First time quilting....where to start?

fivewillowsMay 22, 2013

Hi all!
First time here on the site. I am new to quilting , but am going to try machine quilting! I can see this going one of two ways:)
This lego man quilt is for a nephew going through a tough time, thought a snuggle with his fave lego might help in some small way. Am completely stumped as to where to start... Do I use different colours, different patterns, straight lines, diagonal, hmmmm
Any suggestions would be GREATLY appreciated!!!

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Welcome to the forum. I LOVE your Lego man quilt. My grandson would be wild over it.

I see straight lines on the man to outline the blocks and make it look like stacked blocks, perhaps black stitching to make a face. Then outline the border blocks and put circles to look like the tops of blocks. For the white background maybe some straight diagonal lines to make diamonds or squares.

I'm sure he will love it.


    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 10:20PM
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After thinking about this overnight, I totally agree with Beverly! You need some circles in the border blocks to mimic the tops of the Lego pieces. If you are going to try free motion quilting, you need to lower the feed teeth on the machine and practice puzzle piece shaped quilting on a scrap quilt sandwich before you start in on your quilt.

Remember to start in the center of the quilt and move outward: Lego man first, white border around him second, pieced border third, then white border or other color of final border last.

Do you have a walking foot/even feed foot for your machine? This is needed if you want to do straight line quilting, otherwise, the top and bottom of the quilt will not feed evenly through the machine and you will end up with some unsightly puckers.

Great quilt!
Teresa (who raised two Lego fan little boys)

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 7:07AM
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Love the lego quilt. What a great idea. One of my granddaughters loves legos. I'm making a quilt out of her clothes for her as well but sort of wish it was a lego quilt now since seeing this but I assume I would need certain colors for a lego quilt.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 9:01AM
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I love that quilt! How clever. Did you design it yourself?

I'd stay true to the leggo blocks and go with all vertical and horizontal lines and circles on the borders. Borders are a good place to start for free motion quilting because you don't have to worry about squeezing the half the quilt through your machine.

If you're not sure you want to tackle free-motion quilting for the circles, you can always hand quilt those--using black embroidery thread so it really shows up.

Teresa is right about the walking foot, but if you don't have one, or can't get one for your machine, I'd suggest using a spray adhesive to spray your layers together first. My favorite is 505 but other brands work too. I have a walking foot but I still use spray.
If you go the spraying route, you want to make sure you leave a window or two open, or spray outdoors. If you belong to a church or someplace where there are several banquet tables availble, ask if they will let you spray there. Be sure to use enough tables that no part of your quilt hangs off the sides--otherwise you'll end up with puckers on the back.

Happy quilting! Your nephew will LOVE it no matter how you quilt it! Hope things get better for him soon.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 9:38AM
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Love the quilt. The advice above sounds good, but small free motion circles sounds pretty tricky for a first effort unless you're able to ignore inconsistencies. Some of us can, others can't. That being said, they'd look great.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 5:44PM
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When I read your post, saw the pic, I immediately thought of straight line quilting... then I read Beverly's comments and totally agree.
If the feed dogs on your machine drop, doing circles on the border is doable. I'm not all that experienced on free motion myself, but I've found circles to be an easy first step.
Really nice job on the design, very cool!!! Welcome to the forum....don't be a stranger!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 9:18PM
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A lot of good suggestions, it depends how brave you want to be trying freemotion or straight stitching :-) The main thing is not to stress out too much, your nephew will see that great Lego man and not the quilting.

Read the batting package to see the quilting distance you need (every few inches, etc). A simple cross-hatch is a good first quilting exercise. You can mark with masking tape or use a ruler to mark diagonal lines going from left top to right bottom and right top to left bottom every few inches. Or even diagonals in just one direction. I tend to leave more space and not quilt densely, I like my quilts poofy, some like them more dense. Then use a walking foot and follow the straight lines the best you can (again, it doesn't have to be perfect, once it's washed it doesn't matter so much). This goes quickly and you can get this one off to your nephew and then make more quilts!

I often use white or off white thread or even a light color and I find it blends in with most colors once the quilt is washed and poofy. You could also use variegated or colored threads though I caution your quilting will really stand out in the white fabric. You can also use a different color thread for the backing than the front, just need to watch your tension so the color isn't showing on the front.

Lots of options, but I have a feeling this is going to be a much loved quilt however it comes together.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 10:32PM
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Wow....I had no idea how generous the responses would be!!!
I knew I wanted to join the quilting world for more than just
A creative outlet.... Y'all are good peeps! :)
I will get to work and send pics of the finished piece.

I will let the pressure go to be brilliant and focus on the
Smile that will spread across a little face!

Thanks again!!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 10:41PM
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You are most welcome. We love pictures and look forward to seeing your finished project or even in progress. I am sure he will love it.


    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 11:38PM
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