Do You Quilt on a Sewing Machine or Long Arm

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Arzella posted on Wed, Feb 1 2012 8:17 PM

Do you quilt on a machine or a longarm.  I don't have a long arm and was wondering is it possible to do your quilting on your sewing machine because I can't afford to send it out for someone else to do.  If you quilt on a sewing machine, how do you manage to do it.

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Patti replied on Wed, Feb 1 2012 8:38 PM

Hi Arzella.  You use a gazillion safety pins and pin the heck out of it if it is big, (small, you can sometimes just use that spray.)  That way you can scrunch it. toss it, crumple it and it will still hold together.  I do use a domestic machine and probably always will.  I put  my machine on a big table, with chairs to hold up whatever is draping over.  Trying to create no 'drag' on the quilt as I want to move it. Start from the center and work out.

I have noticed on some of the shows about some of the greatest quilters, that many of them also use their domestic machines.  In one the quilter had pulleys on the ceiling from which hung clasps to hold the quilt to lessen the drag even more.  So I figure, if she can do it, so can I.  I don't have pulleys yet, but the less drag the better.  And personally, I feel at this point that I have much better control. And those gloves are great for helping push it around.

There are a lot more mechanics involved, such as using a free motion foot and putting the feed dogs down.  But I find the more I do it, the more confidence I get and the better my quilting gets.

Patti

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Arzella,

I don't have LA, just a DSM, and do quilt on it, and manage-- but I don't do KIng size quilts like Nana does. Now Nana can tell you how she does the king size ones. I tell you she could quilt a tent on her DSM.

Now that I have a sewing machine cabinet (Koala) I have plenty of room to lay the quilt out without it dragging. Before it was a royal pain. I usually do smaller quilts myself-

Granny M has a LA now but previously she did all her quilting on her DSM too, and did large quilts also. She can tell you how she did hers. 

Some people I know do quilt as you go where they basically piece their blocks and then quilt them and then sew them together-. I believe this is how this works. Someone else will probably explain it better than me. : )

I would suggest you start with a smaller quilt and work your way up to a larger one. Its easier to work with a smaller one at first than you're on your way!  You can always do a SID (stitch in the ditch at first if you don't want to FM (free motion) it.

You can quilt your own quilts really you can.

Hugs

Marlene

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thank you Patti;  I appreciate your very informative information.  That helps me a lot.

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Thank you mars;  You gave me a little more confidence in using my sewing machine to quilt.

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Arzella:
If you quilt on a sewing machine, how do you manage to do it.

Make very small quilts! 

 

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Thank you Jeanine

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Just trying to hlep!  :-) 

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Nana replied on Wed, Feb 1 2012 9:42 PM

Arzella

I do use my home machine.  And yes I quilt very large king size quilts.  Some as big as 120 in square.   I start in the middle and work my way to the right and down.  I fluff and stuff and push and pull to get all the quilt under the machine but it is doable.  And the more you do it the easier it becomes.  Just start small and get your technique figured out and then work your way up in size.  Good luck.

Vinton, Virginia

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Joy replied on Wed, Feb 1 2012 10:19 PM

I've always quilted all my quilts on my home sewing machine. I have quilted everything from preemie quilts to a king size double wedding ring. It is so gratifying when the quilt is done knowing you just spent endless hours making it as perfect as can be for someone you love!

I will say that in the beginning it is difficult to get used to maneuvering the quilt but the biggest key with that is making sure you have lots of space on the left side of the machine. I would also make sure you have a heavier machine or it will bounce across the table, (my first machine a cheap brother did that). 

I don't start in the middle any more. I learned that as longed as my quilt is pinned well I can start anywhere.

One last thing. Practice with a 12 - 20" quilt sandwich so you get the feel of your machine.

Happy quilting!!!

Joy

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mars92 replied on Wed, Feb 1 2012 10:42 PM

Arzella:
You gave me a little more confidence in using my sewing machine to quilt

Arzella

You are most welcome. I guess the best advice I can give you, is not to be afraid. We have a FM group you can join on QCA, basically we all started with practice "sandwichs" learning to FM.  We started learning to do a straight line first, then a loop, then a "L , writing your name, etc or really whatever we wanted. But the key was to do the same thing in FM until you get really, really good, at it. What I was trying at the beginning was jump all over the place--, I would do a few loops , then a few L's then this, and really didn't get good at any one thing.  That's not the way to learn one skill in FM, IMHO. You need to do one quilt in meandering for example and most likely after doing one entire quilt this way--you have conquered meandering.  Or when practicing, concentrate on one thing, like your loops, until you have got those down.

Practice FM your name- over and over -you will be amazed at how good you are at it. Once I realized I could only practice ONE skill at a time until I was decent at it did I move forward.

That's why its important not to quilt a huge quilt at first, start small or even a table runner. Built up your confidence. Once you have success and practice, practice, practice. You are home free.

Seriously, I cannot encourage you on this. You can do this. Truly you can.

Quilt on!

One great book to get on Free Motion Quilting is Harriet Hargrave's   See if your local library has it.  Of all the quilting books I have I have learned the most from hers.

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Hey Arzella -- I am a huge fan of Craftsy.com... lots of great stuff on it.  I've been quilting on my domestic machine for years but I believe you can always learn something new.  I signed up for an online video course at Craftsy.  Cost me about $30 but it was fantastic!  Here's the link  http://www.craftsy.com/class/Machine-Quilting-Free-Motion-More/37.  They have an introductory video you can watch to see if you are interested.  Check it out.

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As you can see Arzella, there are quite a few here who quilt on their domestic machines, so it can be done. I'm sure you will do a great job!

Life is like a quilt...bits & pieces, joy & sorrow, stitched with love

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Georgia, I to have this class on Craftsy  and its a great class ,she is very helpful ..I to do my quilts on my machine at home, it just takes some pratice, I'd start with something small first till you get the hang of it and work your way up to bigger , it takes some muscles and your arms will get tired at first but after a while you can do it without to much discomfort , Make sure you have lots of room to lay your quilt on,it really helps, You will have a great feeling of accomplishment when you get that first one done , it was a great feeling, so good luck ,Barbara

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gini replied on Thu, Feb 2 2012 1:35 AM

arzella, leah day at daystyledesigns has a free class on freemotion.   she is in her fourth week now.   i am doing her lessons each week.   it is helping me.  

gini in north idaho

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