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Old 03-31-2011, 09:51 PM   #491
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The secret to my king sized quilt was to send it out to someone with a longarm. No way was I going to try wrestling that monster under a home machine.
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Old 04-01-2011, 06:52 AM   #492
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Machine Quilting

My mother machine quilts- she simply leaves the presser foot up to handle the extra thickness. I'm a snob- I hand quilt everything. She hasn't mentioned any special techniques or anything.
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Old 04-01-2011, 07:32 AM   #493
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Georgia, boy, do I understand your intimidation. I took several workshops and read many books before I tried it. I was scared, but determined. And, trust me, I am no expert and my quilts are not show quality. My first large quilt was done on the 440QE and I made several crib sized quilts before I tackled it. That large quilt has so many piecing and quilting mistakes, I can't even count them, but I kept it and use it in my Airstream. I call it The Learning Quilt. As bad as it is, I am very proud of finishing it and allowing myself to make mistake after mistake.

I think you just have to get in there and start. At first I made up several practice sandwiches and played with techniques. I do recommend taking a class, but there is nothing like just getting in there and going for it. It takes practice, practice, practice. And you will get better.

There are several schools of thought on handling the bulk. I don't make a roll because I just can't figure out how to do that effectively. I have a large sewing table (Tracy's Tables--they are great) so the quilt can be spread to the side and behind. Sometimes I move another table to my left to hold the quilt. I like to spread it out and "puddle" the area I am working on around the head of the machine. At times the quilt ends up over my shoulder keeping me warm even before it is finished.

Again, I am no expert, but I keep trying and improving. I recommend books by Harriet Hargrave and, Diane Gaudynski. I also recommend taking as many workshops as possible to pick as many brains as you can to learn the techniques that will work for you. In the mean time, just get to work on those two sandwiches you made. That QE is perfect for what you want to do.

As for some Airstream content, I have taken my Bambi and parked at an RV park near a quilting workshop to cut down on expenses. I can wake up in a lovely spot and have some outdoor time, then head over to the workshop thus combining my two loves. Makes for a very satisfying weekend.

All the best,
Caryl
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Old 04-01-2011, 09:11 AM   #494
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Caryl, thanks and more thanks! Camping and taking workshops sounds like a winning combo. One local shop has scheduled a workshop this summer with someone reputed to be an expert on machine quilting, so based on your post above, I'm signing up for it. Surely just watching someone demonstrate will help. I have a large sewing cabinet with a back section that lifts to provide surface which should help control the bulk. I also have a smallish folding table that I can set up to extend that surface. Those two things should help. And, as you say, I will get to work on those sandwiched lap quilts. Your words about your "learning quilt" inspire me! I can have one of those too, celebrating what I improve rather than despairing over my "oops." Again, thanks! You can't imagine how your post resonated with me. ~G
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Old 04-01-2011, 03:07 PM   #495
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The "oops"

You know, in the early days (pilgrims to pioneers) quilters would intentionally put flaws in their quilts. To have a "perfect" quilt was a sin against God- since only GOd, and (and not quilters) was perfect.
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Old 04-01-2011, 06:19 PM   #496
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxandgeorgia View Post
Admitedly, I'm intimidated by machine quilting, though I recently bought a Bernina Quilter's Edition machine just for that purpose--just haven't begun, with all summer, fall, and winter passing by. Shame on me, but for the life of me, I cannot manipulate the bulk of the quilt while attending to the stitching. I know there must be strategies, and I'm on alert to learn them. I have two lap quilts sandwiched and ready to quilt-one with polyester bat and the other with Warm and Natural. I think I need access to someone who machine quilts--to sit beside them, ask questions, observe techniques. Do you machine quilt full sized quilts or smaller items? And thanks for the info on the wool batting ~G
I have two Berninas and LOVE them. I have quilted everything from baby to king sized quilts on them. They have the same area between the machine and the needle as you do.

For larger quilts I would suggest straight line quilting. I work quilting from the middle out to the sides. First roll up the quilt from each side leaving where you quilt unrolled (obviously ) You'll then have two big rolls to hang on to. Feed the quilt under the quilting foot (you'll have a bunch on the floor between your legs at the start), When you are done with a row, roll up one side more and unroll the other, feed the quilt like before. I really like the knee lift for this.

You don't just have to do boring straight stitches. For many quilts (especially one's without a clear seam to stitch in the ditch) I'll quilt one line, move over two inches and quilt two lines of stitching a quarter inch apart, move over two inches (I use the spacing thingie that came with the walking foot) and sew three lines each a quarter inch apart. Then start the pattern over. Another nice look is starting your 'line' in the diagonal for 1/2 the quilt and then do the other coming at a 90 degree angle to that. If I'm doing this I use masking tape for my quilting line to start.

If that makes absolutely no sense I understand . I must admit now I don't usually quilt my own larger than lap quilts. I've become fond of a local long-arm quilter who does stunning all-over quilt designs that I could never do by hand. I love the piecing and binding but leave the quilting to Rhonda.

I still quilt all my own baby quilts and free-motion wall hangings.

Enjoy your Bernina!
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Old 04-01-2011, 08:35 PM   #497
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Thanks, tksbaskets, for your encouraging words. I suspect that I'll come to a similar decision to the one you've made: quilt my own lap quilts and wall hangings and such with my Bernina, but leave the full sized quilts to the long arm quilters. Then again, I may get myself a set of quilting frames and claim a corner of the house dedicated to hand quilting! Thanks...~G
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Old 04-11-2011, 08:56 AM   #498
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Lightbulb Quilting UFOs

Summer tends to be a time when we vow to "finish what we've started." At least for me. Anyone interested in starting a UFO contest? I know I could use the incentive! Here's what I'm thinking for a country wide group like ours:

1. Everyone take a pic of your current UFO (unfinished object) and post it.
2. Take a picture of any UFO you finish by Labor day.
3. All finished project owners have their name put into a bowl for drawing.
4. The winner gets a jo-ann gift card to support their addiction. (I'm thinking jo-anns is a national chain so that anyone can use it!)

I'm hoping it would be a $100 gift card- and I'm willing to throw in the first $40 if anyone else is willing to chip in. In my quilting circle, it's usually $5 entry fee for each UFO- but I'm thinking for this group, people could just chip in if they want. Since it's my idea, and I'll be collecting money and drawing names, I will be inelligible for the prize- but will still compete.

Anyone interested?

Teresa
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Old 04-11-2011, 06:51 PM   #499
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Teresa, this is an interesting idea, but in this time of hard economic times for many, perhaps more of our group would feel like participating if instead of a $$ donation and gift card prize, the winner would be "showered" with quilting "in kind" prizes, such as quilt blocks or fat quarters for a stash. What do you think? I'm not trying to take away your idea, and for sure $100 to spend on a JoAn's sale would be a grand prize, but this way no one would have to send $$, but since we all have fabric and are quilters/piecers, the donation would be free except for shipping the prizes to the winner. Our winner could designate a color theme and then, Katie-Bar-the-Door, she'll be surprised with the mailings...and have a new UFO for her collection! Just a suggestion...~G
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Old 04-12-2011, 04:39 PM   #500
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Teresa, count me in for twenty bucks! Can I still win? lol... Jess are you in?
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Old 04-12-2011, 05:11 PM   #501
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Im in too for $ or fabric stash, I have to finish that orange quilt I never finished! Maybe this will be my kick in the pants!
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Old 04-12-2011, 05:29 PM   #502
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well, if it has to be a project that is stalled... then I am picking a wall hanging that I never finished. When is labor day?

What are the rules?

Before and after picture?
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Old 04-12-2011, 06:47 PM   #503
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I'm in too for $$ and/or fabric stash. I have no idea how to transfer a photo from my camera to this forum/thread. Can you tell I'm living in the dark ages? ~G
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Old 04-12-2011, 07:20 PM   #504
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posting pics

Quote:
Originally Posted by maxandgeorgia View Post
I'm in too for $$ and/or fabric stash. I have no idea how to transfer a photo from my camera to this forum/thread. Can you tell I'm living in the dark ages? ~G
G- you just go below this post and hit the blue button "post reply" then type in your response and hit the little paperclip button at the top of the reply box where your typing, attach your photo from the location where you have it on your computer.
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