flippytale Quilter

Art Journey with a Quilty Voice:
I here Voices. The Voices tell me to cut up Fabric. Good Fabric. Into small pieces. Small interesting pieces.
Then the Voices tell me to put them back together again. In interesting ways.
.... I must Obey ....

Thursday, September 06, 2007

TOPIC: What Tools & Materials work for your Quilting?

- When it comes time to quilt your top, what to you do?
- What have been some your solutions and discoveries?
- What wouldn't you do or use again?

Tamera had this great question for me, so great that I thought I would also share my answer here.

When it is time for me to quilt my tops I have really evolved over the years. My first ones were hand quilted because I didn't trust the old machine that I had. Then I got my current machine, nothing glamorous, a Singer "FM-22 C" (it was sold as "student" model for fashions students so it built very durible, perfect for me since I am so hard on things)
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Boy, have I put some miles on that baby....

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I use a mini-sandwich made with some extra fabric and batting for my stitch tester and warm up (think of it as doing stretches before playing sports). 40 weight quilting thread is a good place to start. My machine will skip stitches if I use to fine a needle so I have to use a 100 heavy duty. But, I usually piece with a 90 or 80 sharp. I have had to try out different needles and fiddle with my tension too. Again, it depends on the thread and material. I am a huge Mettler cotton thread fan (Google it for mutiple links to web sites), but have now just discovered King Tut cotton quilting thread (by Superior Threads). I am currently quilting my first quilt with it. I used Master Piece by the same company and luuuuved it! I will have to get back to you on what I think of the King Tut.

Although I will use my walking foot for quilting straight lines, free-motion quilting is my current quilting drug (other than fabric). If you want to try out free motion quilting you need to figure out how to drop the feed dogs on your machine. My machine uses a little plate that covers the feed dogs. It takes some practice getting your stitches even (which is where the mini sandwich comes in handy) but once you do, I am telling you that you won't be able to get enough. Meander is my standby and I use it for just about everything.
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There all kinds of methods and gizmos you can use to help you, but my current favorite aid is the Machingers gloves. They have grippie finger tips that help to push the quilt around under the needle. (again, please Google the products I mentioned, many do not have specific sites)
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The only specific thing I can think about with batting is stay away from high loft batting when machine quilting. I've never been able to quilt with it without it pinching the backing and generally being too fluffy to sew with.

Oh! I baste all my tops by hand. I've had bad luck with safety pins ripping my fabric and am not sure I want to risk using the spray stick. It only takes me a couple of hours for a double or queen size.

I'm pretty easy going about my materials and methods, and am always open to trying new techniques. If there were actual Quilt Police then I would be on America's Most Wanted Quilt Rule Offender. But, I am learning better and better techniques as I go along.

So... what are your quilting stories. How do you get through that necessary step to completing your quilt? I would love to hear your ideas.

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Blogger Joanna said...

Let us know what you think of the King Tut - I have been tempted to buy it on many occassions and should have when they were at the MQX show here in April - they were selling it at wholesale - I think it was only 12 bucks? So if you like it, I might actually give it a go!

September 7, 2007 at 8:16 PM  
Blogger flippytale Quilter (Christine) said...

I paid about 24 dollars for the big spool of 2000 yards at the Nashville AQS. I may have it the rest of my life, but I also didn't want to chance running out of it while I was quilting.

September 7, 2007 at 10:39 PM  
Blogger Rosalyn Manesse said...

Thanks for your comment on my blog. I'm glad to be a member of the ring. I love to do free motion quilting, which I only started doing fairly recently. I'm sure the quilt police already have me on their "naughty quilter" list.

September 10, 2007 at 10:12 AM  
Blogger Quilter Kathy said...

I am the same in almost every way! Love Mettler and King Tut. But I do pin baste my quilts and haven't had any trouble with that so far.

September 10, 2007 at 10:27 PM  
Blogger Kay said...

I like King Tut very much. I also like Sulky 30 wt quilting thread. Beware of Rainbows by Superior though. It's a 40 wt polyester and ends seem to ravel out no matter what you do. I also highly recommend Bottom Line bobbin thread by Superior. It's very fine and doesn't show knots and other glitches on the back. I've also used it on top with good results.

Thanks for comments on my blog.

September 14, 2007 at 10:27 AM  

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