Thursday, August 24, 2006


Saga of Machine Quilting
I have been trying to learn to machine quilt. These are my scrappy blocks I've shown before. I put them together into three parts. Each was 18 1/2 inches wide and 74 inches long. I sandwiched each section. I sure don't have that down yet. I pulled, ironed, pinned, and did it over and over. I thought I heard 100% cotton Warm & Natural was suppose to be easy to work with. sigh. Then I used my walking foot and made big curves down and back. It didn't work well and I got too much puckering. I cut some of the stitches and redid. I learned I needed to hold the fabric tight even with a million pins and a walking foot. I'm wondering about using those gloves I've seen. Do any of you use them? When I had all three sections done -avoiding the edges, I sewed the top to the top using 1/4 inch. Next time I would allow a half inch. Then I cut the batting to butt together and zig zagged it. Then I hand sewed the backing together. To my great surprise, it was a nice rectangle. Then I sewed the red to the blue border and cut batting and backing this size. This time I laid the top border over the top of the quilt and the back border over the back and sewed it all on at once. Then I zig zagged the batting together. I hand sewed the corners together. I decided to try meandering using my darning foot. Oh, me. Not only were the sitches various lengths but sometimes the tension wasn't right. Yes, I had practiced and it was okay then. I decided I wanted this quilt done and Kipper has been wanting a quilt so this would be his. After doing about half of the border, I decided to try the walking foot and played with some things. Then I unsewed the meandering and did this stitch with the walking foot all the way around. I sewed forward and then pressed the reverse for a while and then forward again. It did a good job of keeping the sandwich from bunching up. I can see where I might be able to make stars or some actual design in the future. I sewed the binding on before taking the pics but haven't hand sewn it down yet. See the next posting for more pics. Well now I have a utility quilt. It is a finished size of 86 x 69.



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8 comments:

Melzie said...

do your feed dogs drop? Mine done so I just do in the ditch for now. You did great! xoxo melzie

Nellie Bass Durand said...

Machine quilting is NOT easy! I use sand paper pads to control the fabric. They have fine sand paper on one side of a 3/8" thick foam pad. I buy 5"x6" (almost) size sheets and have cut them into sets of varying shapes. The sand paper side holds/moves the fabric. My finger tips easily get a good grip without much downward pressure so there's less stress on my hand, arm, and shoulder muscles. I came up with this solution after being frustrated with having to remove gloves and finger cots to do the necessarys of sewing. I even tried sticky stuff on my fingers, but then everything stuck. The sandpaper pads work great for me.

Tonya R said...

I love how the quilt came together tho - it's wonderfully scrappy and fun. Sorry it was such a lot of work.

Hedgehog said...

The machine quilting will get better! (At least that's what I tell myself.) Sometimes I use those little finger tips you can buy at office supply stores - and they're cheap, so it's not a big investment if you don't like them. http://www.staples.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/StaplesProductDisplay?prodCatType=0&storeId=10001&catalogId=10051&langId=-1&productId=17614&cmArea=SEARCH they have different sizes, too.

Linda_J said...

I don't use gloves or hold onto anything but then I seldom free motion. Most of the time it is just my hands but I DO notice that after I have washed them and get back to quilting, I have a slightly harder time hanging on. It passes though quickly.

It would be easier to quilt if the project were smaller. Even on these smaller kids quilts I do, it is easier once more of the pins come out and the batting flattens down a bit. The first hours or so can be a little tedious some days.

Finn said...

Hi Katie, the quilt looks wonderful..*VBS* Kipper will think he's become TOP DOG! I think you put alot of effort into learning the new tricks with getting a quilt together, as well as the machine quilting. Probably a smaller quilt would have been a tat easier, but GOOD FOR YOU, cause this one is pretty good sized!!! Hugs, Finn

Laurie Ann said...

Kipper's a lucky dog, that quilt turned out very nicely. I've tried the gloves and I think they work very well. Those pictures of Kipper are just precious!! Dogs are just the best, aren't they?

Judy said...

I think for the first try it turned out very well! The whole point is to try new things and see what happens and adjust to what you like.

When I sew insections, I quilt one out to the edge then sew the other side's top onto that sandwich and do what you did from there out.

I think it's a perfect utility quilt!