Monday, July 13, 2009

Machine Quilting Summary...

Wow...thank you so much for all your top tips on machine quilting.  Between them all I think I have worked out where I went wrong and how to improve on the next quilt.  I managed to finish quilting the Chinese Coins and smooth and fix the pleats on the back.  As I learned so much from your comments and my experience I thought I'd do a summary.

  1. Several said to try spray basting.  I was actually surprised how many of you love that stuff..so that's one thing I'll have to look for at the LQS.
  2. Pins...seems there is a bit of a love/hate relationship with these.  It sounds like you have to either used hundreds or use thread to baste.  There is something to the layers shifting during the machine quilting process when you remove the pins and puckers occuring when you try and sew around them.  I'm starting to think that pins are ok for smaller quilts, but perhaps something this size (70" square) needs to be well thread basted.
  3. Along the same theme..basting and how tight that back needs to be is an area of debate.  I used the Sharon Schamber method of basting and I don't think I was diligent enough along the first edge.  Some tape to hold the leading edge might just give it a bit more smoothness.
  4. I won't starch the back again...
  5. Get a grip!!...lots of you mentioned gloves and getting a good handle on the quilt.  After reading that I dug out a new pair of gardening gloves..the ones with the rubber dots on the palms..and made sure I was really spreading the fabric as I quilted.  Sally (who does the most amazing machine quilting) made a really good point about ensuring you've got hold of that quilt and that you don't let it get away from you.  I think Sally got it very right and I do think that was a big part of my problem.  I've got to remember to repositions those hands..LOTS!
  6. Quilt from the centre...seems obvious, but I know there are quilters out there that don't.  Again I think the rules change when the quilt is large.
  7. Lastly...if all else fails, then use Libby's top tip: "use careful label placement or a strategic applique'd heart or star to cover the offending spot"
I'm sure there all all kinds of tips on this subject...you only need to Google it to see...but these are the areas I need to work on and this list is as much a reminder for myself as anything else :o)

Until next time...

14 comments:

YankeeQuilter said...

Those are all good tips to remember. The thing that helped me most was moving my machine to a larger table and putting a folding table in back of it so none of the quilt was on the floor pulling away from the machine...helped keep the arms from hurting too!

Mary Beth said...

I love Libby's tip! I will remember that one!

Gretchen said...

These are great tips! I use spray basting for smaller quilts; I haven't tried it on large quilts. Machine quilting is not my favorite thing to do so I send mine out to a long-arm quilter when I can. That said I have a stack of tops... I keep saying to myself that I will learn to love machine quilting and quilt more of my own, but so far it's a lot of self-talking.....

Needled Mom said...

Did you ever think you would learn so much through blogging? All are great points.

Amanda said...

These tips you were given are so timely for me too, I've just finished machine quilting a quilt that puckered on the front, the back is perfect! So I'll be trying out some applique shapes I think. I've never tried spray basting, so that might be worth a try too. I'll keep reading to see how you find it.

Anina said...

Thanks for sharing those, Jane!
When all else fails, wash the quilt for the wrinkly effect and no one will see the "problems".
:o)

Marilyn R said...

Congrats on getting that Chinese Coin quilt quilted! Don't forget to show us your finished quilt please!

Julie in the Barn said...

Great summary. I'm a convert to spray basting after years of pins and thread. Try it but I recommend using 501 and not any other. I also move to the dining table and use my ironing board adjusted to table height to help support large quilts. And I agree that a wash for that wrinkly old timey look also helps!

loulee said...

Isn't it great how a plea for help on your blog can bring a landslide of wonderful ideas. Good luck with all your future quilting.

Suzie Sews said...

wow what fab tips. I just pottle through, know I have some guide lines I am expecting to improve. Thank you

Lynda said...

What an excellent summary! I'm a big fan of tacking myself!

black bear cabin said...

all great tips, but i think i like Libby's the best :)

anne bebbington said...

Great tips - I can't think of anything to add - you're right Sally is a star quilter and everyone's given some really great advice - Libby's tip reminds me of Dorothy Stapleton's about non matching seams or points "A well placed button hides a multitude of sins" As my boss always used to say - "It's not a problem it's a development opportunity!" :o)

Chase said...

Great Tips! I think the pins didn't work on my baby quilt last time, at the end I had to take them out and use the thread.