You can Quilt a Queen Size Top with Your Domestic Machine with a Few MUST HAVEs and a Low Budget.

People ask all the time whether you can quilt a king/queen size quilt on your domestic machine.  The answer is yes, but there are definitely some must haves that make it a lot easier!!!
I haven't quilted a king on my domestic machine, but I have quilted this queen using stitch-in-the-ditch and ruler work!!!

The biggest and most important thing is to have a machine with a wide harp/throat.  I think mine is 10".

The next biggest tip would be to make sure your sewing height is ergonomically correct (my husband made my table for me).  Not only does your table need to be at the right height, but you need lots of space around the machine at the same height to alleviate drag when quilting!!!

 Since I use my machine for both quilting and embroidery and remove the embroidery arm on and off all the time I couldn't build my machine into a table.  Therefore, I purchased a Sew Steady Wish Table and absolutely love it!!!  It's a must for me!!! I also like the fact that the Sew Steady Wish Table has a Circle Sewing Tool.  I plan on making a modern quilt with circles since it will be a snap with this tool - just haven't got around to it yet!!!  So far I use it to sew a circle on my fabric and then cut the circles out!!!

Another must if you do any Free Motion Quilting (FMQ) is the Sew Steady Quilting Slider Mat Grid  to help your quilt sandwich move around freely.  The slider helps so much especially with larger quilts!!!  You might also want to invest in a pair of quilting gloves!!!
I know this sounds like a lot (Machine with large harp, walking foot, sew steady table, slider, quilting gloves, 505 basting spray or quilters curved safety pins, batting, etc), but honestly these items will pay for themselves and you will be coming out ahead even if you only quilt a couple of quilts.  
Have you ever brought a quilt top to a longarmer?  If you have you know what I'm talking about.  Nothing against longarmers because I've seen some absolutely beautiful quilts, but if all you want to do is stitch-in-the-ditch or a little ruler or free motion work - you can quilt a top yourself for practically nothing!!!  
I got to a point where I didn't want to make any more tops because I didn't have the means to afford to get the top quilted.  No more - I make lots of tops now and quilt them myself!!!  I'm currently working on the below scrappy queen quilt and it will be quilted by me and my domestic machine!!! 

I usually like to just spray baste with 505, but on my queen quilts I pin them.  My downstairs kitchen bar comes in handy for this and I always use the curved quilters safety pins because they are so much easier to close/open!!!

On this particular quilt I used Pellon Nature's Touch Natural Cotton Batting and I love the soft feel of it.  I usually use Warm and Natural so we'll see how I like this batting after its washed.  I'd love to hear what your favorite batting is. 

Finished product - stitch in ditch and heart ruler work which took me maybe 16 hours at the most to finish.  I didn't think that was too bad!!!

 To see more of my scrappy quilts follow this link.


  1. I'm envious of your machine throat space! Some great tips for quilting on your home machine. It's amazing how much quilt can fit through a domestic if you plan carefully. Thanks for linking up to What I Made Monday!

    1. Thanks! I love my old Topaz 20 Sewing Machine and bought it used just because of the throat space - well that and the embroidery feature!!! I just love that I can personalize quilts and quilt them as well!!!

  2. Hi Karen! Great tips and seriously the throat space is just the most important in my mind. Everything else is nice but without that it is just so difficult to get the fabric to lay smooth in a large enough area to comfortably sew. I brought my machine with that one factor in mind - it has other nice features but deep throat was #1. ~smile~ Roseanne

    1. I hear you. If you are going to quilt large quilts on a domestic sewing machine - even a lap quilt - the large throat is a must!!! For this reason, when I was picking out a sewing machine, I looked for the largest throat I could get at a price I could afford. Therefore, I bought a used Viking Topaz 20 and it has served me well!!! I don't need all those other glam features!!!

  3. All of your tips are must haves! I have plenty of throat space which helps so much. I just quilted a large twin size and it reminded me why I make lap quilts...they are so much easier to handle!!

  4. I agree. I just cringed when my daughter and daughter-in-law both wanted queen quilts, but with the right set-up and a large throat it really isn't bad at all!!! I find stitch in the ditch and ruler work quilting very manageable, but my daughter does a lot of FMQ and she is working on a queen quilt currently, so I'm interested to see if she has any trouble quilting her top. She doesn't have the ideal setup, so I'm sure she will be quilting her quilt at my house. Love the together time!!!

  5. The more space the better for quilting those large quilts!

  6. I couldn't agree more. Sewing/Quilting a large quilt isn't too difficult if you have space to prevent drag!!!


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