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Question of the Week

Question for the week of February 3, 1997:

How do you handle the bulk when you are machine quilting a large quilt?

Sharon :
Use a large tabel to hold the weight of the quilt and as many members of your family as you can gather to help turn the bulk.

Ceola at :
I put a table on the left side and a table behind my machine, plus I roll the right side. I put the extra over my shoulder and start quilting in the middle. I am a long time quilter but new to the internet. This is a wonderful page. :
I use bicycle clips and roll the quilt so that it is more manageable as I am quilting. Then after rolling both sides equally I begin by quilting in the middle of the quilt and move out to the ends, then back to the middle and out again to the sides.
I have also found it quite handy to have the rubber fingers around that you get in the Office supply store. They help to keep your quilt from slipping throught your fingers as you work. Sometimes I will use a hoop but I don't attempt this often as you have a very small area to work in when using the hoop.
From: Diane Mettler; Homewood, Illinois.

MJ :
I put a large table front of my sewing
machine. It keeps my quilt from falling
to the floor. And I can keep my quilt
spread out.
I use two tables to keep my quilt spread out so that it does fall to the floor.

Judy Neary :
I recently read a good technique, however haven't tried it yet. Cut your batting into thirds lengthwise. Bast/Pin the middle third to the center of the quilt. Quilt this section. When done, but one of the side thirds to the center batting and sew together. Then pin/baste the sandwich together and quilt the end section. Repeat with final third. This technique allows you to quilt the middle of the quilt with much less bulk.
Karen Leak :
I quilt on my dining room table so the bulk of my quilt is supported by the table. I also use my darning foot and a spring needle as much as possible because I don't have to keep rolling and rerolling my quilt (I can quilt in any direction because I control my stitch length and my feeddogs are not engaged).
Rosemary Larson :
You roll it up and use bicycle clips that you can purchase at your local fabric shop.
Barb Pailloz :
I do not do it the conventional way. I leave the quilt loose and do not package it ups like some experts have suggested. I have two tables, one in front and one beside by machine to support the quilt. I just finished a king-size dahlia and this worked for me.
Marianne Daly :
It's important to remember the need for the correct machine set-up. You need the H-Q needles (Schmetz) very sharp and strong and takes the thread easily. You need the even-feed foot or dual-foot on the Pfaff ( preference) and always do a test sandwich using the same weight of fabric/batt/thread etc. first..
Nikki Tinkler :
I don't know, but as this is my first visit to Azalea Quilters AND I'm just about to embark on my first machine-quilted quilt, I'm finding all the information very helpful - thankyou very much. Bye for now! :
I've just started machine quilting, but my teacher said she didn't like the big round silver clips. What I did was get some large clips/clamps that are coated with plastic (so it doesn't hurt the material) at the hardware store. They really hold well. Kind of like a big clothes pin but larger and longer. I put these on the area I've rolled up. I also put my machine on a long table so it helps hold the weight.
Laura :
I usually use the WPP method - that is wad, push, pull, however, I am not sure that I should reccommend this mehod. Seriously though, I find that if you use a thin batting such as Hobbs Thermore helps eliminate the bulk.
debbie campos :
the bulk is sometimes cumbersome. i have
found that it works best to use a large
table to rest the quilt on. also i like
to have the quilt rolled, and i quilt it
in sections. happy quilting
Chris at :
I recomend not to do it on a regular machine becaus if the bulk gets to tough to handle you will break a needle and end up with a unsightly hole in your work .
Rebecca VanDyke :
I roll it up usually using bicycle clips.
Elisa :
I roll up the sides and pin them down
with large safety pins. I find clips
shift but pins along the length holds

I also lay the quilt over my shoulder
and onto a chair behind me because I
find it impossible to manuever it when
it's "snaked" in my lap.

Carolyn V. Peters :
I use a very large folding table and my machine is placed in a folding portable sewing table (with the free-arm cutout) and I sorta squish the quilt into the arm. Rolling into long tubes and then unrolling and rerolling and clipping is bothersome, heavy and gets in the way. The real trick is to baste well and keep the weight of the quilt up and not let it drag. For control, I use yellow Playtex rubber gloves, cut off mid-palm, so that the gloves now only have four fingers. This works really well and the gloves does get really hot.
William hamilton :
roll up sides and use bike clips or saftey pins to hold roll tight as each row is machine quilted.
Kim Frahm ( :
The best way to handle a large quilt is
to have it profesionally quilted on a
long-arm machine. This will save you time,
and will be worth your money. E-mail if
you have questions. Good luck!
JSpencer :
Rolled up everything on both sides of the area being quilting--secured with rubber bands or clips designed for this purpose. However, I decided that for most things I would have better control by quilting block by block as I go ahead with this project. Then join the blocks together. This minimizes the rolling and holding and I personally prefer it. JS
Marian Cole :
I quilt large quilts at a large table. I have a plexiglas extension on my sewing machine which helps a lot. I used to use the rubber finger stalls which are available at office supply stores, but now I have one of the new Quilt Sew Easy hoops which are fairly new on the market and that really helps to move the fabric around. I take my quilt and just roughly roll it up and throw it over my right shoulder. I guide it through the sewing machine quite easily. I don't bother to use quilt clips. They seem to get in my way. I have quilted several large quilts this way - the largest was queen size - and haven't had any trouble.

Allison Bayer, Richardson, Texas :
For me, I purchased a Gammill Hand Guided Quilting machine.
When my job of five years ended in December I used my severance
package. I realize not everyone can run out and buy one of
these machines so check with your local quilter's quild for a
resource list of people in the guild who do have a machine.
Your sanity is worth at least an estimate of what it would
cost to have it quilted. It may be the easiest check you
write. And just think, a FINISHED quilt allows you to move
on to the next project and buy more fabric!!
Peggy S--email: :
Badly! The best thing I do is to surround myself with tables so that the weight of the quilt is not pulling on it in any direction. I roll as much as I can of the quilt and try to plan my quilting so that I am working toward an outside edge. I haven't found any miracle tips.
Linda Reitz :
I support the extra bulk on chairs around my sewing machine.
Karen Brown :
One of the most important things is to have a large enough table area surrounding your sewing machine to support the quilt so there is no "tugging" at the needle. It also frees both of your hands to move the quilt through the machine.

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