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Quilting the Finished Project

 Most beginners like to tie their quilts.  Tying a quilt is simply a matter of using a needle threaded with a suitable weight of crochet type thread, and making square knots on the quilt.  You usually trim them at approximately 1/2 inch.

Hand and Machine Quilting are other options, as well as sending your quilt out to be professional quilted on a Longarm Sewing Machine.  Sending your quilt out is expensive, but if you've spent a year making a spectacular quilt, it may be worth it to you.

If you are going to tie or machine quilt yourself, the first thing you need to do is to secure the layers.  The goal with machine quilting is to avoid puckers.

To start, you lay the backing fabric, right side down, on the floor.  You must have either a low loop carpet or hard surface.  You can also use a couple tables pushed together- perhaps at your Church.

You need to tape the fabric securely down along the sides, making sure it won't move, and there are no wrinkles.

You want to have about 4-inches more backing than your quilt top on each side.

Then you place your batting on top of the backing fabric, again with extra on the sides.

Finally, place your pieced quilt top on the top, right sides up.

Now you need to secure the layers together.  Most quilters use quilting pins, which look like safety pins.  Pin where you do not plan to tie or do any stitching.

There are a couple easy ways to plan your quilting design.  You can "stitch in the ditch", or in the seam allowances, or if you have sewn squares, you can sew through them diagonally, as in the  picture.

If you are tying a simple quilt like this, you would probably want to do it in the corners.  When you bring your needle down and up through the fabric, you would keep it on the light fabric, (assuming the seams were pressed to the dark) to make it easier on your hands.

Personally, I don't hand quilt.  I don't have the time or patience.  I so, however, have friends who find that the most relaxing and enjoyable part of quilting.

One final note:  Machine quilting is all about avoiding puckers.  Make sure you have enough pins in your quilt sandwich that when you place you fist on the quilt, there are pins all around it.

You NEED a walking foot for your sewing machine.  I spent several years with my sewing machine very unhappy with my quilting.  No matter how hard I tried, my fabric would pucker and make folds on the top as I to sewed across the quilt.

Then I got my Janome machine.  I know realize my walking foot on my other machine either doesn't work well, or is broken.  My Janome 1600P was designed for a quilting frame.  It can sew through the thickest batting, at high speeds, just "floating" over the fabric and without a pucker in sight.

If you are going to machine quilt, you need as much space possible between the needle and the inside right side of your machine.  It can be very frustrating trying to move layers of fabric under the needle. 

You will need to keep your quilt supported by tables set up around the machine, so that fabric won't pull and mess up your stitching. 

This is not the favorite part of quilting for most people.  However, if you have a good machine, and you keep your design simple, it goes quickly.

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