Tips for Easy Machine Quilting
Easy Machine Quilting Tips
3 Take time preparing your quilt, by this I mean that you need to decide whether to baste your quilt, or to pin all the layers together. As a general rule hand quilters baste their quilts in a grid fashion using a needle and thread and machine quilters prefer to pin. Use safety pins and pin every 10-15cm (4-6"), starting from the middle and working out.(yes you will need a lot of pins for a full size quilt and yes your fingers will probably get sore)
4 In most cases easy machine quilting does not involve marking out a pattern on your quilt top, it can be done in sections using your quilt design as a guide. If you want to quilt a shape, you will need to transfer your pattern onto your quilt before attaching all the layers together. Do this with a water soluble marker or tailors chalk, lead pencil can be difficult to remove.
Most easy machine quilting involves stitching in the ditch (this means following the seam line). Or you can quilt straight or curved lines by sewing your first line of stitching and then follow it with a special bar to space the following lines. (look in your sewing machine accessories compartment and you may discover one of these)
5 Once you have decided on a overall quilting plan, consider your thread choice. Use machine quilting thread which is slightly thicker than ordinary thread and choose a contrasting colour (for the more experienced quilter) or complimentary colour (for the beginner quilter). Use the same colour thread in your top and bottom bobbin.
6 Adjust the stitch length so that it is a little bigger then normal and use a walking foot. This is a special foot attachment that feeds the layers more easily through the machine. This is a must for easy machine quilting.
7 If your quilt is large you will need to roll up the edges and secure the roll with quilting clips. Quilts can be heavy so another tip is to place a chair, small table or ironing board next to your machine to help give support. Quilt from the centre out, working on a section at a time. Sew in your thread ends.
8 Once you get more experienced you may want to try free hand machine quilting also known as meandering stitch or stippling. This involved lowering the feed dogs on your sewing machine which allows you to move the quilt top around under the needle to stitch in a random design. Ideally lines should not cross over. My advice is to practice this technique before starting on your quilt top.
I hope these easy machine quilting tips have shed some light on the quilting process and that you now feel more confident to give it a go.