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Machine quilting tips please!

(13 Posts)
ElderberrySyrup Thu 29-Sep-11 14:26:02

I'm currently machine quilting my first machine quilted quilt (I did a hand quilted one, which was straightforward) but not very well.

I'm struggling with all the massive bulk of the quilt when I turn corners and I keep sewing tiny creases into the fabric.

I made the mistake of using a check fabric for the backing and you can see very clearly how wonky the backing has gone, where my machine quilting lines which should be parallel to the lines of the check are at an angle to it!

Can anyone give me advice on improving my technique? thanks!

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ElderberrySyrup Thu 29-Sep-11 21:45:24

It's just a normal foot, all straight lines, not free motion.

my next project is meant to be a king size but perhaps I'd better do a baby quilt first....

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ElderberrySyrup Thu 29-Sep-11 21:49:13

thanks for the link Spoons.
Have you ever tried starching the backing? I can see how it would really help. I think I'm making it harder for myself by using quite cheap flimsy backing fabric (£4/metre from Boyes) - if it was nice Kaffe Fassett stuff it would probably behave better.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ElderberrySyrup Thu 29-Sep-11 22:58:50

No, if anything it was lower thread count than quilting fabric. Ah well, you live and learn.

Just been googling feet. My machine is a Juki HZL-E61 and it looks like you can buy an even feed foot for it for about £70, which is more than I want to spend, but someone elsewhere posted about a generic low-shank walking foot fitting hers (same model) and I can get one for £17.20 smile

It already has what the manual calls a quilting foot which I think is for free motion.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ElderberrySyrup Fri 30-Sep-11 21:45:05

have ordered a walking foot, also a 1/4" foot for piecing, since I don't have one of those either.

I actually hadn't realised a walking foot was different - I thought it was just another name for a normal foot. So no wonder I've been finding it hard, since all the things I read say if you're a beginner a walking foot is a necessity. Will be interesting to see how much better it gets when one arrives.
(This is what happens when you learn to sew on a 19th century machine.)

This means ds's quilt will have a bad third in the middle and two good sides (since I already unpicked a row and it took forever so I'd rather live with the imperfections than do it again). He won't mind.

Meanwhile have been playing with the quilting attachment and learning to do free motion quilting - hmm, definitely a technique to practise....

thanks for the advice smile

HattiFattner Fri 30-Sep-11 22:05:21

i played around with machine quilting and I find it very difficult to get the back flat. One technique is to stretch the centre of the quilt into a large hoop and quilting section by section . ALso, quilt as you go method (where you quilt each block and then sew together at the end).

I have found that the modern quilt batting is quite forgiving and will allow quite large patterns as the quilting only needs to be 3 inches apart...

Ive found this site useful for getting some ideas of patterns. Then as a top tip, crayola washable felt tip pens to draw the pattern on the fabric so you can follow a pattern with an open toe foot, feed dogs dropped.

Id recommend starting on the slow to medium speed setting on your machine, and getting into a rhythm. Another good tip is to have music playing in the room, as it helps you relax.

ElderberrySyrup Fri 30-Sep-11 22:56:56

thanks Hatti.
great link, those patterns are lovely (apart from her obsession with dividing them into girl and guy patterns, wtf?!)

Do you mean you use a handquilting hoop for machine quilting?

Crayola felt pens is a great idea; I used a special quilting pencil for my handquilted one and it was tricky to use and wore off quite quickly.

HattiFattner Fri 30-Sep-11 23:03:11

yep handquilting loop - I have to take the foot off the machine to get it under the needle, but if you have the quilt well supported to minimise drag, its quite effective and you can guarentee no wrinkles!

I like crayola - first time I saw it I though "sh*t why didn't someone think of this before!!" - it works well in light fabrics, but tailors chalk is better on dark fabric.

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