Has anyone ever quilted a king-size quilt on a home machine?
King size, according to my pattern packet, is 118" x 118".
Yes, I mean quilted, not pieced.
Having just about finished my thus-far-largest project, my ambitions
are turning to the next one: a REAL quilt for our king-size bed. The
spousal euphemism is a big guy. We have 3 cats. There's storage
underneath. We NEED the king bed, and have been making do with
queen-size duvets so far. I have the pattern, the base fabric (the
remains of one queen-size batik comforter set that suffered some
cat-wrath), the background, and I'm gathering the required FQs.
The thing is, of course this will be huge. I don't think my sewing
room is 118" across. It would be entirely sensible to have someone
with a longarm do the quilting for me. But, I'm rather attached to the
idea of my work being "my work". I like the idea of doing the quilting
myself, I enjoy the process. But I have a small room and a Janome.
Does anyone in the world either rent out their longarm, or provide
lessons-as-you-go? I will of course start sniffing around the guild
that I joined in September. I've already learned of a business that
does long-arm for you, and I'm sure they're good, but I don't know yet
if I want to give it all up.
Comments welcome - I'm just in the idea phase now.
I don't know how it is where you are, but here all of the quilt shops
that have long arm machines typically rent out time on the machine. You
have to take a class or two first and learn how to use it, then you pay
per hour or per square foot, depending on the shop. Usually people rent
a short amount of time to practice on smaller quilts prior to taking on
a big project. I'm saving my nickels and dimes to do a big quilt on the
long arm. This, of course, assuming that I ever make a big quilt. And
Good luck, and keep us posted. I also have big DH -- 6'4". He wants me
to make a quilt for our bed that will be big enough to cover us and
both the dogs too. LOL. Let me know how it turns out. I also have a
small sewing room and a Janome.
I am working on a king size quilt that I am going to
quilt it on my home sewing machine. I am going to
quilt it in 4 sections. By doing that, I will quilt one
section at a time and then sew all of them together.
Then quilt the part where I joined all the sections.
Wish me luck. I will let you know how it turns out.
I hear it can be done but the mind boggles. If you go to
you can see some of the quilts by Caryl Bryer
Fallert. I believe her earlier quilts were quilted on a 'standard'
machine, but am not certain. I know it is only comparitively recently
she obtained a long arm machine but I suppose that does not
necessarily mean her quilts were quilted on a standard.
I would most definitely quilt this in sections, Johanna.
There are several ways of doing this - and there are many entries in our
Archives about the various methods. 'Quilt as you go' and 'Quilting in
sections' as search keywords might get you to the right places.
You can decide whether you are going to quilt each block - and join them
with the sashing; or you can quilt in large sections, 3 or 4, as has
already been suggested; or you can leave the quilt whole but have the
batting in sections - do the centre section first and the two outer
ones. This means that there isn't so much bulk under the machine.
There are definitely ways to do this. If you are one for learning from
books - Georgia Bonesteel has written several books on this subject.
Good luck. Well done for thinking ahead!!
In message ,
Are you crazy? I've never quilted anything bigger than 90 X 95" :-) Although
an extra 10-15" should be possible...
If you can't rent a longarm, maybe quilt-as-you-go would work for you. Do
the monster in 3 sections, buttoned together (Georgia Bonesteel has a button
arrangement in one of her books). Then you could take it apart for washing,
and it would fit in your washer too!
Roberta in D
"FurrsomeThreesome" schrieb im Newsbeitrag
I quilted my king-size on a Singer Rocketeer. It was bulky to maneuver under
the arm, but patience and good close pin basting went a long way to making
it easier. Of course, this was straight-line quilting using my walking foot.
I have yet to attempt free-motion.
Yes, I have. I used very thin cotton batting, though, hoping to
"decrease" the headache. Didn't work. It's something I'll never try
again. I've sworn off king size after that monster.
There is a picture of the finished top in my webshots album as "Tulip
Quilt from Hell." I still haven't received pictures of the finished
quilt as it lays on mom's bed, though.
--whose classes start up again today! Hopefully it's a less-intense
Yes, I have machine quilted a California king-sized quilt on my Pfaff
7530. It was a batik quilt with Warm and Natural batting. It required
some skootching around when working in the middle, but it's do-able.
Would I do it again? Maybe, maybe not. Depends on the quilt. For
larger quilts I now mostly have them done at the shop where I work.
But we only do a computer generated, side-to-side pattern. If the
quilt needs something else, I'd do it myself. Whether I'd do the quilt
in sections and join them after quilting depends on the pattern I'd
chosen. Some work well, some won't. Plus, the joining can be a pain
because you're still wrestling the monster thru the sewing machine.
There's a book out there called Divide and Conquer. I haven't tried the
technique yet but it sounds very interesting.
Basically you divide your batting into thirds. Quilt the center first up to
a certain number of inches away from the edge of the batting. Whip stitch
one side of the batting to the center and quilt that side then turn the
quilt around and repeat with the other side. Doing it this way, only the top
and backing (which scrunches up more and takes up much less room) goes under
the throat area.
That's probably clear as mud but you might want to check out the book.
One of the things I picked up from reading the various books available
is to use the old Chrome Bicycle Pants Leg clips that are used to hold
your pants from getting caught in the bicycle chain. You roll the quilt
to be done up tightly and hold it in place with the clips around the
newly created tube of material, and start in the middle sewing and work
out to each side. That first stitching line is rather a struggle to
complete, but it gets easier with each pass of the needle. The problem
is in acquiring those bicycle clips. You might have to have a bicycle
shop special order them for you from a distributer. They are still
available so don't let them tell you they aren't. Just try another
bicycle shop. You should need about 4 to 6 depending on the length of
the quilt. More is better. They aren't expensive, so you might want to
get an extra amount if you can. You will find that after you make a
couple of passes of stitching that they are no longer necessary. Hope
this helps. It works for me.
In 1978 I machine quilted a Cal. King for my folks 30th anniversary.
I sewed a lot back then but was a kid and wasn't a quilter. I pinned
that sucker with straight pins and quilted it on my Kenmore machine.
We are talking poly batting. Yuck.
It came out surprisingly well but I am not sure how. The blocks were
machine appliquéd with only pinning the appliqués on. Looking back
it was pretty amazing. I'm glad I have improved a lot but mostly glad
I have a zillion safety pins! Perseverance is an amazing thing.
They seem to be a rare bird on this side of the pond. I have an
interest in bicycling so I have had a supply on hand, but people stop
me and ask where the can get them and they say they tried the local
bicycle shop to no avail. Most of the methods to keep the pant leg
secure that are for sale here, involve a Velcro attached band which has
reflective material sewn to it. It probably is safer but useless for
sewing quilts. You live in one of the bicycle friendly parts of the
world. In the states, bicycles are not considered anything but a
oh those horrid new fangled ones that are easy to loose :-S
yes I'm lucky to live here - I can get any kind of bike I want at a
reasonable price and kids bikes come with hand *and* back pedal breaks. and
bike paths often have right of way too :_) (just to make you more green )
I don't own a car but I do own a bike (back pedal) and a kiddiecar trailer
for the kids to sit in and after next summer I fully expect my then 6 year
old to bike next to me on his bike when we go somewhere - he just needs to
loose the trainer wheels he has :-)
Most of the ones here are reflective flexible strips that attach with
Velcro. As for me, I don't wear them because I don't wear jeans when biking.
If I'm commuting on the bike, I throw the jeans in the bike pack and put
them on over my bike pants. (Or change into them if facilities are
However, all is not lost. Most of the quilt shops here carry clips. :)
Before I had my longarm, I quilted two king-sized quilts on my home machine.
I don't remember the exact dimensions, but I make my bed quilts quite
generously sized (living with a guy who steals covers has taught me the joy
of large quilts! LOL), so they were big.
Baste it well, roll it tight, and take lots of breaks. I would quilt for 20
minutes, take a 20 minute break.
they do here too.. at twice the price ore more :-S
around here most standard bikes have chain covers so one can wear anything
on a bike and not get caught - well except that one time when the cover was
broken and I got stuck in the chain a friendly shopkeeper cut me loose all
the while worrying that my father would get upset with him destroying my
trousers - actually my dad took him a bottle of wine as a thank you LOL
Yes. I've done at least one king-size and several queen size on my Elna.
I have used the bicycle clips, but find it easier without them. The
first ones I did, I had the entire top and all the backing and batting.
Then I tried doing one in sections; I have documented what I did at
recently, I have done several by cutting away part of the batting around
the outer edges of the quilt while I quilt the center, and then add the
batting back before quilting the outer areas. Read a little more and see
the quilts at and
. Marti Mitchell
has a book called "Machine Quilting in Sections" that has a lot of
different ways to reduce the bulk when quilting a big quilt.
Julia in MN