Thread Talk from my Sewing Machine #5

I think as home-machine quilters, “smooth sailing” is one thing we wish for when we “wrestle” and “fight” with our quilts underneath that tiny little throat space of our machines. More often than not, the wrestling causes jerky and not-so-smooth stitches due to the not-so-smooth maneuvering of the quilt!

I have in my previous Thread Talk posts shared about a couple of things that might improve your enjoyment of home machine quilting – mainly with using silk threads, and silk batt. Another thing you might find helpful is this thingamagic that’s called Supreme Slider:

The slick-ness of the slider (pure Telfon) increases the ease of moving my quilts when I am quilting. I am able make my turns very nicely with any sort of curvy quilting. It comes in especially handy when I am handling a big quilt. I do want to note that that the Supreme Slider only works when your feed dog is down. So, you will to remove the slider whenever you stitch with your feed dog up :

The silicon back of the slider grips to the machine bed nicely. It is easily washable with soap and water. I usually secure it in place with some masking tape after I position it on my machine bed where I want it.

When I free-motion quilt, I actually use my right hand to slightly pick up the edge of my quilt to aid the moving done by my left hand. My quilt tends to not “drag” as much as I try to move it. I couldn’t take a picture of both of my hands handling the quilt at the time of writing this post. I will try to get a picture for you for my next Thread Talk post. But use your right hand to give your quilt edge a bit of “pick me up”, you might find moving the quilt just a tad easier and smoother.

Thank you for stopping by. I hope these Thread Talk posts have been helpful to you. Do leave a comment and share with usyour free-motion quilting experiences! Till next time.

UPDATE (8/15/2010):  Supreme Slider latest!  New sizes are now available for the larger beds for the Bernina 8 series & Janome machines.


Sneak peek for the next Thread Talk post: FEATHERS!

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28 thoughts on “Thread Talk from my Sewing Machine #5

  1. The holding up of the edge with the left hand was something I started doing when quilting Chintz Circles. It did help.
    I’ve got to look for that Slider thing — I think it would have been a great help too!

  2. I usually do not do free motion quilting since I prefer to spend my time working with color and scraps. However, I have done some simple work, like stippling. I never drop my feed dogs and it does fine for me. Now, I just bought the slider, but until your post today, I didnt know that I had to drop the feed dogs to use it…nor to tape it down. Thank you for that info. Your work is really stunning, better than for magazines, more like for a museum.

    • Re: Supreme slider not to be used when the feed dog is up. I found that the hole covers up the feed dog area. I suppose if you cut a hole big enough to expose the feed dog. That might still work. I am curious though… if you try it, let me know how it works.

  3. I admire your work – it’s beautiful!!! I’m almost ready to quilt my first large quilt 95 x 95 on my domestic machine – so this is a timely post. It will be my second attempt at quilting.

  4. Wonderful quilting, Wendy! I LOVE those grapes , they are just perfect and, of course the Super slider was a good support , but it was you and your hands to create such a beautiful work!
    Bravo, Gloria

  5. Wendy, can you post a photo of what the slider thing looks like and where you put it on your machine? I’m not familiar with it. Also, just out of curiosity, which machine do you do your quilting on? The beginning of this post where you talk about wrestling with the quilt made me think of that gigantic 830 machine that keeps trying to feed me forbidden apples every time I visit the Bernina dealer…

  6. Hmmm, I didn’t know about the 820. Is that the same as 830 but no embroidery? I hardly ever embroider anymore anyway. I’ll have to look into that.

    By the way, if I was in charge at Bernina you would have a sewing room full of 820s and any other sewbabies you wanted to quilt with, and Bernina would be paying you for the privilege of telling customers, “this is the one that Wendy Sheppard uses!”

    Thank you for your condolences about my client’s fire… I haven’t even stepped into my sewing room since it happened. :-(

  7. Hi Wendy, thanks for sharing your tips. I really enjoy your posts. I wanted to ask you where do you start your quilting. In the middle or on the side? I have never seen the slider so I will be on the lookout for it.

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  9. I often pop in to your website – to drool mainly and get a fix of inspiration. Having just come into Thread Talk for the first time and viewed these most beautifully quilted pieces, I’m feeling very near to tears and absolutely awestruck and the sheer loveliness of your quilting. I wish so much that I could master this but it seems that no matter how hard I try it always looks like a snail with a broken shell has crawled across my efforts. I’m struggling at the moment with the middle section of a quilt that when it’s finally put together will probably weigh a ton (the middle section feels like half a ton already), and I’m a bit worried that when my son and his partner finally get it on their bed, there’s a good chance that they’ll need help getting out of bed – it’ll pin ‘em down good. I’m very grateful for your advice about holding the quilt up and will try that tonight. Thank you so much for inspiring me to not give up.
    Kindest regards

  10. I’d like to get and try the Supreme Slider. Some machine quilters recommend using vinyl or even parchment paper. Looks like the one you use is more practical.

  11. Pingback: Thread Talk from my Sewing Machine #15 « Ivory Spring

  12. Pingback: Thread Talk from my Sewing Machine #18 Addendum « Ivory Spring

  13. Okay, I’m almost done with the “in the hoop” cheater quilting using my embroidery module, and I’m reading back through all your Thread Talk posts to get ready for the FMQ that I’m going to do around those designs. Is this Supreme Slider something that you use every time, with every quilt? Does it really help that much? I would hate to buy ONE MORE THING for my sewing room that I didn’t end up using… Also, which size do you use? I think your sewing machine is the same body size as my 200E/730E. I see on the Supreme Slider site that they have a new, bigger slider that they say is for bigger machines OR for machines that are sunk in a cabinet. My sewing machine is sunk into a cabinet with a surface of Masonite, with one of those clear acrylic inserts filling up the hole around the machine so it’s all one flat surface. Is your machine also sunk into a cabinet like mine? Which size Supreme Slider do you use?

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