Yesterday, I showed you how to piece together the spooky Halloween house. Now let’s get ready for quilting! All of the sewing up to this point was done on my Brother Innov-is BQ3050 machine using the ¼” foot with no guide. There’s also a ¼” foot with guide that you can use as well. Itʼs just a matter of personal preference.
And then the new Brother NQ700 machine arrived on my doorstep! So, I used this machine to finish my project and found out it has some great features I want to tell you about.
Before I started quilting this project, I wanted to check out some of the basic features that I use all the time – reinforcing stitch at the beginning and end of a seam, needle position, thread cutter, and sewing speed. I practised on some scrap pieces of fabric and was very impressed with the quality of the straight stitching. I didn’t have to adjust anything – just turned on the machine and started to sew. The stitch quality was perfect! The default stitch length is 2.5, but for quilting, I wanted it to be a bit longer. Again, this is a personal preference and you can adjust the stitch length to whatever suits your style of work. The adjustment takes just a touch of the arrow button on the front of the Brother NQ700 machine.
The needle up/down key is also a great feature. I prefer needle down, so the fabric doesn’t shift if you stop in the middle of a seam.
- Now you’re ready for the next step of layering the backing, batting, and quilt top. I used a lightweight fusible batting, so I just had to press the 3 layers together and it was ready for quilting. If you use a non-fusible batting, you’ll need to thread-baste or pin-baste the layers together.
- Put the walking foot on the machine. This is easy to do and is well explained in the manual that comes with the machine.
- Quilt the house, roof, and sky areas first, using straight line stitching.
- Using a fabric marking tool, mark the first few stitching lines on the sky area.
- Once you have quilted a couple of straight lines, you can attach the quilting guide bar to the walking foot and use that as a guide to follow previous stitching lines. I found that the stitch quality was perfect when using the walking foot on the Brother NQ700!
- I used the Serpentine stitch #46 for the grass area. This was easy to set up and you can see how the stitch will look on the LED screen. By pressing the + or – buttons you can change the width and length of the stitch. It’s a good idea to do a few practice samples to determine the width and length that’s best for you.
You can trim up the outside edges and sew on the binding at this point if you wish. This not only helps to stabilize the outside edges, but also helps you to see exactly where to place the applique shapes.
I cut my binding 3″ wide and sewed it on with a ½” seam to give me a ½” finished size binding. Check out how to use my binding method in this previous QUILTsocial blog: Change up the way you make your quilt binding.
Before finishing the hand sewing on the binding, I like to add a hanging sleeve of some kind. For this little quilt, I used 2 – 5″ squares of backing fabric that I folded in half to make triangles, and then I basted the triangles on the 2 top corners of the backing. When the binding is hand stitched in place, the raw edges of the triangles are covered.
For my project, I decided not to sew on the binding at this point, as I wasn’t quite sure where I was going to place the applique shapes. I just drew some chalk lines on the front where I thought I wanted the outside edges to be.
Come back tomorrow for the patterns of the fusible applique shapes. I’ll show you some quick and easy ways to sew applique shapes to your quilt using the Brother NQ700 machine.