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You Can Machine-Quilt It Yourself!
You Can Machine-Quilt It Yourself!

Start learning to use your machine,and free-motion quilt your next project.

Debby Brown

Machine quilting can be quick, fun and beautiful. For most people, though, machine quilting is scary! Quilters are often worried that their stitches won’t be the same size. They may be afraid that their stitching pattern won’t be smooth and are scared that they might quilt a pleat or pucker into their quilt. Most of all, quilters are petrified that after investing so much money and even more time into their quilt top that they will absolutely ruin it by trying to machine-quilt it themselves!

Because of these fears, quilters send their quilts to trusted longarm quilters. This solution doesn’t fit every budget or time constraint, though. Many quilters can’t afford to have each one of their quilts finished professionally. In addition, sometimes the longarm quilter has a waiting list past the date of when the quilt is needed. Many quilters despair and simply put away their unfinished quilt tops, hoping that someday their situation will change and they will be able to somehow finish all of their quilts.

The Purpose of Quilting

As a quilter who has hand-quilted my own tops and tops for others, as well as having provided longarm quilting services for thousands of quilters, I now happily quilt on home machines—both sit-down longarm machines and longarm machines. I advise quilters to remember why we quilt. Yes, machine quilting can make a quilt even more beautiful, but the real reason we quilt our quilts is to hold the batting inside. It’s that simple.

If you finish your quilt top by stitching in the ditch (stitching straight lines in the seams of the blocks), the quilt is finished and ready to love. If you are able to stitch a single pattern in a single thread color over the entire quilt top, you’ve done more than is needed to structurally hold your quilt together. If you can add a touch of custom quilting here and there to add additional texture and design to your quilt, you have achieved much!

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Summer 2017