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I have a new sewing machine! :) quilting?

(23 Posts)
Badvoc Sun 07-Oct-12 20:49:37

Dh got me a basic singer sewing machine for my b day.
I have wanted ine for ages to teach masked hw to make simple things/alterations/repairs etc.
What I wind really love to do is make the dc an Xmas quilt/blanket.
Would it be too hard for a novice?
Have seen some nice fabric in John Lewis and have been checking out jelly rolls on e bay but am confused by the huge variety.
Whatever I do needs to be pretty basic! smile
I would also live to make an Xmas tablecloth and napkins.
Any advice/tips?

thehamburglar Sun 07-Oct-12 22:10:21

Hi Badvoc, I've just dusted off the Singer that DH bought me for Christmas a few years ago. I've hardly used it but am thinking of trying to make some simple dresses for DD and maybe a very simple patchwork quilt using charm packs. I ordered this yesterday as I figure it will help me sew in a straight line and keep the correct seam allowance for quilting. I've also heard that a walking foot is better for quilting but they are £20+. Hopefully, someone will come along soon with some fab advice for both of us!

Happyasapiginshite Sun 07-Oct-12 22:25:59

Your basic tools for quilting are the machine, a cutting mat and a rotary cutter. These make cutting straight so much easier. The 1/4 inch foot is handy but not necessary. The walking foot really is essential because it stops your quilt getting all puckered on the back when you quilt the 3 layers together.

There are loads of videos on youtube of basic quilting methods. Happy to help if you have any more questions. I've been quilting for about 10 years now and it's a total addiction.

Badvoc Mon 08-Oct-12 15:36:55

Thank you for replying.
I am a total novice.
And I mean total.
I dont even know how to work my sewing machine yet!
But I would love to make the dc something for Xmas...perhaps a blanket would be easier?
I think quilts are so lovely, I would love to make my kids one each, and even myself!
Was in John Lewis on Saturday and they have some gorgeous fabric...very expensive though sad
What do you think of ikea fabric?
Any good?
Are there any books I could buy to help me?

Happyasapiginshite Mon 08-Oct-12 15:55:03

Your best bet is to get a few books out of the library. They can be expensive and you won't know what you like at the start and could waste a lot of money that you could be spending on fabric!! Some of the ikea fabrics are great for quilting. Just choose fabrics that are neither too thick nor too thin and make sure they are all 100% cotton.

Badvoc Mon 08-Oct-12 17:58:14

Thank you!

lljkk Mon 08-Oct-12 18:09:38

I think your best bet is to find some local sewing & patchwork classes to learn techniques, there is nothing like being in a room of similar novices to help you pick up what you need to know.

tricot39 Mon 08-Oct-12 19:51:09

How strange you posted about quilting!

I have been pondering this myself but the cost of buying a mat and cutter has stalled things slightly...... I did get a "stitch in the ditch" foot for my machine and a couple of quilting books tho.

One book is a guide to all the techniques and materials. The other is a project book. Having got them i now feel a bit daunted at trying to read them as they are massive.

So i have decided i will have a go at this as i should be able to get the materials fairly cheaply - old shirts - so if it goes wrong it will not be too costly!! I can feel my way with it and google techniques as needs arise.

Have you seen any projects that take your fancy?

tricot39 Mon 08-Oct-12 19:53:38

Ps just got a bundle of 4 shirts off ebay - 99p plus £3 postage so cheaper than oxfam. Sadly dh doesnt wear shirts to work so i can't raid his wardrobe as that would have been more charming than ebay, but needs must!

TunipTheVegemal Mon 08-Oct-12 19:54:12

I quilt and find machine quilting really hard, even with a walking foot. I use the machine for piecing, though (ie sewing the patches together to make the quilt top), and my next quilt will be machine pieced and hand quilted.
If you're doing free motion quilting you don't use a walking foot, it's only for straight lines.

tricot39 Mon 08-Oct-12 20:58:36

tunip what sort of interlayers do you use? Presumably the thicker the quilt gets the more diffficult? I don't have a walking foot.....<worried>

TunipTheVegemal Mon 08-Oct-12 21:00:57

Normal weight quilt batting, either cotton or artificial.
I think the batting being slippery is probably more of a factor than it being thick.

Badvoc Mon 08-Oct-12 21:07:47

Oh good grief...I have no idea what any of you are talking about!
Walking foot?
For my foot?
What do you put in between the layers of quilt? Wadding?
Oh dear....

Badvoc Mon 08-Oct-12 21:08:55

I have seen some things called jelly rolls...?
Is that a basic kit?

TunipTheVegemal Mon 08-Oct-12 21:17:38

Wadding/batting goes in between the quilt top and quilt backing. In the olden days people would use old blankets or even old jumpers or anything really. These days if you're doing it on a budget you might use a cheap fleecy blanket.

You get different feet for sewing machines. I have a large collection including my invisible zipper foot, buttonhole foot, 1/4 inch seam allowance foot.... Mostly they're not necessary but make life a bit easier because they guide the fabric the way you want it to go. They're the bit that clamps down onto the fabric. A walking foot is a bit more complicated (and hence expensive) because it moves to feed the fabric through from the top in the same way as the feed dogs (those little zigzag teeth) do from underneath.

A jelly roll is a pack of strips of lots of different fabrics, chosen to look good together. It's a quick way to do a quilt because you can sub-cut it easily and it saves you spending ages pondering what fabrics to buy and ending up having to buy more than you need.

Badvoc Mon 08-Oct-12 21:45:58

<nods sagely>
Thank you.
I bought some wadding in Saturday from John Lewis.
It's quite thin but I guess you can get thicker stuff?

TunipTheVegemal Mon 08-Oct-12 21:48:34

Yes, you can get different weights. Thin is fine though.

Fizzylemonade Tue 09-Oct-12 07:19:11

Have a look on YouTube, quilting is huge in America & there are lots of videos posted.

Try searching quilting for beginners, or charm packs explained etc & you will understand it all then.

Start small, like a placemat & work your way up to bigger things. Start with cheaper material first.

There is no doubt a beginners guide to using a sewing machine on youtube.

My friend inherited a sewing machine so we spent a giddy afternoon with me teaching her the basics.

Do any of your friends have a sewing machine?

lljkk Tue 09-Oct-12 07:50:31

You are a better person than me ifyou can learn from watching videos.
I still recommend a go-there-in-person-and-get-taught set of lessons.

lljkk Tue 09-Oct-12 07:51:56

Google challenge, tell us the first 3-4 letters of your postcode, I'll find you some contacts.

Badvoc Tue 09-Oct-12 09:16:12

My mil has a machine.
I will ask her to pop over one afternoon.
Thanks all x

EvaLongoria Wed 10-Oct-12 11:00:36

Badvoc good luck in trying to learn to sew. I have only recently taught myself. My husband and I have decided that we could not afford for me to go back to work this year and I needed to find something to keep me busy when I'm not dropping my 4 year old off at school or going to baby groups with my 18 month old. I love buying homemade things but must admit with 2 girls I've been spending more than I would normally buying their clothes from Debenhams.

I then decided that its by time that I learn to do it myself. My husbands Nonna gave me a very old sewing machine almost 2 years ago which was in the garage but it looked more daunting. Checked my local gumtree and bought a very good 2nd hand Janome for £50. The lady I bought it from just showed me for 5 mins how to switch it on and do a normal running stitch. I went home and watched loads of YouTube videos and picked up some craft books from the library and bought some craft magazines. So far I've just finished a quilt that is for my 18 month old daughter, I also made them an advent calendar and about to make some Christmas decorations and banners for my daughters birthday party at the end of the month.

I've been struggling since I started at the end of August to get onto a course but they all fully booked but quite proud of myself. I can now sew but want to attend a course so that I can learn how to read a pattern for clothes as I want to make summer clothes for my girls next year.

Badvoc Wed 10-Oct-12 11:02:35

Wow, we'll done!
I would love to make my boys an Xmas quilt smile
I have ordered a dressmaking book and quilting book from amazon and will check out the library too.
My mil is coming round on Friday for a tutorial! Gulp....

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