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Thread: One more question for the vintage machine quilters

  1. #1
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    One more question for the vintage machine quilters

    I am working on a quilt. It will be pieced by each and every machine we have. But, once that's done I want to quilt it myself. I know I'm biting off a big chunk doing that.

    We have a variety of home machines with decent sized harps so I'm thinking of using the 201 to do this with.
    Only my Free machine is close to the 201 all the rest are a bit smaller, and some are way smaller.

    OK, now, when you are quilting a bed sized object just how in the heck do you do it?

    I know I could or should take this to one of the quilting forums but almost never post over there and I have vintage machines not long arm quilting machines.

    J e

  2. #2
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    The throat space will help you greatly. You just scrunch it and sew. I suppose you're not doing free motion on the 201 and are doing stitch in the ditch. A walking foot would help you not get puckers, but if you don't have one give it a try without to see how each machine does. You should try to stitch from the middle first and then outward. You also want to change directions so you're not always sewing the same direction. This can cause distortion and the dreaded puckers. Be sure your backing is taunt but not stretched and that you top is smooth and pinned every 4-6 inches and you'll be ready to give it a go.

  3. #3
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Candace,

    Thanks.
    We have an aftermarket walking foot that we've never used, and we've got a couple of rolling feet. I've read those are good on quilts too.

    I have a small quilt I'm almost finished with. It's a cover to my #2 treadle. I'll try your advise on it first.

    Joe

  4. #4
    Super Member jljack's Avatar
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    Joe, watch some YouTube videos on FMQ...there are many!! You need lots of table space around your machine to support the quilt weight while you are doing FMQ. Like I said, look at YouTube....you will get lots of tutorials, and you'll be able to do it. I learned that way. :-)

  5. #5
    Junior Member Brynn's Avatar
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    I always try to roll up the quilt; it's more economical space wise when working with bigger quilts, and it ensures that the part you're not working on will be maneuverable.

  6. #6
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J Miller View Post
    Candace,

    Thanks.
    We have an aftermarket walking foot that we've never used, and we've got a couple of rolling feet. I've read those are good on quilts too.

    I have a small quilt I'm almost finished with. It's a cover to my #2 treadle. I'll try your advise on it first.

    Joe
    Rolling feet don't feed the fabric from above like a walking foot. So, they won't work as well for quilting and feeding the layers through evenly. Use the walking foot before the rolling foot. Rolling feet were designed for feeding leather and slick fabrics, as I'm sure you know. Not for layers, though I'm sure you'll see the difference if you do a few samples.

  7. #7
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    Another option is to piece the batting ...

    Batt the center 1/3 of the quilt and quilt up to 5" from the edge of the batting. When done, attach more batting to the left side - baste - and quilt the left section of the quilt. Then do the same for the right side.

    To join the batting you can use batt tape, or a long-wide zig zag stitch (by hand or machine).

    To cut the batting so that it matches exactly ... lay one edge of the batting over the other - overlapping by 2" or so. Rotary cut only over the section where the batting overlaps, and rotary cut with very slight "waves" - not a straight line. Pull away the trimmed edge and it's very easy to match the batt edge to edge because the curves will match.

    Pretty cool that you're making the quilt with ALL of your machines!!
    May your stitches always be straight, your seams always lie flat, and your grain never be biased against you.

    Sue

  8. #8
    Super Member nanna-up-north's Avatar
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    My LQS owner told me to roll the quilt from both sides.... like a scroll. Then, if the quilt is big, you can fit the scroll between your legs and feed it through the machine. It's a little awkward at first but it works quite well. I always pin the layers together well first and work from the middle outward. I've done several quilts that way and I always use my walking foot. Good Luck... and let us see it when you're done.

  9. #9
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    nanna,

    That's pretty much what we did with the batting for my treadle cover quilt. It worked pretty good.

    Joe

  10. #10
    Senior Member happyquiltmom's Avatar
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    First, make sure there is plenty of table space behind the machine and to the left. You don't want the weight of the quilt to hinder free movement under the needle. I don't roll my quilt, I just smoosh it as I go. I think rolling and re-rolling wastes too much time and makes the quilt too stiff to move easily.

    I use Machingers gloves for better gripping power. These are my favorite because threads don't stick to them and you don't have to keep taking them off when you clip threads.

    I would suggest that you take a FMQ class if you haven't already. I learned alot in the one I took, especially what I was doing WRONG! I also love books like Harriet Hargraves' Heirloom Machine Quilting, and Diane Gaudynski's Guide to Machine Quilting and Machine Quilting Guidebook.

    Longarm quilting is totally different than quilting on a domestic machine. With a longarm or other frame system, you are moving the machine over the surface of the quilt. With a domestic machine, you are moving the quilt under the needle.

    It takes awhile to get a rhythm going between your hand movements and machine speed. It takes TONS of practice to get to the point where you are happy with stitch length and motif shapes. I highly recommend that you make several practice sandwiches before you attempt to work on a quilt.

    I see now that you are probably talking more about straight quilting with a walking foot. Alot of this post is referring to free-motion quilting. But, you still need the table space!

  11. #11
    Junior Member masufa's Avatar
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    I like to starch the back very well and pin pin pin lots of pins. Then I divide the quilt into 4 sections starting straight down the middle and then accros the middle,In the beginning I actually used painted tape to divide the sections. I start to quilt in the top right section and work down then turn the quilt and quilt the lower left up to the top left this way you only have half of the quilt under the machine at any time and you aren't tusseling it around as much.

  12. #12
    Super Member Shelbie's Avatar
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    I machine quilt King sized quilts on my 201 and had no trouble getting to the middle with the harp space. It actually had more room than my Janome 6500 because the available space to shove your quilt through is more rectangular and higher. I don't roll it but scrunch it around as needed. I used a walking foot and STD and my 201 just powered through all the layers. I also tried some FMQ and that worked fine too although I had to fiddle a little with the tension. I divide mine up like masufa above described and it worked well for me.
    Shelbie from the High County in Southern Ontario

  13. #13
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    Joe,
    Be sure to set the seam allowance on each machine, individually. The biggest problem we have with multiple- machine charity quilts, is getting the corners to match since every machine does a different 1/4" allowance unless it is measured and adjusted. As you know, some 1/4" feet aren't 1/4" either. Calibrating the seam allowance will help make piecing more accurate and not so frustrating. You will truly learn about each machine by using them in a like task. Good luck on your new experience.
    Donna Quilts
    We help the wounded soldiers.

  14. #14
    Super Member Caroline S's Avatar
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    Everyone else has given you great tips for machine quilting. Best advice is practice, practice and more practice. Start small until you are comfortable with your quilting then move up to bigger quilts. Oh, another bit of advice is to have patience with your learning curve. After a while FMQ will be like treadling.
    Sweet Caroline

  15. #15
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Shelbie,
    What is a STD?

    Donna,
    I have a low shank 1/4" foot with the edge guide. I know it's a crutch, but for consistency it will help. I'm going to use it on all the machines it will fit. I've already used it to assemble the quilted cover for my #2 treadle. I like it for consistency.
    For the others I'll be measuring the seam I get with the foot and adjusting the bed mounted seam guide accordingly.
    This will be a big project cos I have 6.5" squares and 3.5" squares that when sewed together make 6.5" squares. Eeeeee gads. But I'm using scraps so beggars can't be choosers, can we?

    Caroline,
    I'm practicing now on a smaller quilt that is actually a cover for the #2 treadle. It's top is complete, we're cutting and piecing the batting now ( made a boo boo and cut it wrong ... Grrrrrr ) But it's purpose is to keep cat claws off the wood so it can have a few .... learning curves.

    Patience ....... sadly that is an inconsistent quality for me. Sometimes and with some things I have the patience of Job. Other times I want it done NOW, 15 minutes ago! Maybe by the time I take the big dirt nap I'll master that ..... .

    Joe

  16. #16
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by masufa View Post
    I like to starch the back very well and pin pin pin lots of pins. Then I divide the quilt into 4 sections starting straight down the middle and then accros the middle,In the beginning I actually used painted tape to divide the sections. I start to quilt in the top right section and work down then turn the quilt and quilt the lower left up to the top left this way you only have half of the quilt under the machine at any time and you aren't tusseling it around as much.
    I'm not sure about the starch part,but I think dividing it into quarters is a dandy idea.

    I'm gonna have to bookmark this thread. Lots of great advise.

    Joe

  17. #17
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    Practice on some small pieces first, potholders and placemats. Stretch your quilt snadwich on a flat surface, (I use three folding tables at the church where we meet). Pin, pin, and pin some more. There is that point when you first start that says "this looks awful" but keep going, the more quilting you do the better it looks. Roll your quilt sandwich and keep all stress off the area you are working on.
    Life is made up of bits and pieces. You won't know how it'll turn out till its done.

  18. #18
    Super Member vintagemotif's Avatar
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    All have given you wonderful suggestions.

    The time spent in preparing the quilt for quilting makes a huge difference in the quilting too. I have tried spray basting, only to have a gummed up needles and machine which then produces skipped stitches. I no longer spray baste because of that and also because the stuff is bad for one's lungs.
    Instead, I hand baste using the Sharon Schamber method:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhwNylePFAA. I found this method to work the best for me. It does take some extra time to do this method of hand basting, but well worth the time.

  19. #19
    Super Member Caroline S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vintagemotif View Post
    All have given you wonderful suggestions.

    The time spent in preparing the quilt for quilting makes a huge difference in the quilting too. I have tried spray basting, only to have a gummed up needles and machine which then produces skipped stitches. I no longer spray baste because of that and also because the stuff is bad for one's lungs.
    Instead, I hand baste using the Sharon Schamber method:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhwNylePFAA. I found this method to work the best for me. It does take some extra time to do this method of hand basting, but well worth the time.
    I use the Schamber method also. I have hand basted and pin basted using her method. The key is the way the quilt sandwich is rolled on the boards.
    Sweet Caroline

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