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Topic: My First Quilt Questions  (Read 700 times)
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Ethanol_Emillee
« on: May 28, 2011 08:53:51 PM »

So this summer I've started on my first quilt. Its going to be a rather HUGE (5'x8') quilt because I want it to fit over an extra long twin mattress (for when I start college this fall). I thought I had everything planned out and in order but after browsing the topics in here, I feel like I'm unprepared. So I have some questions.

What is a walking foot and how necessary is it?? Is it expensive to buy one??
What does it mean to baste something?? How necessary is it?? How do you do it??
I don't understand anything about putting a finished edge on a quilt. What's the simplest way to do it??

Those are all the questions I can think of right now. I haven't even started sewing the quilt top so most of those things won't come up till much later, but I'm trying to be as prepared as possible and plan everything out. I'll have my mom to help me with this quilt  but she's a clothes sewer, I don't think she's ever made a quilt so I don't know how things'll go.
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Eowynt
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« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2011 09:24:03 PM »

I've never used a walking foot, so I cannot attest to its usefulness, but I do machine quilt without one, so I guess they are not "essential," but the people who use them seem to love them.

The general steps to putting together a quilt are:

1)Making the quilt top, which includes- piecing/appliqueing the blocks, piecing the blocks together (using or not using sashing), and putting on borders, if using. . .
2)Putting the quilt "sandwich" together - this is the "basting" step - the backing, batting, and top need to be put together. Basting is a temporary stitch that holds the sandwich together until the quilting is done.  There are different approaches to basting.  A basting stitch is generally a long running stitch, but some of the "newer" ways are using safety pins or basting spray.
3)Quilting or tying the quilt to hold it together.  Quilting can be done by hand or machine.  How closely you quilt depends on the batting you're using and your personal preferences.  I've never tied a quilt, but it is an alternative to quilting.
4)Binding the quilt.  The binding step is where you cover the raw edges of the "sandwich."  There are a variety of ways of doing this.
4)Remove basting stitches/safety pins.

Hope this helps a little.
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Ethanol_Emillee
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2011 09:52:22 AM »

It does.

But what exactly is quilting?? Is it a certain stitch you use or a certain pattern or way to attach fabric?? I guess I'm still fuzzy on the exact definition of a quilt - though I know one when I see one, I still don't understand what makes a quilt a quilt.
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Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one's definition of your life; define yourself. ~Harvey Fierstein

http://emilleejoyce.wordpress.com/
shebear
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2011 04:40:27 AM »

I found this definition of a quilt and think it pretty much hits the mark.

A warm bed covering made of padding enclosed between layers of fabric and kept in place by lines of stitching.
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reishka
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2011 08:21:53 PM »

I love my walking foot, but you pretty much only use it for quilting straight lines. Essentially, it helps pull the quilt sandwich through your sewing machine by adding a set of feed dogs on the top of the quilt (so you have a set of feed dogs pointed down toward your quilt, your quilt, and then the feed dogs on your machine pointed up toward the quilt). It isn't necessary to have a walking foot, especially if you're working with thinner/low-loft batting.

As for finishing, people finish the edges of quilts in different ways. If you're talking about the more traditional way, here's how I do it (but keep in mind that it's entirely subjective; my way isn't the only way).

I take my bias tape and fold it in half, wrong sides together, and press. Then, I open it back up and fold the edges in toward the pressed line I just created and press it again. You can buy bias tape instead of making your own, if you wanted, and it comes pre-pressed.  (If you want an image, look here )

Then, I take the bias tape and put the good side together with the back of the quilt. I stitch down the center of one 'side' with a machine. Then, I fold it over the quilt edge (so that the initial pressed line that I created is centered over the edge of the quilt) and then I hand stitch the bias tape to the front of the quilt with a ladder stitch (If you do a google search for 'ladder stitch', you'll see plenty of great examples).
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ECC
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2011 04:13:21 AM »

This has been very helpful!

Good luck with your first quilt!
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ECC Trish
bananabanana
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2011 04:31:12 AM »

I used this Heather Bailey tutorial to work out how to bind my quilts.
http://www.heatherbailey.typepad.com/photos/continuous_quiltbinding/index.html.

What colours are you using? Are you using a certain quilt block for the top?
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kiera-oona
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2011 07:46:44 PM »

It does.

But what exactly is quilting?? Is it a certain stitch you use or a certain pattern or way to attach fabric?? I guess I'm still fuzzy on the exact definition of a quilt - though I know one when I see one, I still don't understand what makes a quilt a quilt.

You dont have to have a specific style of sewing to sandwich all the layers together.  I do a little bit of hand sewing but I prefer doing my quilting by machine. 

In terms of your walking foot, I found instructions on how to make a walking foot more useful so it doesnt hop while sewing.   The instructions can be found on this blog, which I turn to quite often for stitch ideas too.. 

http://freemotionquilting.blogspot.com/

What kind of design for your top were you planning on doing?

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