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How To Machine Quilt A Large Quilt

Have you ever made a quilt? Do you know people that make a quilt, and have you seen the way they make the quilt? It is more than a hobby to some and learning how to quilt is not difficult, for you have to be patient with the process. There are different ways of making a quilt, and you should find one that suits you, to enjoy the experience.

Quilting a large quilt can be a challenging task, but quilters have managed to find ways to go about it. Some take it as a hobby, while it is a source of income for others, so this set will always have to quilt regularly. No matter how often you quilt, it would be best if you found a convenient way for you to handle the making of a large quilt.

How to Machine Quilt A Large Quilt

You can use a small machine to make a large quilt, although it may sound challenging, there are some suitable ways you can achieve this effortlessly. You will be wondering how the small machine can be able to handle the large material for making the quilt. However, with little practice and patience, you can achieve this by applying the various tips that will be discussed below.

Step by Step To Machine Quilt a Large Quilt

When you quilt with less stress, you will make a neat quilt and at a faster rate too. But the essence of the application of the tips is to ensure your quilt with less stress.  Making a quilt especially with the use of a machine is quite easy and less stressful compared to the use of hand. To make a large quilt however, requires some care and skill. Below is a list of items you need to machine quilt a large quilt;

  1. Aurifil Thread(usually 50wt).
  2. size 11 or 14 universal or ball point needle (putting the seam bulk into consideration).
  3. A pair of grippy gloves.
  4. Cotton Batting
  5. Safety pins

Note: Before commencing with the quilting process, consider dropping the feed dogs to be entirely optional. This ensures that the quilting is free motion.

The steps highlighted below will show you how to quilt with a machine:

Step 1: 

Install your quilting foot: Also know as the walking foot, Set your straight stitch length to 2.5 for cotton threads or 2.0 if you choose to use a monofilament thread in the needle and a 50 wt cotton thread in the bobbin. Now sew lines of straight stitches. Adjust your sewing machine tension properly. Adjust it as necessary so that no bobbin thread shows on the top and no needle thread shows on the bottom.

Step 2: 

Begin with the center of the quilt: The stage ensures that you secure the middle of the quilt. This is needed as the bulk of the quilt is at the throat of the machine and could cause problems. Moreso, stitching from the center ensures that any shifting(i.e as the seam flattens among other things), happens evenly around the quilt and the fabric.  Ensure that your quilt is basked with safety pins.

Step 3:

To the quilt, stitch in the well of the seam, on the side of the seam and with no seam allowance under it. The needle should also rub or meet the fold of the seam you are stitching next to.

If you create a bunch of entangled fabric in front of your presser foot, stop the machine with the needle down and lift the presser foot. Then lover the foot and continue quilting.

If you are constantly creating these bubbles as you stitch then the quilt wasn’t properly pinned. And more importantly, the quilt top wasn’t smoothed out as flat as necessary.

Step 4:

The order of quilting is the same for table runner or large sized quilt. To stabilize your quilt, you quilt the ditch line closest to the center of the quilt running up and down. Quilt in the ditch with your walking foot, starting and stopping the line of stitch at intervals.

Flip your quilt at 180 degrees and then quilt the ditch line out to the edges.

Repeat the process of the 90 degrees and stitch around the edges.

This highlights the basic steps involved in the quilting using machine quilts. For the free stitching, once your quilt basking is in place, then everything else is basically moving up and down while ensuring no bunching takes place.

Tips To Embarking On A Quilting Process

Here are the suitable tips that you should consider:

  • Using quilting gloves

One of the reasons why it is difficult to handle the quilt on your domestic machine is the weight of the material. It gets tiring when you move this heavy material on this small machine, handling it with your fingers, for it is too hard. The weight of the quilt weighs heavily on your hands and shoulders, which makes it tiring. To reduce the effect of the weight of the quilt, you can wear a glove, or quilting gloves when handling the material on the small machine. With these gloves, you can control the fabric properly, moving it faster across the machine and also reducing the tension on your arms and shoulder. You can work more quickly with the quilting gloves, and prepare a neat and beautiful quilt in the process. 

  • Prepare many bobbins for easy replacement.

Making your quilt on a small machine will require you to fix the machine, or change some parts often. This can be tiring as it will slow down your quilting, and you may lose focus in the process. One of the parts you will change when it runs out of thread is the bobbin, and you will be required to change it often since it is a small machine. The best approach here is to make more bobbin by your side, so you replace them whenever you need to change the bobbin.

  • Oil up your machine parts before you start.

Because of the size and the weight of the material, you must oil up the moving parts of the machine so that they can move smoothly. It is a strong material, and you want a smooth frictional flow so that you can quilt faster and evenly. 

  • Expand your surface area

Your domestic machine is probably on a small table, and the quilt, being too large may overflow out of the machine. The overflowing quilt may make it challenging to handle the material properly, and make it difficult, while you keep dragging the material. To create a bigger working surface so you can spread the quilt evenly, you can add more tables to the table your machine is mounted on for more space. And you can move the quilt around quickly on the large surface area.

  • Start making your quilt from the centre.

People have suggested different ways of making it convenient to quilt a large quilt. And one of the suitable ways is to start from the centre, which has proven to be comfortable so far. When you start from the centre, it makes it easy to move the large quilt around the table as you approach both ends from the centre. Instead of squeezing the material, you can easily fold it into two as you move it evenly on both sides, and it will make it easier for you to handle the large quilt. Start from the centre, and move to one end, then move over and complete the other end of the quilt.

Other Useful Tips for Easy Quilting 

Have you spent much time quilting that you have sworn not to get into the process again? Relax, you can pick up that hobby, and enjoy your time, as using tips will make it easier for you. Take your time to try out these tips, one by one and find the ones that suit you while quilting a large quilt. 

  • Position the machine in your favourite position

People have tried several methods to make it comfortable to handle the quilt on the domestic machine. What works for one person may not work for you, so at a time, you may have to find ways that suit you. And one of these ways is to adjust the sewing machine to suit your preference and continue with that position. You can adjust the machine either to a position where you will be closer to the needle. In this position, you will be closer to the quilt on the needle and can adjust it accordingly, and easily which will make the process faster. Some people may find a particular position suitable for them, probably due to their height; others may not find these positions suitable. 

  • Tighten your machine before you start

Always check your machine before you quilt on it, ensuring that everything is in place, the threads are appropriately threaded, and all moving parts are correctly fixed. Since the quilt is hard, any loose part will cause difficulty, probably fall out when it starts handling the massive quilts on the machine.

  • Quilt smaller portion

If you cannot quilt the large portion at once, you can cut the quilt into a smaller piece and quilt them on the machine. This is one of the best ways of quilting for most people who cannot handle the large portion on the machine, and then join the quilts together to make the larger quilt. Some people find it difficult to join the smaller quilts and prefer to do it all together.

From the list above, you can find a method or combination of techniques that will make it easy for you to make a quilt. You will notice that while some of these methods make it easier and convenient for you to quit, others will make it much faster, so you can make more quilts. 

Related Question

What fabric can be used for quilting?

The best material suitable for quilting is 100% cotton. And we have the quilter weight cotton, which is recommended for quilting based on its weight and texture. 

Is it possible to mix fabric when quilting?

Yes, you can mix fabrics to quilt especially if they have the same weight and texture. You can come across quilts that have different colours patterns as designs. 


Hello, I am Jessica Flores, and you are welcome to my website. I am a professional fashion designer and a seamstress. I always carried a passion for craftwork. My love for craft grew along with time. I have spent years researching and practicing in this field to gather colossal experience.

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