Quilt It Straight!

I recently realized that I can quilt straight lines on the quilting setup that I have.  (I am currently using this frame and this machine.)  It’s not perfect, but it sure beats using a regular machine!  To start with, I was using the frame as a guide and running the machine along the take up (back) rail to keep my lines straight.  I could quilt 2 lines before I had to turn the quilt-the first one involved butting the needle/presser foot up to the rail.  The second line was done by pulling the machine as far towards me as I could, so that the take up rail was butted up to the body of the machine.

As I quilted more and more, I started to move away from the safety net of using the rails to keep my lines straight.  By the end of the quilt, I was rolling the quilt far less and free handing far more.  The lines aren’t perfect, but I think it’s good enough for my first attempt!

There were a few hiccups when I was learning all of this.  First, the presser foot tried to eat my quilt!  When I was running the presser foot edge against the rail to quilt, I had a few stops where the fabric already rolled up on the rail was being eaten up by the presser foot as it hopped along.  To fix this, I taped a piece of template plastic to the machine.  That way, the presser foot was only touching the plastic and my quilt stayed safely on the other side. 🙂  Here’s a picture to better explain this:

The other problem that I encountered was some puckering with my backing fabric.  As I rolled the quilt up, I noticed several spots about 12 inches in from either edge that had a pucker.  I think this was because I was quilting a queen size quilt, and couldn’t secure the edges to keep the fabric taut.  I don’t like puckers, though, so I did end up pulling out a lot of stitching…
I’m almost done with the quilt binding, and Matt is almost done putting the room back together.  I should have a before and after post of the guest room by the end of the week!
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