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Thread: New to quilting with a gifted machine

  1. #1
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    New to quilting with a gifted machine

    Hello everybody Iíve been sewing since I was a teen but only have done simple projects and have always had a brand new/cheapest machine. I recently have finally been able to finally start learning more about quilting and all the different patterns and such but Iím working with a sewing machine I inherited when my grandma passed away. Therefore I have no manual or knowledge of this style machine and to be honest it has way more bells and whistles than Iím accustomed to. So after hours of searching I came across this website and am hoping someone can help me learn more about my machine and if itís a decent machine to learn to quilt on. And to be completely honest Iím having second thoughts about quilting because Iím so overwhelmed by my lack of knowledge not only about quilting techniques but just my machine. And I canít afford to by a new machine but I desperately want to sew quilts for my loved ones, especially my first grandchild whoís due in mid April!!! So if anyone can help me with any information about a White Deluxe sewing machine precision built zigzag model 1717 and any honest opinions on if this machine will work for quilting. Thank you and I canít wait to hopefully be posting pictures of my first quilt!!!! I also tried to upload a picture of my machine but couldnít get it to work.

  2. #2
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    For the last 20+ years I've been using a vintage machine older than I am -- and I ws born in 1960. My old Remington (it belonged to the grandma of a friend before me) does have a zigzag and that's about all it has -- except that it has a most wonderful straight stitch and is easy for me to maintain. While it is nice to have the extra stuff, we don't need it and most of us learn to use what we have. It was entirely adequate for piecing and I even did simple grid quilting of a king sized quilt on it even!

    This past November I was gifted with a lovely modern machine with the bells and whistles. I have vision issues and I must admit that the new machine will let me sew for a few more years. The automatic threader is wonderful as is the amount of light it has. It is much easier to do the quilting (as opposed to the piecing), the big thing is that it has a 12" deep throat instead of the 6-7 inches I'm used to. But from time to time I just want to do things that it doesn't want me to do, like today I want to make some stencils by stitching through paper with no thread and I think it's just going to be easier to pull out one of my vintage machines than figure out how to get around the fool-safes.

  3. #3
    Super Member quiltsRfun's Avatar
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    There are many who prefer vintage machines rather than the newer ones. All you really need is a good straight stitch and an accurate 1/4-inch seam. Do a google search for a manual. Many are available online. Start small and simple and ask here for advice. We were all beginners at one time and are happy to help. I look forward to seeing your first quilts.

    P.S. Check out the Missouri Star videos on YouTube. You’ll find lots of help and inspiration there.

  4. #4
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    Youíve hit it on the head for me because itís an easy machine to clean and fix but I am having a few issues that I canít figure out and the only thing left for me to do is figure out what some of these knob/levers do and to play around with the different settings. I did find a place online to download the manual to it but just canít afford it at the moment. So I figure my time is free and overall Iíll have a better understanding of how things work if I have hands on experience. Iím so glad to hear that I donít ďneedĒ a fancy machine even though it would be nicer for some aspects.
    Quote Originally Posted by Iceblossom View Post
    For the last 20+ years I've been using a vintage machine older than I am -- and I ws born in 1960. My old Remington (it belonged to the grandma of a friend before me) does have a zigzag and that's about all it has -- except that it has a most wonderful straight stitch and is easy for me to maintain. While it is nice to have the extra stuff, we don't need it and most of us learn to use what we have. It was entirely adequate for piecing and I even did simple grid quilting of a king sized quilt on it even!

    This past November I was gifted with a lovely modern machine with the bells and whistles. I have vision issues and I must admit that the new machine will let me sew for a few more years. The automatic threader is wonderful as is the amount of light it has. It is much easier to do the quilting (as opposed to the piecing), the big thing is that it has a 12" deep throat instead of the 6-7 inches I'm used to. But from time to time I just want to do things that it doesn't want me to do, like today I want to make some stencils by stitching through paper with no thread and I think it's just going to be easier to pull out one of my vintage machines than figure out how to get around the fool-safes.

  5. #5
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    Thank you for the support and am doing exactly what you recommend and have found a wealth of videos on YouTube already. One thing I’m realizing already is that I need to slow down and take my time when I’m cutting my fabric cause I see how important that is compared to the types of projects I’ve worked on in the past. I found my manual as well just have to wait for payday cause I already spent my fun money for the month on fabric. With that being said do you have any recommendations for good fabric websites because where I live the only fabric store I have access physically to is Wal-Mart and their selection isn’t the greatest?

  6. #6
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    [QUOTE=quiltsRfun;8190094]There are many who prefer vintage machines rather than the newer ones. All you really need is a good straight stitch and an accurate 1/4-inch seam. Do a google search for a manual. Many are available online. Start small and simple and ask here for advice. We were all beginners at one time and are happy to help. I look forward to seeing your first quilts.

    P.S. Check out the Missouri Star videos on YouTube. You’ll find lots of help and inspiration there.[/QUOTE. I must apologize I’m new to this type of conversation format and I wrote a response to your post but did it wrong so if you check the thread there’s a message in response. I’m learning all kinds of new things today and my teenage girls think it’s so funny that I can’t figure out how to use this but I can fix just about anything else.

  7. #7
    Super Member leonf's Avatar
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    Most devices that take photo make files too large for this forum. so if you can shrink them you could post your pics. I am guessing your White may be what is often called a "dashboard" machine since in has lots of knobs nd levers that look like htey belling in a 50s car dash. Do you know what county made your White? And welcome aboard.

    Yes, careful cutting is essential.
    "Sacrifices must be made." Otto Lilienthal

  8. #8
    Super Member Cari-in-Oly's Avatar
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    Lisa you're on the right track. Fabric can be found most anywhere. I would say that at least 50% of my fabric stash came from garage sales and thrift stores. The large quilt top I just finished used thrift store fabric, an Ikea duvet cover that I cut up. Some Walmarts have better fabric departments than others, and they have more fabric online than they do in the stores. Connecting Threads is one of my favorite online fabric stores. I have a lot of fabric from there too. Don't be too concerned with building a fabric stash just yet, buy what you need for a specific project, maybe a little extra, and your stash will grow over time. You also don't need every tool and gadget on the market. A good cutting mat and rotary cutter, a couple of rulers, and the basic sewing supplies you already have are a good start. Many long time quilters have a drawer full of tools and gadgets they thought they had to have and just never use. And don't worry too much right now about all your machine can do. Quilt piecing only takes a straight stitch, I use a seam guide and the edge of the foot as my guide for a 1/4" seam, no special foot needed.

    Cari

  9. #9
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    Sometimes, there is a demo on youtube.com for sewing machines. It's common that sellers on Ebay make a video of the machine that they have for sale. So, I'd look there. Just go to youtube.com and put White 1717 sewing machine in the search box.

    I've bought fabric at estate sales, thrift stores, Walmart, Quilt stores and online stores. I agree with Cari, though. Don't look to build a stash. I ran into a huge estate sale right after I started quilting. I was still working then, so bought a bunch of fabric there for about $75.00. Three years or so later, I still have most all of it. I've donated some, but used very little of it for my quilts.

    My suggestion is to find a pattern that you like for your grandchild. You can look for something you like on Google images. I usually search for something like "baby quilt pattern". I usually add -pinterest as I don't care for pinterest. Look for something simple. By that, I mean, not too many little pieces, no curved pieces and no triangles. Or, you can get a quilt book from the local library. Also, quilting magazines have patterns in them. The pattern will tell you how much fabric you will need, how to cut the pieces and then how to assemble the quilt.

    The first quilt I made was a "disappearing 9 patch". It was fairly easy and I was pleased. The ladies on the quilting forum at Houzz were spectacular for help. It's a much smaller group and they love to help. The ladies, my local quit shop and youtube got me through the first quilt. Anything you want to know about quilting is on youtube. From cutting your pieces to squaring up your quilt - it's there.

    Good luck.

    bkay

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    You definitely came to the right place. The members of this board are fabulous! If there is a single bit of advice I could give, it would be to never hesitate about posting a question here, no matter how basic or silly you might think it is. The advice and encouragement the members of this board freely give is absolutely amazing. And post pictures of your work--we love to see!

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    Welcome to quilting. One thing I always tell people when they look at one of my quilts and comment that they could never make one, I always tell them why not, I'm always sewing a straight line.
    To many quilts, not enough wine.

    Janome Horizon Memory Craft 8900QCP, Special Edition
    Vingtage Dressmaker 7000 Heavy Duty

  12. #12
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    Welcome aboard. I canít add anything to whatís been said except please buy a safety glove for cutting. Those rotary blades are extremely sharp and several people here have lost parts of their index finger when they were cutting fabric. I like my No Cut brand . I would also get a pair of quilting gloves to help your hands grip the layers when you quilt. I like the Machingers.

    PS I have a White brand vintage machine that was my grandmaís . Itís turquoise and gorgeous.

  13. #13
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    I remembered a list of essential tools I made for my niece, who is learning to quilt:



    • a rotary cutter and extra blades-find one that feels good in your hand, and don't hesitate to change the blade. A nice, sharp blade is not only safer, but cuts more accurately and is easier on your hand
    • a cutting mat (24x36 is my preferred size)- invest in a good one, will last you for years
    • a couple of rulers

      • 6x12- This is the ruler I use the most
      • 6x24- Is very useful because you can cut from selvage to selvage with just one fold
      • 12-1/2x12-1/2 and 6-1/2x6-61/2- I use these a lot to square up my blocks, but can wait if they are not in your budget right away

    • an iron-even a cheap one, so long as it gets very hot. The $10 one I bought at WM years ago was better than anything I have been able to buy since. Pressing is almost as important as cutting when quilting
    • Starch- It will be your best friend when quilting, especially when sewing fabric on the diagonal (bias)
    • A 1/4" presser foot- but, if you don't have one, you can always just mark a 1/4" with some blue painters tape. I did that for years.
    • Extra sharp, extra fine pins with glass heads- The glass ones will not melt if you use iron one. Extra fine will help immensely with accuracy, and is less likely to damage your machine if you accidentally sew over it.
    • A seam ripper- No matter how long or how good you get at quilting (or sewing), you will be using this. More than I care to admit.

  14. #14
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    Great advice from everyone.

    I had sewn forever. I bought a used Singer 99K when I first went to work -- which I still have and which still sews great, though I now have other machines, as well -- and made all my own clothes, a lot of baby clothes, household items, etc -- even made my husband a suit! I'd always been interested in quiltmaking, but didn't have time to devote to learning about it while working, raising a family -- the usual demands of life.

    When I finally did have time, I found a lot of help online (I'm a self taught/self learner). Rotary cutter, mat and ruler cutting were foreign to me so I read and watched video about that, and how to fold and trim fabric in preparation for that kind of cutting. I also had a cousin who quilted, and although long distance, she was a great resource. My first quilt was a 9 patch throw size. No pattern, just pictures, and then decisions about the size of the patches, and how many blocks. In the beginning I loved the cutting, the precision of it, I think. (Now I hate cutting! lol).

    The 9 patch is simple, and it taught me the importance of matching seams -- can't stress too much how important matching seams is if you want your quilt to look good....and your blocks square.....and even then you have to square up.

    Learn your machine first, then start slow, do something simple that won't overwhelm and that you can finish, look at, and be proud of. Before you know it, you'll be making quilts you hadn't dreamed of. And you'll never stop learning.....at least I haven't. This board is a terrific resource! Lots of wonderful help and encouragement and ideas and problem solving and sympathy and admiration to be found here.

    Congratulations on your new hobby and good luck!
    Last edited by Friday1961; 01-11-2019 at 09:00 AM.

  15. #15
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    Here's a manual for a White 1717. Hope this is the same as yours:https://www.singer.com/sites/default...ite-1717-x.pdf

  16. #16
    Super Member tuckyquilter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lisaballard13 View Post
    Hello everybody I’ve been sewing since I was a teen but only have done simple projects and have always had a brand new/cheapest machine. I recently have finally been able to finally start learning more about quilting and all the different patterns and such but I’m working with a sewing machine I inherited when my grandma passed away. Therefore I have no manual or knowledge of this style machine and to be honest it has way more bells and whistles than I’m accustomed to. So after hours of searching I came across this website and am hoping someone can help me learn more about my machine and if it’s a decent machine to learn to quilt on. And to be completely honest I’m having second thoughts about quilting because I’m so overwhelmed by my lack of knowledge not only about quilting techniques but just my machine. And I can’t afford to by a new machine but I desperately want to sew quilts for my loved ones, especially my first grandchild who’s due in mid April!!! So if anyone can help me with any information about a White Deluxe sewing machine precision built zigzag model 1717 and any honest opinions on if this machine will work for quilting. Thank you and I can’t wait to hopefully be posting pictures of my first quilt!!!! I also tried to upload a picture of my machine but couldn’t get it to work.
    YOU are one lucky gal. I have a 1938 White that belongs to my little grand daughter. She inherited it from her fathers side of the house. I'm the only one who sews, and it currently resides in my home. Litl Bit turned 6 this year but I started teaching her at 3.5 yrs.
    Jackie
    Lover of Scrappy, Chocolate and Wine

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