Now, How Do I Actually Quilt with a Longarm Sit Down?

Posted by on May 26, 2017


by Myrl Breinholt | TinLizzie18 Educator

Principles to keep in mind:

  1. Working towards you is easiest since you are able to see where you are going.
  2. You can create muscle memory and hand-eye coordination by doodling basic shapes with paper and pencil.  Your brain cannot distinguish between whether you are quilting or drawing.
  3. Your eye should be focusing ahead of your needle rather than where you are quilting at the time.  A ball player will tell you that your hand will follow your eye.

Prepare your quilt with a backing four inches wider and longer than your quilt top.  This will make it easier to insure the backing will cover the entire quilt even if it shifts a bit. 

  1. Spray adhesive works well to hold the quilt sandwich together while it is prepared.
  2. Lay the batting out.  Roll the quilt back onto a broom handle, mailing tube or similar object so you will be able to spray adhesive a few inches at a time on the batting and roll the backing and then the quilt top out onto the batting, a little at a time, smoothing as you go.
  3. Use Safety Pins set about four or five inches apart all over the quilt to hold it securely while it is quilted.  Remove the pins as you get to them.
  4. Roll the quilt, burrito-style and begin quilting in the center of the quilt.   Work your way out of the middle, then return to the middle and work out to the other side.

How do I start?

  1. It is important to bring up the bobbin thread as you begin.  To do so, while gentling holding the upper thread, tap the foot control to cause a full rotation of the needle.  This will cause the needle to make a complete stitch and will bring the bobbin thread to the top.  Pull the bobbin thread up through your project until you find the end.  Take hold of both the bobbin thread and the upper thread while you tap the foot control about three times to secure your thread very near where you brought up the bobbin thread.  (You may use the needle up and needle down button instead of tapping the foot control.)
  2. Begin your design and then trim the long thread ends before they become entangled in the design.  (Some people like to “bury” the thread ends with a hand needle rather than cutting them.)

How do I end?

  1. When you come to the end of a row or design it is important to make a secure stitch as in the beginning of your design.
  2. Again tap the foot control three times to secure the thread.
  3. Pull the thread just below the take up lever to release a length of thread without causing it to break in the needle.  Raise the presser foot and pull the extra thread through the needle.  Make sure the needle is at the same position as your last stitch and lower the presser foot lever.  Hold onto the extra thread (it will be like a loop) and tap the foot control once to bring bobbin thread to the top of your project.  When you pull on the needle thread the bobbin thread will be pulled up and you are then able to trim both threads.  (Or again, you may bury the threads if you prefer.)
  4. If you do not bring up the bobbin thread in this manner, it will continue to be connected and be dragged all over the back of the quilt.
  5. When the needle thread breaks it is important to bring the bobbin thread up as well.  In this case it will not be disconnected.  Cut near the end of the thread that is not pulling free.

Quilting gloves with grippers work well.  Quilting hoops also may be useful to move the fabric around easily.


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