A handquilter trying to learn how to machine quilt!

This post is for all of you who hand quilt or know the basics of quilting in general but could use a touch up for machine quilting.  I am learning that skill presently and wanted to share my first adventure with a sewing machine and a walking foot!  Yippee!  I think! 😉

You see I had some leftover bits from my current project that were yelling at me as I sewed to put THEM together… this is what I laid out just playing around…

I had enough for 2 of these pinwheel blocks… and LOTS of other hst’s sewn together … as well as some blocks I had sewn together 4 patch style into a long chain…  Well soon I had this!

and this was found in the leftovers too!

So I straightened up my wonky top.. added the outer border… decided to add some cornerstones too and got this cute flimsy…

Now can you see the 2 blocks in the center of this flimsy?  They are both in the center of the top 🙂

Here is that block now quilted… you can see my old blue sewing line on here where I had initially sewn this square in a square in a square style but it got all kinds of messed up… so I pulled that out and by last evening I had a finished quilt top waiting to be bound 🙂

This quilt top currently measures 20 x 23″ approx. and will be sent with Rebekah’s quilt as a surprise for her kids to use and enjoy.. They are 5, 3, and 1 currently 🙂

So now that you have seen my work… how did I achieve these goals???

Here is my list of things you should know before you start…

  • Use a sewing machine with a big throat if you have a choice… this will make moving a larger quilt around easier… BUT I found having a machine I am used to meant more to me… so try both and decide which you could hang with for a while…
  • Use a walking foot made for YOUR machine.  I tried it without one on an industrial old machine and it still was just not right.. the walking foot is under $20 and works great when used as directed.. check out youtube vids if you don’t know what a walking foot is … then research if you have a low shank, slant shank, etc machine and get that attachment!
  • How to pull up the bobbin thread through the quilt sandwich… you do this when you start a new thread and it is very helpful.  Not sure if you wanna do it?  Keeps the thread from bunching on the back side and causing undue puddles of thread
  • Back stitch at the beginning and end of each row just a bit…  like using a knot in hand quilting
  • Use quilting needles in your machine.. typically 100/16 I have read and it is working nicely for me 🙂
  • You can NOT easily view the back of your quilt sandwich so beware of folds occurring under your quilt… especially as you near the edges
  • Take time to enjoy your accomplishment!!  Yahoo!  Here is my back side… I cropped a fold that got sewn into the back! ha 🙂

Here is the back of this quilt too!  Just like mom’s 🙂  So glad I took the time and energy to do a “leader/ender” style project and got 2 quilts in the time of 1!

Now one is quilted and waiting on binding…

And Project RJq is officially starting on being quilted today!  Please keep my abilities, knowledge, and physical stamina in your prayers The rest of this week.  I want this to turn out nice for her to snuggle 🙂

Rebekah’s latest medical update is all good news… she still has 1 drain left to be removed and will visit the oncologist next week I think.  Not sure the exact date of the oncologist but that is the date I am hoping to have these quilts to her 🙂  Just gotta have faith! lol

And that is why I am machine quilting this… sometimes you need to rush on a quilt… hand quilting .. there just aren’t enough hours in a day for me to handquilt this sufficiently to my preference in 1 week.  So I will machine quilt this.. also most charities and donated quilts they want machine done.. so I need this skill.. it just won’t be used as much as my hand quilting skill! ha 🙂

Here is hoping you  have a great rest of your week… hoping to whoop something on Friday 🙂

3 thoughts on “A handquilter trying to learn how to machine quilt!

  1. Kathy ... aka Nana

    I'd like to master some machine quilting … straight line only, though … and for donation quilts only … my heart belongs to hand quilting. Meandering, etc.just doesn't cut it for me … I guess I'd like to at least have the look of a hand quilted quilt if possible (if that makes any sense). I know I ought to make myself a practice piece and get to work … one of these days, I guess.


  2. Jill

    Totally understandable why you need to machine quilt. I have done machine quilting for kids quilts. Only later did I learn of the walking foot. Love your quilt backing. Having this completed takes priority over perfection.



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