Category Archives: Reader’s Ask

A Reader Asks: Suggestions for Machine Quilting

I get a lot of emails that ask questions that I don’t always know the helpful answer to and I thought I’d start a new feature called “A Reader Asks”.  I’ll post the question, give my own little answer and then let you, all the real experts, give your answers too.  I know when I have a question I find that some people’s answers don’t fit my need but usually if I put something out here on the blog, someone’s answer will be just the answer that was needed.

This question comes from Donna:
“I wanted to ask you about your beginning years as a quilter.  I see you have an actual quilting machine but what did you do in the beginning?  How did you manage to quilt large quilts without one?  I have a small Brother and have struggled for years with large quilts.  It’s been suggested I quilt on the go and actually tried that once.  It was successful and looked nice but not quite the finish I wanted.

I had a friend suggest I sell my machine for one with a larger opening at the neck.

The main reason I ask is that we will be downsizing in a year to an RV full time – of course on the condition that I can bring my machine and stash. 😉”

My beginning years as a quilter happened in the late 80’s and early 90’s.  Back then I tied my quilts.  Longarm machines weren’t available and even if they were, there was no way I could have afforded them.  This was one of the first quilts I made….

firstquilt
At the time, I made it for Kelli, she was 3.  It was her “big girl quilt” for her “big bed”.  My mom “stitched in the ditch for me.  That was all the quilting we did on it.

Shortly after this quilt was made, my mom died.  I was feeling pretty blue and was pretty depressed.  One of the last times I saw my mom before she passed away, she told me she had a grocery list and “why don’t I run to town and get those while she watched the kids”.  My mom was so smart.  She knew that having the three kids 3 and under was a bit much and I needed some time away.  So I went to town and when I was there I bought a quilting magazine.

In the month or so after she passed, I remembered that quilting magazine and decided I was going to make one of the quilts in it.  I did….this quilt. Continue reading