Finishing a really big sewing project like a king size quilt is definitely something a quilter can be proud of after all the hours spent planning, cutting, stitching, and quilting to get it done.
Don't forget to take into account the challenge of handling larger projects on either a standard sit-down quilting machine or one like the Grace Q'nique 21 Longarm and Continuum Frame that’s designed for quilting larger projects.
No matter what your setup may be, it’s good to look at some of the methods used by more experienced quilters who have been there, done that, and come up with some tricks for taking the hassle out of larger projects.
Before you start stitching with your Q'nique machine, check out a few practical tips that are especially important for working large quilts.
The bit of extra time you spend doing these things promises to reduce frustration and ensure your finished project looks just how you imagined!
Baste, Baste, and Baste Some More
Though it’s probably the part of the quilting process that you dislike the most, the bigger your quilt, the more important good basting is to a favorable result.
Whether you do it using a needle and thread, safety pins, or some other way and sew on a longarm machine on a frame or a sit-down, baste so there are no large areas that can fold and buckle as you move the quilt around.
You’ll regret it later if you don’t when you find those little waves and bubbles that sneaked in from not enough basting to hold your fabric layers together.
Map It Out
Plan before you stitch by drawing out a stitching diagram so you know what you’re doing and where you’re going before you put needle to fabric.
If you’re seated, stitching sections at a time as opposed to spanning across the whole quilt may prove to be easier and involve less fabric wrestling.
Think About Your Stitch Design
Along with creating a map of your design so you know where to sew first, consider design complexity and how hard it might be to stitch, depending on whether you’re working on a longarm quilting machine on a frame or a sit-down machine on a sewing cabinet.
When you have the freedom of working on a quilting frame, more complex designs are easier to tackle and vice-versa.
Support the Quilt
No matter how you do your quilting, make sure your whole project is supported, front and back.
This will prevent pulling that could affect stitch tension as well as fabric stretch and yield some unwanted results.
This is less of an issue if you’re using a Q’nique machine on a quilting frame, which is made to support the excess fabric hanging off the frame; however, with any sitdown setup, you’ll need to put a table or something else behind your sewing cabinet to hold up the parts not currently in use.
Wear Gripper Gloves
Hours pushing and pulling fabric around can make the ends of your fingers hurt, not to mention cause a lot of hand strain.
Reduce the strain and stop the pain with quilting gloves or garden gloves that have rubbery grips on the fingers so it takes less effort to control the fabric.
Make Quilting Large Projects Easier
Although you’ll likely develop a few of your own sewing habits for working through quilts of any size on a quilting machine of any type, larger projects do give you a little more to consider to get them done efficiently and precisely.
Try these simple tips that can make a world of difference for your project no matter if you’re working on a Grace machine and frame combo or sitting at a sewing cabinet.
The process will be more enjoyable, and you’ll love how your quilt turns out without having to fight all that fabric into submission!