I’m lucky enough to have a longarm machine. Some would call it a midarm, but whatever you call it, it rocks when it comes to quilting my quilts. I started out with my signature flames quilting pattern and have grown a lot in the last year thanks to some Craftsy classes (love Angela Walters’ classes and the class on quilting with templates).
Before I had my longarm, I finished all of my quilts myself on my regular sewing machine.
The hardest part for me was getting the whole thing basted without wrinkling on the back. I finally made an old-school quilt frame out of four 8 foot pieces of 1″ X 4″ hardwood wrapped in batting leftovers and old sheets, fastened with upholstery tacks. I clamped the pieces of wood together into the size I needed and rested it on chairs. I came up with this idea after helping my former future sisters-in-law (I never actually married the guy) tie quilts. You pin the backing to the sheets tacked onto the rails, layer the batting over that, and pin the top on over all of it. Then you unclamp the the corners and roll two rails on opposite ends in toward the middle until you can reach all parts of the interior of the quilt. You have to unpin the sides while you do this, and then repin as you move the rails out after pin or thread basting everything in the middle. You keep working the rails out, basting as you go, until it’s all done. Then you take it to the machine.
But if this sounds confusing and you don’t care to store four large boards, Leah Day demonstrates an excellent method to baste your quilt sandwich in her Craftsy classes. She also has a couple of classes where she demonstrates dozens of quilting stitches along with some helpful hints on how to wrestle the quilt around on your home machine and get beautiful results.
If you haven’t already joined Craftsy, it’s free. Follow any of the links below, and you’ll be able to sign up when you get there. There are also several free classes you can take, and not just quilting. Craftsy is an excellent resource for everything, well, Craftsy.