilt so much easier.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

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    I prefer either 505 spray for basting my quilt sandwich or using Hobbs 80/20 fusible batt that you iron to make the quilt sandwich. When quilting he sandwich it is best to start in the middle and quilt out so that any shifting ends up at the edges. If you are using your walking foot to quilt, don't do all the lines sewing the same direction, alternate directions every other row. A great tool for stitching lines is to put painter's tape on the quilt and stitch beside it with your walking foot.

  5. #5
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    I would practice on scraps or old sheets first, just to get comfortable with the process. THEN quilt your quilt. You don't have to mark the quilt itself, you can use masking tape and sew next to it.

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    Super Member patski's Avatar
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    check out the pajama quilter. It is a fun relaxing way to learn to machine quilt. Also check out craftsy.com, they have classes.

    Check what the batting says, you may need quilting only 8 inches apart. I just made a quilt for my grandson with minimal quilting because my step daughter dosesn't like the look of a lot of quilting
    Patski
    always learning

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    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    basting spray, many different brands on the market, all work, all stink so spray outdoors, even 505 I can't stand the smell. I have also used june tailors, 101, and sullivans with no issue. I would also get a darning foot because it is more versatile than a walking foot, however you have to practice practice before you attemp a real quilt, but the patterns you can do are endless, because crosshatching, SITD and gentle curves really limit you with a walking foot. Marking pencils for marking you designs, I like clover chalk pencils, and the sewline brand. I also have a frixion pen but have not used it on a project yet but tested it and it was fine. Me personally I mark my lines because I found the bar very inaccurate but thats just me
    Brother (XL-3500i, CV3550, SQ-9050, Dreamweaver XE6200D), Juki MO-2000QVP, Handiquilter Avante

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    Thank you for all the replies, they have been helpful. I will check into getting a darning foot also. I have my quilt sandwiched with safety pins all folded up and neatly placed in the corner where I keep returning it too. LOL

  9. #9
    Member ThreadsofTimeFab's Avatar
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    We actually have an article on our site that deals with the very basic supplies of quilting. I could send you the link through private message if you'd like

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    That would be wonderful! Thank you!

  11. #11
    Power Poster ManiacQuilter2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hdoublej View Post
    Thank you for all the replies, they have been helpful. I will check into getting a darning foot also. I have my quilt sandwiched with safety pins all folded up and neatly placed in the corner where I keep returning it too. LOL
    You need a walking foot for doing straight quilting lines. A darning foot is used when you start to do free motion designs. When I marked diagonal lines, I also started stitching from the middle of the quilt and worked my way out. I never really cared for those guides on the walking foot so I either marked a quilt with a Hera marker (found at JAF) that makes a slight dent in the fabric that you stitch on and sometimes I used painter's tape, its the blue tape found in the painting supplies. Good Luck. We were ALL beginners at one time!!
    A Good Friend, like an old quilt, is both a Treasure and a Comfort

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