Friday, July 22, 2011

crazy quilt

Well, I dove in and started quilting one of the two quilts I have slowly been working on for, gosh, like two years now. *sigh*
I knew I needed to get a walking foot but was putting it off because I knew as soon as I had that there was really no excuse to NOT get started on the quilting. Yes, I was intimidated. But I did it - I got started. I'm just getting my toes wet with some stitch-in-the-ditch quilting so at least I have some easy lines to follow. Is it as hard as I thought it would be? Well, yes, actually, it is. I'm finding it to be extremely awkward. I also feel as though my machine just isn't big enough, the table I have it on isn't big enough and I am not big enough. The quilt, on the other hand, seems way too big.
Maybe some seasoned experts can tell me if there is anything I can do to make this process go a little smoother - or is this just one of those things that gets easier with practice? I just hope it doesn't turn out too terrible and I do value it as a learning experience. After I get these two quilts done though, I think I will stick with table runners and place mats when I want a quilting project.
Wish me luck!.


Kelly Irene said...

Good job getting started on your quilt! How big is it? I just started quilting a little less than a year ago and have not found a good way to get my machine to cooperate on the actual quilting (but it's a really cheap one). For a baby size quilt it's fine, but anything bigger and we just don't have good chemistry. I've actually rented a long arm (specialized) quilting machine for my bigger ones. Hopefully someone else can be of more help than I am in this area! I am sure that practice will pay off in this case though :)

meg said...

I have a normal=sized sewing machine and a normal-sized dining table, and here's what I've done to machine quilt bed-sized pieces. I usually stitch in the ditch too, and I'll roll the quilt up so just the seam I'm stitching along is exposed. When I get to the middle seams, I roll from both sides so it sort of looks like this. O_O
Then I hoist the roll over my left shoulder and sort of hunch it along through the machine. I've known of some quilters who put a card table behind their chair to support the bulk of the quilt, but I've never tried that. Good luck. (I"ll be honest; the last bed-sized quilt, I had someone else do on a long-arm.)

Corinne said...

Thanks for the tips ladies :). These are both twin sized quilts so they aren't gigantic but they certainly aren't small either. I get the feeling that I really could not try anything bigger with this machine. I probably should move my machine to the dining room like you mentioned, Meg. I hadn't thought of that. It is a larger table and would probably help with the weight/bulk issues I am having. Thank you!!!

debra said...

Good for you in starting something new. All of the above ideas for machine quilting are great. I do use two extra tables when I machine quilt--one to the side and one in back of my sewing table. It really helps with holding the weight of the quilt.
But I have to agree, lately I've been sending my quilts to a long-arm quilter. I love to free motion quilt, but hate stuffing it through my little machine!

Laurie Wisbrun | Scarlet Fig said...

One other thing you might try is putting a small book under the back of the machine so it's slightly tilted towards you. It makes it easier to see what you're doing.

Amanda said...

The extra tables can work, if you don't have a card table handy my high school sewing teacher (who taught me to quilt) used an ironing board. Definitely roll the quilt to only show the "ditch" you are stitching in....the snugger you roll it the easier it is to get through the machine. I recently discovered a trick that I found makes quilting a bit easier......I put my machine on the end of my kitchen island and quilted standing, mind you I was doing a queen size through a standard sewing machine (I don't recommend it), but i found it easier to maneuver the quilt.
Hang in there! It might be intimidating, and you may curse yourself dozens of times for starting the project in the first place, but it will feel so fantastic when you stitch that last ditch.

Three Honeybees said...

Oh, I sympathise!! I'm currently quilting my first ever quilt too and finding it anything but easy!!! All that hoiking fabric around....! Can't wait to see it finished, but think I need some lessons. I reckon I've been building a few arm muscles up too! It's a lot more physical than I imagined!