Quilting a Huge Quilt at Home? 5 Tips to Make Sewing Easier
Tackling a big quilting project on a standard sewing machine is possible with these creative hacks. Make just a few changes to your regular technique, and get your quilt finished in no time!
1. Plan First
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Work out how you want to approach the quilting process before you get the quilt on the machine. Visualize the stitch pattern and the direction in which you want to sew by making a diagram or taking a picture of the quilt and drawing a “path” for yourself across the blocks. Wind lots of bobbins in advance so that you can follow your plan without too many interruptions.
2. Work Outward from the Middle
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As you plan, think about starting from the center. This puts only part of the quilt under the machine at any given time, making it easier to complete sections despite dealing with so much fabric all at once. You’ll spend more time sewing and less time fighting to keep the quilt in the right position.
3. Increase Your Table Space
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Any fabric hanging off the edge of the table will weigh your quilt down and reduce overall maneuverability. Elevate as much of the quilt as possible by adding extra tables to your quilting area or draping the quilt over a large bench, couch or chair. Setting up near a wall prevents the fabric from dropping off the work surface as it moves through the machine.
4. Get Slick with Surfaces
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Line your work area with something slippery, such as a vinyl table liner, Teflon oven liner or a special quilting slider, to allow the quilt to slide freely. You’ll have an easier time moving the fabric in all directions, which is essential if you’re doing free-motion quilting. It should also speed up the process by reducing drag on the quilt as a whole.
5. Squish Up Extra Fabric
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Rolling the part of the quilt you’re not working on creates a large, bulky lump, which can be awkward and inefficient. Try scrunching the fabric as you go, allowing it to pile up by the machine or at the back of your work area. This increases your range of motion and allows you to flatten the fabric you’re working on more easily as you go.
Don’t be intimidated by your next huge quilting project! Take your time, plan and enjoy the journey as you add your favorite finishing touches to the fabric.