1.19.2014

Yes! You can Machine Quilt!

Why you CAN and SHOULD machine quilt your own quilts. 
When I first started making quilts, I was intrigued at the idea of quilting them myself, but I thought it required a fancy sewing machine and a high level of skill. Quilting can be an EXPENSIVE hobby (wonderfully fun, but expensive). I would take my little table runners into be quilted and pay between $20-40 to have a cute pattern quilted on. I realized that financially (with the number of quilts I was busting out) I just couldn't justify paying so much extra for all my quilts. I decided to give machine quilting a shot and did a quilt with machine quilting (FREE MOTION QUILTING). I was a little crazy and started with free motion quilting, trying to do patterns and designs. My next two attempts were using a WALKING FOOT (STRIP QUILT)(EASY BABY QUILT) and were SO much easier! 
Machine quilting was actually kind of fun! I am able to finish my entire quilt, on my machine, by myself!
 I've been hooked ever since.


So, why should YOU machine quilt? Because it's totally doable, fun (sometimes aggravating, like all things in life), it saves time (no waiting for your quilt to be returned from the quilter), saves money, and you can finish your entire quilt yourself! 
Yeah! 
Here is what you will need to get started. 
1- Fabric pens
2- Ruler
3-Walking foot
4- Thread 
5- Basting spray and safety pins

This is for simple straight lines. Simple lines look really chic, simple, and modern. They're great for boy quilts, adult quilts, and fast projects. ADULT QUILT WITH STRAIGHT LINE QUILTING

1- You need to baste and pin the back of your quilt, batting, and quilt top together. I love basting spray, it just makes everything stick so nicely. 
2- Decide where you want your lines. For this quilt I decided that I wanted vertical lines one inch in from each square, and then a horizontal line running through the middle. 
3- Measure and draw your lines on your quilt (or you can use the measuring attachment that come with the walking foot, used it for part of my quilt, but it kept moving and driving me crazy so I drew my lines on) I had to use a chalk pen (since I had black fabric) and a blue pen (for the white fabric) on my squares. Lots of fun switching back and forth with my pens. REMEMBER these are FABRIC PENS and will wash out! 



4- After you mark your lines, start quilting with your walking foot, in the MIDDLE of the quilt. Do not start at the ends. Start in the middle and work your way to the end from there. When I quilt, I roll my ends into "noodles" so that I can easily  maneuver and move the quilt around. Look at that noodle! 
5- Sew all your vertical lines. This quilt was 56*63 so I sewed the length of 63 first, then I went back and sewed all my lines through the middle the opposite direction. 


Once you get all your quilting done, you can bind, wash, and start using your quilt! 
I would not recommend doing a quilt like this with out a walking foot. You need the foot to pull the fabric from the top and bottom, especially when using a thick fabric like minky on the back. I bought my walking foot from amazon for $25!! Well worth the price, just make sure that it works with your machine. Also, don't worry if your lines aren't PERFECT, you're the only one who will notice, and everyone will be super impressed that you made a quilt from start to finish! 








Still worried about machine quilting? Check out this post for more tips MACHINE QUILTING

P.S. I absolutely HATED this quilt while making it! I hated the colors (not my choice), I hated the design (not my choice), and I hated everything involved in making it! I decided to add a pop of color for the binding!! Then I suddenly didn't hate the quilt as much! I love the color of that binding! It makes the quilt bearable to me!



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