Making a quilt using quality Juki quilting machines is a fun and rewarding activity; it is also very time-consuming. While there is no reason to rush this creative process, there are some things you can do to save time and make the process easier. Try the following tips to make the most of your project time so you can get to the enjoyable part: stitching your project using quilting machines like the versatile Juki HZL-DX7.
1. Simplify Fabric Selection
Other than actually cutting out the pieces to stitched together on Juki quilting machines, fabric selection can be a very time-consuming part of quilting since there are so many patterns and colors to choose from. Simplify this process by choosing your main fabric, then using it as a color guide to select the rest of the fabric.
Bring a fabric sample with you when you shop. Make sure the piece includes the color code that is printed in the selvage. With a sample of your exact colors and pattern in hand, matching complementary colors and patterns will be easier.
2. Organize Fabrics and Bindings
When you have a lot of fabric and binding, devise a way to keep track it to be easily locatable when you need it. Whether you are storing smaller scraps or larger lengths of fabric and binding, keep the same types together so you will always know what you have available to work with.
Make sure all fabric is neatly folded and stored in clear plastic bins that you can easily see through. Roll your binding tape together on toilet paper or paper towel tubes and put those in a bin as well. When everything is stored in the same place, you will reduce the amount of time spent looking for a certain material or having to replace something you have but cannot find.
3. Label Your Pins and Needles
Dull needles and pins can make quilting more frustrating than it needs to be. While you may not need to toss out every used pin or needle for your Juki HZL-DX7, you should definitely keep track of which pins and needles are new and which are slightly dull. Simply label a few pincushions and separate the new from the slightly used.
Keep used needles away from new ones and use them for other projects. Separating the new from the used will save time and prevent the problems caused by dull pin and needle points.
4. Rulers, Cutters, and Mats
The best and most precise way to cut pieces for assembling with quilting machines is with a rotary wheel cutter and a quilting ruler. Use the ruler with the lip side down on the mat to make the most accurate cut. Always use a rotary wheel on a self-healing cutting mat to keep the blade from dulling. With a sharp blade and a precise cut, your project will come together perfectly.
5. Know Your Batting
Batting comes in a variety of materials and thicknesses. Cotton, polyester, and wool are the most commonly used materials. Wool is the warmest, but also the heaviest and most challenging to work with. Polyester is light, fluffy, and very easy to sew, especially for beginner quilters; however, it is not as warm. It can also bunch when washed if not stitched densely enough.
Cotton is easy to use and helps achieve a smooth look. It can be both cool and warm depending on the thickness. Many different projects work best with different types of batting. Learn how each type works and which types of projects it works best with so you make the right selection for whatever it is that you are making.
While the tips above may not be earth-shattering information, they can help you have more time when using your quilting machine. If you simplify some of the more tedious elements of quilt-making, you will have more time to spend actually putting your project together on your Juki HZL-DX7 or any other Juki quilting machine!