View Full Version : In a rut

June 22nd, 2012, 12:31 AM
I love quilting. Or, rather, I love making quilt blocks and tops. And I love the idea of completing quilts. The problem is, hand quilting takes FOREVER and I don't currently have the means of (a) doing FMQ or (b) paying to have the machine quilting done. I am REALLY hoping for some inspiration, advice, suggestions, etc.

June 22nd, 2012, 01:12 AM
I understand and I'm in the same situation. I have been working on quilting a 58" square quilt. It's like going to the gym for a workout. I just have a standard sewing machine so I'm pushing and pulling the quilt all the time. It's not really fun, but this is for a family member. In fact, I've really got to get it finished.

I love fabric and I love to make quilt blocks! I love to read quilting magazines and books!! I've got half a gazillion quilting sites saved on my computer!! I just don't enjoy the actual quilting process because I have a standard machine.

Oh, what's a quilter to do???

Pam in Vegas

June 22nd, 2012, 01:37 AM
Hey now you 2. I only have a regular sewing machine. It isn't even computerized. It has a very small throat, or opening in which to put a quilt. But I have managed to quilt several baby quilts on my home machine. It is all a matter of how you put the quilt sandwich in your machine. This tutorial may help, I know it did me. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gc2Y14B-vwk Also if you STID, it is just easier than trying to FMQ. I have never paid to have a quilt, quilted. You CAN do it.

June 22nd, 2012, 02:26 AM
Normally don't do anything bigger than a baby and toddler quilts with SITD or Echoing or other Straight Graphic Lined quilting. But Cathy laid out Sarah's top and it ended pushing me to do a 69 x 74 I think (We're in a tiny one bedroom condo with no layout space).

If you start from the center of your quilt - that cuts your workable width in half, you can handle anything upto a twin. FMQ maybe a large lapquilt. FMQ isn't something I've done on a quilt, I've only done it on t-shirts for kids and small wall or pillow covers, more artsy stuff.

I think like Marilyn said, there is no reason you shouldn't do machine straight stitching quilting on your quilts instead of FMQ. Check out some videos on YouTube and also do a search on Modern Quilt Images. You can see how different the straight line quilting can make a quilt look.

Good luck and happy quilting. :) Ruby

June 22nd, 2012, 04:33 AM
I have always done my own quilting due to budget restraints...that would be money better put to buying more fabric...I use decorative stitches to quilt with....a simple cross hatch will work on most blocks done in a neutral color or in a coordinating thread...I have used zig zag to quilt; serpentine to quilt...and echo quilting some blocks...even echo quilted the seams on a jelly roll race quilt once...so if I can quilt on my sewing machine...so can you! :)

June 22nd, 2012, 05:38 AM
I totally understand how you feel! One thing I've found that helps is to do rag quilts, now those are fun to do!!! I've really only done one so far but if I had my way that is all I would do from now on - I know quilting CAN be done on a regular machine but I also know that till we (I) get better at it and figure out just how to go about it, it can be a bit frustrating.

June 22nd, 2012, 07:40 AM
You can quilt your quilts with your regular machine. I have NEVER had a fancy machine and stuck with SID for years. Then I progressed to cross hatching (diagonal lines) on top of the quilt. That eventually led me to attempt FMQ. With that my old machine left me dead in my tracks. The feed dogs wouldn't drop. Now I have a machine that allows the feed dogs to drop, but the throat is small and yet I still can FMQ a twin sized quilt. I have quilted a queen sized quilt with my regular machine. It can be done!!!

You can do this too! Just give it a try and experiment.

PS--I also like to hand quilt, but I save that for smaller, special projects.

June 22nd, 2012, 08:20 AM
I cross hatch most quilts, or stitch in the ditch. I only send quilts to the LAQ when they're bed sized quilts. If you get a LAQ to do a simple stipple quilting it's usually a lot less costly than fancy patterns that have to be done in very specific places. Next time I have a quilt that needs to go to a LAQ I'm sending it to MSQC to have them stipple quilt it. I'm cross hatching a quilt that's about 50 x 75 and you just need to roll up the side that's going through your machine throat so it goes through smoothly -- I don't have a fancy machine and it doesn't have a large throat area. Good luck!

June 22nd, 2012, 10:17 AM
I felt exactly as you do a few years back.... but letting you in on a secret.... sometimes it's just a mood swing... i have a frame with smaller machine... LOVE it,,, but things get ahead of me... they pile up... then i'll get a burst and clear off the spot and go for it.... All that being siad... it's just that i'm not as consistant as many and perhaps you may feel the same...
Even when you everything you need,,, you can get a little lazy.. (me for sure)... so here are my thoughts (something i did before the frame)....
You can FM squares... with batting... and backing.. then figure out ways to attach them.. if you search there are many...
You could also FM just the square with batting... stitch them together... attach a backing pillowcase style.. then "TIE" the quilt...
Sometimes it's more interesting to come up with your own NEW ways, rather than dwell on the ways you "can't" do....
I just wanted to share a little "crazy thinking" from my world!!!! hugs B

Claire Hallman
June 22nd, 2012, 11:33 AM
GrammaBabs is so right, quilt as you go designs and tying quilts are both good options if you can't or don't want to FMQ. I have recently done a little FMQ on a wall hanging and a baby quilt and was surprised at how well it went. Keep plugging away and you will find your niche.
BTW I sent my first big quilt to a LAQ and she did a beautiful job but if I were to pay to have my quilts quilted I wouldn't be making another for a year or two, so DIY is the name of the game around here specially since I give away most of my quilts.

Divine Daisy
June 22nd, 2012, 01:57 PM
Dive in! I quilted for years on an old cast iron manual machine of my mothers. Then I got what I thought was a very fancy mancy electric machine. Weighed a ton! Now I am very fortunate and spoilt, I have two beautiful machines. I saved hard for the first,worked hard for the second which I got from a new friend here on the forum. I am only now getting to know my second machine but she is finding a very special place in my heart.

A small throat can be frustrating but its not debilitating. I swear a fair bit sometimes but one thing is for shure....... you come out of it all having had a great workout!

June 22nd, 2012, 05:17 PM
Like everyone said just give it a try and it will be fine. I just SITD and I also use the fancy stitches on my quilts when I SITD (or at least try to get in the ditch!!!! LOL Hey no "Quilting Police" here remember!!!! Be artistic and do it your way!!!!

A small throat (like Daisy said) can be frustrating, but think of our Grandmothers and how they had to quilt quilts!!!!

Jan G.