How to machine quilt a king size quilt
by Judy R.
I made the top of my king size quilt a long time ago.
I have not finished it because I was told it is too difficult and to send it out. I would not feel like I made it if I sent it out.
How do I quilt my quilt on my Viking Designer I? I have never quilted a quilt before.
It is a conundrum!
I, too, don't feel like it's my own quilt if I have someone else do the quilting, but...
...the result is a pile of quilt tops that should be quilts by now.
Having it quilted for you...
If you choose to send it out to a longarm quilter, you can overcome the "it's not really my quilt" feeling by involving yourself in the design process of the quilting.
Many, if not most longarm quilters charge by the inch, so the larger the quilt, the more it costs to have it quilted. The more dense or involved the quilting design, the more it will cost, too. So as you contemplate how you'd want your quilt quilted, you'll need to consider those factors.
If having this unfinished quilt stops you from moving forward, either with other piecing/applique projects or learning to machine quilt, and if you still like this quilt top, then by all means have it quilted and move on. There are more quilts to make!
Machine quilting it yourself...
When I teach beginners to machine quilt, I always advocate starting small and quilting your way through bigger and bigger quilts. Even if you are only using your walking foot, as the majority of beginning quilters do, you still need to develop the skill and confidence of layering and basting and moving that quilt under the needle of your machine.
Can you quilt a king size quilt on your Viking Designer I?
But it will be harder than a queen size...than a twin...than a table runner...simply because of it's size.
My biggest concern is that you'll become frustrated moving thing big honkin' thing under the needle, all the while expecting perfection out of yourself (as so many of us quilters do). And in the face of the laboriousness of the task, throw your hands up in despair and vow never to machine quilt again.
That would be such a loss.
Machine quilting is fun and rewarding, and even more so when you give yourself the gift of the time to learn and practice.
Now, I do know a handful of people whose first machine quilting was on a queen or king size quilt. They lived to tell of it. They thrived on the challenge. Perfection wasn't the goal. Doing
If that is your personality, then go for it! Remember, though, that just like eating an elephant, you'll do it one bite, or rather one step at a time. Know that it will be a learning experience and celebrate all that you are challenging yourself to do...every stitch you create is a victory.
I've described the techniques for getting a quilt ready for quilting and basic, beginner machine quilting in these two articles:
Know and honor yourself...
In the end it really IS
up to you.
What are your goals with this quilt?
If you love a challenge and will not berate yourself for imperfections, then by all means go for it! Same if you can't live with the idea of someone else putting a stitch on it. Just take it one measured step at a time. You CAN
If the goal is to get it on your bed, stop wasting time and just have it quilted. Get this quilt off your 'to-do' list and move on to your next project. (We all have other quilts we want to make, right?!)
'Have a hand in designing the machine quilting if that helps, but make the decision and move on. Life's just too short!
I hope this has given you some food for thought. Most quilters (me included) have struggled with this very question. You are not alone.
Readers, do add your suggestions and thoughts via the 'Comment' link found just below.