Making a quilt takes a long time and even if we love spending hour after hour working with our quilting machines, there are times when we want nothing more than to get the darned quilt finished so we can see the fruit of our labor!
While the machine quilting process involves a lot of steps that can’t be skipped if you want to end up with a beautifully-crafted piece, there are a few things you can do to speed up the process.
Try these time-saving tips that take some of the annoying interruptions out of the quilting process and get your quilts finished faster!
1. Know Your Quilting Machine
If you know your quilting machine well, you’re less likely to run into problems or waste time trying to figure things out.
As you get to know the ins and outs of your machine, you’ll find it takes less time to use it as needed.
2. Keep Your Quilting Machine Clean and Maintained
Along with knowing how to use it, keeping your machine clean and maintained is another important way to avoid wasting time that could be better spent finishing your project.
A maintained machine is less likely to break down or encounter problems that will cause you to stop what you’re doing to troubleshoot
3. Have an Efficient Workspace
To work efficiently at your quilting machine whether a sitdown model, a midarm machine like the Grace Q'nique 15R, or a longarm, you need a large uncluttered workspace that the amount of room you need to handle all the different parts of the quilting process.
Set up a comfortable space that allows you to move from the different stations easily to handle all measuring, cutting, pressing, and sewing.
4. Prewash, Press, and Starch
Prepare your fabric by pre-washing, especially if it’s cotton, pressing it flat for accurate cutting, and then spraying with a little bit of starch which will help keep the fabric a little stiffer so it’s easier to work with when cutting, handling, and sewing many small pieces.
5. Use A Fresh Rotary Blade
One of the tedious parts of quiltmaking that can really slow you down is cutting out all the fabric pieces.
Make faster work of the cutting process by always starting with a fresh rotary blade for the cutter so you won’t need to make multiple cuts.
6. Fill Your Bobbins First
When you’re on a roll and really getting some work done, the last thing you want to do is stop to refill a bobbin when you run out of thread.
Safeguard against those interruptions by loading up a whole bunch of bobbins before starting so all you have to do is pull out the empty bobbin from the quilting machine and load a new full one.
7. Finger Press for Faster Seaming
If not absolutely necessary, bypass the iron for pressing each individual seam while piecing the quilt top by finger pressing while you sew.
After the whole thing is put together, go back and press the seams flat all at once which will save all the times it takes to go back and forth to use the iron and setting it back again over and over again.
8. Use A Design-Neutral Thread Color
Rather than changing the thread used to make the top quilt as it's pieced together, make it easier by using the same thread for the whole thing.
Just choose a thread color that is neutral to all the other colors in your fabric so it will blend and look complimentary in different parts of the design.
9. Work In Batches and Chain Piece When Possible
Another great way to save time with the preliminary steps and get your project to the quilting machine faster is to work in batches when cutting your fabric pieces prior to stitching the quilt top together.
Divide larger jobs into groups of smaller jobs that you complete in a sitting until all of that task is finished, then chain piece the stitching if your design allows it; this will reduce the number of starts, stops, and thread clips that use up precious time.
10. Use Spray Basting
Basting is a necessary, time-consuming, and often despised part of the quilting process.
The good news is that you can cut that time down considerably by using spray basting.
Tack your fabric layers together with a quick spray and your project will be ready for stitching together on a machine like the Grace Q'nique 15R midarm in practically no time.
Finish That Quilt Quickly Using Practical Time-Saving Tips!
Though machine quilting is a hobby that can be relaxing for many of us, we also get a huge boost of satisfaction and pride once we finish a project and can finally use it or show it off.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with speeding up some of the more tedious parts of the process so you can keep progressing to the next step.
Hopefully using the tips above, you can streamline the quilting process and finish your current project faster because do you know what happens then?
You get to start a new one!