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Quilting – MCCQA Week 7

Mod City Center Quilt Along

I have seen so much goodness from you guys!! Thank you so much for participating. And making it so much fun. I am amazed that we are already to the step where we quilt the quilts. Crazy, right?! I feel like the Mod City Center Quilt Along has just started. This week I will be quilting my smaller quilt on my domestic machine. Let’s contemplate machines, quilting designs, and more. 

Longarm machine

A longarm sewing machine is one that has a long throat space. Much more than your typical machine. A long arm machine is mounted to a frame that can be 10 to 14 feet wide. It has tracks that allow the machine to move vertically and horizontally. The quilter needs to load the quilt parts to a different bar on the machine. After you have started the quilting process you have about 10″ of quiltable space at one time. This may be different depending on the machine. After that space is quilted, you have to manually release the rollers and advance the quilt.

Some long arms have a computer where you can load digital designs and tell the computer how many times you want the design to repeat. If you are at the end of a quilt and find that you will need two inches more, you can even skew the digital pattern to fit that space. These machines are really cool. But there is a lot of prep work. I have spent eight hours on a simple design and basically learned why not to quilt on an empty stomach. 

Click here to read about that mindless moment.

Midarm Sewing Machine

A midarm is a sewing machine that is not on a frame. It still has an extremely long throat space but you will need to move the quilt through the machine similar to a domestic machine; because of this you will still need to baste your quilt. I have never had the opportunity to use this type of machine. (picture still to come)

Domestic Sewing Machine

I refer to my normal home sewing machine as my domestic machine. I like to use that term so there is no confusion about what type of sewing machine I am referring to. 

Types of quilting

Hand quilting — Basically exactly that, using a needle and thread and your own hands to quilt the quilt. I have hand quilted at least three quilts—my first quilts. Now I like to leave some spaces unquilted so I can go back in and add some hand quilting. I think that gives a quilt a lovely contrast and adds texture. 

Free motion quilting — This refers to quilting without an electronic pattern. When using a longarm, this would be moving the machine handles around the quilt without the vertical or horizontal lock on and without using a pantograph. On a domestic machine, you would be dropping the feed dogs and using your hands to move the fabric through the machine, i.e. not using digital embroidery patterns.   

Straight line quilting — When longarm quilting, I suggest using your horizontal and vertical locks. It is amazing and makes straight lines easy to quilt. On a domestic machine and when quilting a large space, use your feed dogs to help you move your fabric through your machine. 

Tips for domestic quilting

  • Alway use quilting gloves. It is so much better for your hands, arms, and back because it gives you extra grip. Like Spiderman! LOL.
  • Patience is a virtue. Don’t rush it. The machine is more likely to have thread breakage and errors when it is rushed. 
  • Use a portable table to manage extra weight.
  • Start in the middle of the quilt and work your way out. This is because as you quilt you will be straightening the area out making it smooth as you go. If you just choose random places to quilt, you are more likely to have puckers and fabric bunching as the space gets quilted.  
  • Practice. Practice. Using a quilt sandwich is great to get a feel for the pattern. It is a great way to prepare your hands for repeating the moment. 
  • Don’t worry. Unless you are entering it into a show no one will notice the mistakes. Be easy on yourself. The only way you will get better is going through the process of learning from your mistakes. 

Two incredible quilting teachers

Angela Walters
Christine Cameli

Hopefully I will get a video on quilting out. Fingers crossed. LOL

Enter to win

I love looking at all of your progress photos on Instagram. Share your progress for this week’s topic, quilting your quilt on Instagram using #modcitycenterquiltalong and #MCCQweek7 (each week this one will change). For this week when you post your progress photos on Instagram, tell me what is your favorite way to quilt your quilt? The more weeks you participate, the greater your chance of winning. When I reveal the next step, I will announce a new winner here on my blog. The prizes will get larger as the quilt progresses, so stick around. I can’t wait to see your progress photos. Happy quilting!!

The winner for week 6 is hooray!! 

Privacy on Instagram

Since I want to make this a fun and interactive experience, I would like to use Instagram. If you don’t have it and need help setting it up, let me know. To participate, please make your Instagram account open to the public. If it is not public, I won’t be able to see your photos and won’t be able to pick you in giveaways. If you have issues with this, I understand. Direct message me and let me know.

Can you still Join?

Of course!! I want this to be a laid back and fun experience. It is ok if you miss steps; life always gets in the way and that is all right. If you would like to learn more about the Mod City Center Quilt Along, click here.

Leave a Comment

The Comments

  • Gayle Brown
    July 20, 2019

    What are the vertical and horizontal locks you speak of. I am doing straight line quilting and am not familiar with this. Thanks

    • Elisabeth DeMoo
      > Gayle Brown
      July 20, 2019

      The vertical and horizontal locks are on a long arm sewing machine. If you set them it will lock the machine on that track of the frame so when you pull the handles of the machine it will stay on that line. I wish my regular sewing machine would do this too.