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Quilting With Machines

Posted by Quilting Bee on

In the good old days, quilting sometimes takes months and month. Sometimes, several quilters work together to finish a quilt faster. Those were the days when quilters (mostly women) have all the time in the world.

Today, it is already common for most quilters (including the traditionalists) to sometimes use the machines in quilting. Admittedly, the primary consideration of today’s quilting machines is for faster and easier work.

Moreover, many quilters also agree that there are certain quilting chores that are simply too much for the hands. Related to this, it was found out that the machines could also trigger quilters’ creativity.

From simple walking foot to free range embroidery, a quilter now can sometimes come up with works of art using the machine’s capacity for intricate quilting.

Machines

An ordinary sewing machine can double up as a quilting machine. However, some machines need adaptations. For the quilter, a little practice is all there is to do to master machine quilting.

A big consideration is the width of the opening between the needle and the motor where larger openings are needed to maneuver large quilts. (In small machines, large quilts need to be quilted in sections and then joined.)

There are two categories in machine quilting: machine guided (where the feed dogs are up) and used for straight and slightly curved lines. Free motion quilting (where the feed dogs are covered or dropped) is for all the other patterns like feathered stars and stippling.

But these are not written in stone.

Some quilters use free motion quilting for all their patterns, even those made with straight lines. Other quilters prefer to use even stitches of machine-guided quilts in making feathered quilts (or some such patterns).

Needles

The most important part of a sewing machine is the needle, even if it is the least expensive of all the parts. Ideally, quilters should begin new projects with new needles.

Needles need to be replaced if they start to show signs of dulling, make popping noise (threads caught and broken by dull needle points) and produce poorly-formed stitches.
Large projects need several needles.

Sharp needles are needed to penetrate thick layers of fabric and batting. There are specialty needles too for rayon embroidery or metallic threads. There are very good popular brands of these needles available.

Threads

First, threads designed for hand quilting are never used in machine quilting. Threads for hand quilting have wax coatings (for strength and ease) which can possibly damage the tension discs of sewing machines.

There is also need to match your thread and the project correctly. Rayon and metallic threads are best for wall hangings while baby quilts (which are washed every so often) would need pure cotton thread.

Another tip is a thread that might be too heavy for the machine’s needle might be used in the bobbin and sewing the quilt from the wrong side.

Finally, if you are looking for best results while using machines to do your quilting, use high-quality cotton threads with long staples (fiber).

There is no conflict in using either your hands or a machine to do your quilting. If you have the eye and the heart for your work, beauty will always come out.

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