Machine & Longarm Quilting

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quilting on a machine
jjgallamore Send a Message
Eldon, MO
I am a new quilter. I had a woman teach me how to quilt but she only quilts by hand. I want to learn machine quilting. I can do stitch-in-ditch but would like to learn how to do more designs. I have several excellent book resources that teach everything up to the actual quilting. They show several designs but don't explain how to master them. Are there any books or DVDs that can teach me how to do this and that will also help me learn how to figure out what quilting designs will work best on a chosen quilt?
9/6/2010 4:18:27 PM
Rockinrobin Send a Message
San Marcos, CA
Hello jjgallamore,

I used to be have a longarm quilting business before I got the job at Quilt in a Day.

As you said, there are lots of resources, but the best way to go about figuring out what quilting designs would work best is to audition things. Just like you do for fabric. Golden Threads paper is a great source. You can trace a design (or draw your own) and lay it over a block to see what you like.

This is such a huge topic, and there are so many opinions out there. You should just dive in and try it. Small projects are the best way to start.

Hope that helps a little!

Robin Kinley
Marketing Director
Quilt in a Day
9/7/2010 10:12:06 AM
jjgallamore Send a Message
Eldon, MO
Thanks, Robin. I'll give that a try.
9/7/2010 5:30:52 PM
northbound Send a Message
9th planet
El has a two-part video on machine quilting in the theater. It's in the "From Scraps to Quilts" section:

http://quiltinaday.com/theater/scraps/scraps08.html
9/8/2010 8:38:01 AM
TeresaK Send a Message
CA High Desert
Practice, playing, practice, playing and alot more practice and figuring out what works for your machine and the different threads.

Never, never, never give up because there will always be tension issues but it is the way you handle them that you will find your greatest reward.

Happy Stitching -

Come over to the Sew-in thread anytime. Lot of great ladies with lots of advice and lots of shoulders when you need one.

See you there
Teresa
9/8/2010 5:57:58 PM
auntjana Send a Message
Herriman, Utah
Start small - then practice practice and practice some more - when you think that you have done enough practice - go and do some more - you will get a lot of potholders and trivets during these practice sessions.

Remember to that no one else's quilting will be next to what you have done - so it will be great!@
9/10/2010 2:48:23 PM
Thanks...I wiil enjoy learning from the Videos.
9/13/2010 8:35:31 AM
susanngarry Send a Message
New Mexico
Glad you asked this question, as I'm also new to the quilting world. This is the last step I need to learn. Sounds like some great advice. Did you look at the video on QIAD? That was helpful for me. I've still not attempted it. Like the potholder idea. Have you learned any other suggestions not posted here? Have you started yet? What type of quilts are you working on? Blessings, Susan
10/30/2010 2:34:49 PM
susanngarry Send a Message
New Mexico
Saw another idea yesterday. One of the final episodes of QIAD's egg money quilts aired and it showed some great ideas for finishing the quilt. I believe it is also on the theater on this website. Please let us know how it goes. Blessings. Susan
10/31/2010 2:18:13 PM
Joannequilts Send a Message
Williamsburg,OH
I would suggest making several totes or bags..then you can practice free motion or designs on them. That is what I did. The sections of the purse are easily manuvered under a domestic machine and it is great practice! Also, pot holders like others suggested. I personally hate to "waste" fabric on practice, and this way you get something out of your practice! They sell a machine quilting primer here at QIAD..that gives you the basics, too. And RELAX...that's the hardest part for me! lol!
Joanne
11/10/2010 3:36:56 PM
I have machine quilted a few small laptops just stitch in the ditch...they did come out really nice...I just have a kenmore sewing machine. I was so nervous but like the look. I am making a quilt this weekend and debating on paying someone to do the machine quilting so it will look nice but I feel funny having someone else do the work...I want present the quilt as one that I made...my husband thinks I should do it that it would mean more...
11/13/2010 3:58:18 AM
Joannequilts Send a Message
Williamsburg,OH
thrifty, I think you should just do it yourself!! Depending on the pattern you used, maybe some diagonal lines? I did stitch in the ditch for years before I tried free motion. I have a Kenmore, too..but my old one didn't have a darning foot to use for free motion.
But, I just can't bring myself to have someone else do the quilting..it wouldn't feel like "my" quilt! I know that sounds silly, but it's just me, I guess.
So I agree with your husband! It will be beautiful!

Joanne
11/20/2010 5:49:51 PM
jjgallamore: I feel your frustration and desire to learn to machine quilt. I teach machine quilting. Here are a few of the things I suggest for beginners:

You have the will, now start building muscle memory by doodling with paper and pencil. Choose simple flowing designs to start: simple meander (like Loosely fitted puzzle pieces), then vary the meander into loops-still like loose puzzle. Once you are comfortable filling a page with these two doodles, go to your machine with small quilt sandwiches and practice. Remember to sit at your machine comfortably-knees at 90 degrees, feet comfortable, shoulders not hunched around your ears :-0,upper arms hanging down with forearms level with floor and wrists held level. Cotton gloves with rubber dots on the finger tips(Machingers or gardening gloves)or rubber finger tips will help you move the fabric sandwich without pressing down. Machine speed should be moderate hand speed should be a bit slower than you would expect in order to control the stitch length. Remember with the feed dogs down, you are controlling the movement of the fabric. Work for short intervals. Rest, stretch, check your work and determine if you are happy with the stitch length. YOu may need to move the fabric a bit slower to shorten the stitch or run the motor a bit faster. You decide. Practice these two patterns until you achieve smooth curves, even stitches and then look for a book that helps with more basics like leaves, hearts (which can be very similar and easy), simple geometrics and how to build from these.

I hope this helps you get going. Let us know! Happy Holidays.
12/10/2010 8:44:58 PM
Ljuhles Send a Message
Tulare,CA
I had a "light-bulb moment", when I found Leah Day on YouTube. Her website is DayStyles.com She is about 28 years old, and let me tell you, this girl makes free motion quilting so, so simple. On her website, she has many, many things to deal with Free Motion Quilting with your home domestic sewing machine. She only uses a darning foot. I have a bazillion books I have invested in, but being a visual learner, she turned the light on for me. Search free-motion quilting on YouTube. WELL WORTH YOUR TIME!!!! I am new to quilting, meaning I've been making tops for 2 years, and swore up and down, that I would NEVER be able to do this. Lots of practice on paper, and quilt sandwiches, and I have changed my mind. I can do this, if someone else can, AND IT ONLY HAS TO PLEASE ME! FINISHED IS BETTER THAN PERFECT.
1/31/2012 3:31:55 PM
CatQuilter55 Send a Message
North Tonawanda, NY
How large is too large to be able to quilt my quilt on my home machine? I would love to try it, but am leery because of having to re-position and re-roll as I work. Also, I went to a seminar recently and one of the speakers was well-known quilter Libby Lehman. She says she never pins her quilt sandwich, but only uses the "505" spray and has great success. I have never tried that but have always used the curved basting pins. Advice anyone??
11/13/2012 1:39:55 PM
fanquilt Send a Message
Indianapolis, IN

Hi,
Thanks! Deequiltsinaday - Ojai, CA for the machine quilting advice. I grew up helping Mom with her quilting projects and hand sewing was the part I got to do. I've tried machine quilting and what a mess I got..icks...lost a lot of hair...might come back now. I'm making my grandsons 5 and 4 yrs old Christmas quilts and I'm trying the sewing machine again.

Thanks again.
June from Indy
11/15/2012 5:39:21 PM
Annielourn Send a Message
Colorado Springs, CO
I luckily found Leah Day's website. Have purchased a beginner free motion book and DVD as well as some notions from her site. I watch her videos frequently and am beginning to draw on paper and practice on my machine. I KNOW that I can do this with practice. Leah has inspired me tremendously!
2/4/2013 2:57:58 PM
rhill85053 Send a Message
Tonopah, AZ
Leah Day is superb. Be sure to watch her start up video because it will show you how to adjust the feeder foot to not 'bounce' your quilt as you sew. She is awesome and makes it fun, has newsletter, etc. Her forum will take you from beginner to excited user.
3/10/2013 1:43:46 PM
Ritamae Send a Message
Bunceton, MO
jjgallamore, I'm new here but I have an idea. Have you thought about going to one of the quilt stores that give lessons, sometimes the
Vo-tech school in Boonville has adult classes. I use decorative stiches that are on my machine, I've quilted from crib to queen size on it with out it being to much work. One important thing is to make sure the fabric stays as flat as possible while sewing, I use those giant safety pins. Hope this helps. I live in Bunceton just about 45 mins. from you. :)
3/15/2013 5:46:15 PM
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