If you are not a professional quilter then you might not have a long arm quilting machine. For domestic use and for gifting friends and relatives you may quilt small projects with your small sewing and quilting machine. But if you think that you can not make a huge quilt with your small quilting machine, you are wrong.
Tips to Quilt a Huge Quilt in a Small Machine
Following some tips and tricks, you can make a large quilt using your existing quilting machine. You may have already used some of these tips intuitively while facing problems in quilting.
Use a Wide Table or Cabinet for Quilting
Get a wide table or a nice cabinet for quilting your project. Make sure that there is enough space behind your sewing/quilting machine. A large table will give you the place to keep the whole quilt instead of dragging it down.
If your table or cabinet is not large enough then add an extra table or bench to support the weight of your large quilt.
The Quilt on a Slippery Surface
Get a slippery surface to easily glide your quilt on it. It will make your work effortless to move the quilt back and forth while doing free motion quilting.
Keep Extra Bobbins
Keep ready several bobbins to avoid running short of them in the middle of your quilting project. It is very annoying to retire from your work and go to the store and loss your energy for working.
Use Quilt as You Go Technique
It will be wise not to take risk of quilting the whole quilt sandwich at the same time. You can use a quilt as you go technique. Divide the whole quilt into smaller sections and quilt them. Join all the sections when they are done.
Wear Gloves on Your Hands
Wearing gloves on your hands will allow you to easily grip the large quilt while quilting and frequently moving it. It may take some weight off your arms.
Start Quilting from the Middle
Don’t start quilting from one edge to another, rather go straight to the center and start quilting. When you will do it, you will have to deal with only half of the quilt.
Squish the Quilt Behind the Machine
Some people roll up the quilt and turn it into a tube. Obviously, it makes it tidy but you had better squish the finished portions behind the machine against the wall. But you should have a broad area behind your machine for it. So go for a less costly investment for a side table or a larger table for your quilting project than buying a long arm quilting machine.
Don’t Secure the Whole Quilt and Choose a Simple Design
You don’t need to secure the whole quilt. Just quilt the sashing or border of the blocks to secure the body of your quilt.
Don’t select a complicated decorative design for a large quilt. Select the designs which are simple and easy to stich. And Choose a design which does not require moving the quilt much.
Use Spray Adhesive and Pins for Basting
To manage your quilt sandwich while sewing use sprays adhesive and pins. As the quilt is huge in size, you cannot use spray on the whole quilt. You can spray it in the center and then spray baste every 5”. Use pin along with this. It will take time but save your cost.
Take a Tea Break
If you feel pain in your shoulder or back, roll your neck and head. Take a break, get up and walk around. Take tea, coffee, and snacks or take a shower to refresh yourself.
Do it in a relaxed mood. Do mistakes and continue. If you feel frustrated with it, do other works or finish some other incomplete projects.
As you are not going to do hundreds of quilting projects, it would be wise to do it tactfully with your domestic sewing/quilting machine rather than buying an expensive quilting machine. Follow the tips and have a great quilting experience. You may not do a perfect quilt like the costly commercial quilts but at the end of the project, it will give you the contentment of doing something yourself for the family or relatives.
You may also like to read the best sewing machine for beginners.