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domestic machine quilting, help please

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Bitty95 posted on Sun, May 22 2011 10:15 AM

I've been working through a book "Easy Machine Quilting". I've done the exorcizes on 14" blocks, they turned out really well and like to use my domestic machine for quilting. But now I have a lap quilt (maybe a little bigger) I want to start on. I've done a bit, but find myself very frustrated with the bulk behind my machine and in the throat of my machine. How do you deal with all of the blanket waiting to be done? It is so heavy, it seams to be either pulling or impeding what I'm working on.

I watched an episode of 'Quilt it' yesterday and it was so frustating to see a fella say you don't have to pull or push on the quilt, just light touches through the machine. It seams I have to tug and pull.

Please help. I'd much rather use a machine than hand quilt. PS finances won't allow for a long arm machine or someone to quilt it for me. I use what other people give me to get my quilting fix.

 

Shannon ▩

 

Shannon ▩


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Bitty95:

.......How do you deal with all of the blanket waiting to be done? It is so heavy, it seams to be either pulling or impeding what I'm working on.

I watched an episode of 'Quilt it' yesterday and it was so frustating to see a fella say you don't have to pull or push on the quilt, just light touches through the machine. It seams I have to tug and pull.

Please help..........

 

Shannon ▩

 

I had the same issue, tugging and pulling and getting a crink in my neck. My hands just wouldn't grip the quilt.  I bought some Fons and Porter quilting gloves from connectingthreads.com .  I think they cost me about $4.00.. Since I bought a bunch of other stuff, shipping wasn't a problem. Joann Fabrics also carries them, use the 40% coupon. I did try the gardening gloves with rubber bits but they don't fit as snuggly and I didn't like them.

Anyway. this has made a universe of difference in the control and ease of machine quilting on my standard sewing machine. I'm currently doing a large quilt, 100"x100" and am just about done with the quilting. It's been so nice with the gloves. I struggled for so long and now I don't mind the machine quilting part at all. I zip and twirl through the quilting.


In the beautiful Pacific Northwest!

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Nana replied on Sun, May 22 2011 11:47 AM

Shannon

I suggest rolling your quilt from the side or fan folding toward the middle.  Then start quilting in the middle of your quilt and work toward the folded edge that is in the throat of the machine.  I quilt from the middle to the bottom and then refold and turn the quilt and starting in the middle work another quarter section.  Also I have found that using quilting gloves really helps with moving the quilt.   I usually leave the border for last unless I am doing an edge to edge design.   Hope this helps.  I quilt oversize kings on my domestic machine without a problem.  Also I suggest that you set up your sewing station so that the left side of the quilt has lots of support and I support the section I am working on in my lap.

Vinton, Virginia

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Answered (Not Verified) Robin replied on Sun, May 22 2011 12:01 PM
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Shannon,

I totally agree with Nana.

I also find it helps me to hand baste the quilt instead of pins because the you can run over your basting a lot easier than stopping to remove pins.  Gloves help a bunch.

Robin

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Pat M. replied on Sun, May 22 2011 1:21 PM

Shannon,

I recently addressed this question in the "Best Quilting Machine?" forum.  Check out patsythompsondesigns.com for free videos.  I am a big fan of hers (although I do not spray baste my quilts-I either pin or thread baste).  Even though I have a MegaQuilter, I really like sitting down and using my Bernina 440QE.  Quilting large quilts is very do-able!

Pat-"Keep Calm and Carry On"

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Claire replied on Sun, May 22 2011 2:16 PM

Does anyone use a tag gun to make their quilt sandwiches? I used one for a long time in drapery making and the first one I ever bought was made for quilters. Is there a good reason not to do that? Perhaps a pain to remove the tags?

 

Claire

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I've been working through the same book!  Found that it was so much easier on my little sandwiches than it was on a bigger project as well.  I did get some quilt clips and some gloves which helped a lot.  I opted for the gardening gloves (Home Depot - less than $2).  But I normally only actually use them on one hand.  It is possible to do the designs with your machine - so stick with it.  I did find that moving my machine to the dining room table with the leaves in to extend it helped in two ways - one to manage the weight off the back and secondly when you go to re-roll the quilt to do a new section it is easier to have the space to roll it and inspect your work.  I also wear cooler clothing since the quilt is either in my lap or over my shoulder.  Good luck - I'd love to hear how you decide to go.

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mars92 replied on Sun, May 22 2011 2:54 PM

Shannon

I agree with everyone comments they are fantastic!  But I might have missed how your actual machine is set up?  On a table? In a cabinet or what.Or an extension table?

I have just recently got a new sewing machine cabinet where my machine sits inside the cabinet and I have lots of room to the back and sides to spread the quilt out.  I have found this to be a HUGE difference in my FM quilting.

While you may not have the same set up. What I would suggest is you get a level surface to FM on and as large a surface as you can. Granny M told me about using  large dry erase boards to add to your FM area because they are slick!  I would suggest you ask this question also on the FM quilting board. Granny M and others are there. Many others also- are fantastic at coming up with low cost ways to add space when you are FM.  I was totally amazed at their creativity.

Aren't quilters totally amazing people?

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Pat M. replied on Sun, May 22 2011 3:50 PM

Claire--I used them long ago for hand quilting, but no longer use them.  I find basting using Sharon Schamber's method suits me better.

Pat-"Keep Calm and Carry On"

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Laura replied on Mon, May 23 2011 12:48 AM

I found a video on youtube that showed how to make a really inexpensive quilting table using the 2" blue foam insulation boards. I have a large dining room table set up with my quilting machine on it, there are 2 layers of the foam insulation boards that are cut in an L shape to fit around my machine at the same height, and clear plastic laid overtop to make it easy for the quilt to slide around. So I have a quilting space of 4 feet x 5 feet. It does all come apart very easily if I need the space, but I am lucky to have a large sewing room, so I can leave it up all the time. The quilting gloves really help in maneuvering the fabric around too. I thin k the whole getup cost me about $50 including buying the dining room table.

Asking a quilter to mend something is like asking Picasso to paint your garage.

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Great! Thank you, I think I'll pick some up next time I go to JoAnn's

Shannon ▩


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The size of the bed in your sewing machine is the culprit. 

What I have done is start from the middle out, it helps with the frustration.  Yes I push and pull but I have also used rubber finger pads or dimpled gloves  both help in the movement.  The rubber fingers you can get at any office supply store.  they are cheap.  The gloves I found on line with Nancy's notions webs site but I bet Fons and Porter has them also. 

I have also used a very tight roll and a rubber band or some people call them rubber binders to hold it tight.  A friend of mind rolls hers up on a dowel, binds it and only quilts in small sections.  It is frustrating and time consuming but it does get the job done.

from Minnesota

 

 

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Nana, So working in quarters, and support the left. I'll try that.

 

Shannon ▩


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Pat

Oh, fantastic! I've just started watching the videos. Thank you. I'll have to remember the words push quilting too.

So much info in your little post. Site, machine, advise-thanks so much.

Shannon ▩


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Claire,

I have used a tack gun once for a quilt, and will never again. It was such a pain in the neck getting all the tacks out. Besides that, they left larger holes than the safety pins do. But I think it is a matter of preference.

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