Tips for the Novice Longarm Machine Quilter

What are your tips for the novice machine quilter?

Besides “practice, practice, practice” (which we covered in a previous tip), here are a few more things to consider.

  • Match the colors of your bobbin and top thread. They don’t need to be the same type of thread — just the same color. Even though your tension is perfect, you will see a little hint of the bobbin thread on the top of the quilt.
  • Until you gain confidence with your quilting, use a busy fabric on the back. It will hide what you perceive to be imperfections.
  • Ditto on the front of the quilt. If you have a border fabric that is quite busy, use that area to practice a new quilting design. It won’t show up as much, and it gives you valuable real-world practice.
  • Get out all of those orphan blocks. Add a border and float them on top of batting and a plain-cloth backing. Try out some continuous line designs that move around the block. Space the blocks out across the backing and treat each one as its own “quilt”. When you’re done, turn them each into a pillow. Voilá — you’ve got some great gifts ready to share.

Do you have any tips to share?

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2 Responses to Tips for the Novice Longarm Machine Quilter

  1. Carol Pickens says:

    TIPS: As you are quilting, keep your fine haired artist’s brush handy and frequently “dust” thread dust from the needle area, bobbin area, etc. to prevent clogs, thread breakage and so on. Pull the bobbin and clean the bobbin casing after every row or two of quilting. Suggestion: Clean the bobbin area every time before advancing the quilt on the frame.

    Always thoroughly dust and clean the entire quilt frame, carriage rollers, belts and the entire machine surface. This not only eliminates dust and dirt that settles and keeps it from getting on your quilt and thread but also allows the machine carriage to move smoothly and freely without and hitches.