Creative articles about quilting

My first project on the Q24

Last year, the DutchMQG organized a super fun Block of the Month (BOM) project. This quilt featured a variety of designs, and I made it using many different fabrics. It turned out to be the perfect project to practice on the BERINA Q24. In this blog, I’ll tell you all about my first project with the Q24.

The First Steps

The BERNINA Q 24, what a machine! The Sugaridoo Studio was just wide enough for a classic frame, allowing to quilt a quilt up to 2.75 meters wide. The machine and its operation are similar to its smaller sibling, the Q16. Since I already had experience with the Q16, I could start right away with the Q24.

Image of BERNINA Q 24.

BERNINA Q 24

Look forward to great quilting results with the BERNINA Q 24 longarm quilting machine. Enjoy big quilting art work in different frame sizes.

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I found this video very handy for loading the quilt onto the frame. After each step, I paused the video and could calmly roll the quilt onto the frame. With more practice, this process will surely become easier.

The First Stitches

I made the very first stitches on a piece of plain fabric. It was nice to start with that, to feel which handle settings were comfortable and how the machine moved. It was really about playing with different speeds and various types of movements.

Quilting on such a solid piece of fabric had the advantage of no right or wrong. It was very free, but that was also a disadvantage. It was so free, without lines or patterns, that I didn’t know how to fill the fabric. So, it was time to start on a real quilt!

My First Project with the Q24

Last year, the DutchMQG organized a BOM project, a block of the month. Each month, a member designed a quilt block that could be made in 3, 6, or 9 inches. I chose a rainbow of fabrics and blocks in all different sizes, aiming for a scrappy quilt.

When I started the quilt, I didn’t know I would quilt it on the Q24. It turned out to be a perfect practice quilt.

Due to the variety of fabrics and patterns, the quilt is quite busy with many small pieces and different designs. An all-over pattern would be great to tie everything together. But I was more interested in adding even more complexity this time.

How Do You Approach Something Like This?

I decided to use this quilt as a practice quilt—everything was allowed, and anything was possible. It was a space to discover and, above all, to learn.

For many blocks, I started by quilting along the lines of the block to accentuate the shapes and make certain pieces stand out.

In this block, designed by @SewbySanne, I sewed around the hexagons and then repeated the shape, making it larger each time (echo quilting). It was fun to see how the block seemed to gain more depth through the quilting.

For other blocks, I followed the shapes but sewed just next to the seams. The nice thing about this method is that it’s less noticeable if you don’t sew perfectly straight. It’s more forgiving, and you still see your stitches instead of them disappearing into the seam.

Variation

This quilt gave me the chance to practice free motion quilting and play with rulers. To work with rulers on a longarm machine, you need a Ruler Base on your machine and a ruler foot. I like to use the Adjustable Ruler Foot with Slit #72S.

Image of Adjustable Ruler Foot with Slit #72S.

Adjustable Ruler Foot with Slit #72S

Switch foot without cutting the thread ✓ For quilting with 1/4-inch-thick rulers ✓ For free-motion quilting ✓ Combine with Couching Inserts for couching ✓ For 5.5 mm and 9 mm machines ✓

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To master quilting with a ruler, I’d recommend starting with a small straight ruler. Since it’s straight, you don’t have to worry about following the shape of the ruler, and because it’s not too big, it’s easier to hold it close to the foot in place.

Below you can see a block quilted with straight lines and, in the next photo, with waves. Both were quilted using rulers.

What Did I Learn?

Whenever you try something for the first time, there’s a lot to learn. The same goes for my first project on the Q24. What a fun adventure this is!

If you’ve purchased a BERNINA on a frame, I can imagine you might have no idea where or how to start. That’s how I felt when it first arrived in my studio.

Here are a few things that really helped me get started:

  • Use an (old) quilt top as a practice project instead of a plain piece of fabric. This gives you some guidelines to follow and areas to fill in. You could also choose a fabric with a large print to follow the shapes.
  • Using a ‘busy’ scrappy quilt for practice means that any less successful pieces are less noticeable. While quilting, you’ll always see your own mistakes and crooked lines. When your quilt is on the couch, probably no one will notice, but a busier quilt helps to conceal things even more.
  • Go for it. Of course, it’s nice if your first quilt turns out exactly as you envisioned, but with something new, you have to put in the time to get the hang of it. Be kind to yourself and don’t expect a perfect result right away. With every quilt, you’ll learn new things. Just dive in and give yourself time to practice.

And Now?

The first quilt on the Q24 is done. What would I like to learn in the coming time?

I’d love to create an all-over free motion pattern on a quilt. The exact Dutch translation escapes me, but I mean a pattern that repeats over the entire quilt, quilted freehand. This is a great way to practice consistency.

Additionally, I’d like to quilt a quilt with squares, creating a pattern from point to point or one that fits in each square. Perhaps Robo Confetti would be a great quilt for that.

Difficulty level: Beginner
Time to Complete: Evening
Used Products:
BERNINA Q 24
BERNINA Q 24
Adjustable Ruler Foot with Slit #72S
Adjustable Ruler Foot with Slit #72S

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  • Jill Watson EditEditing comments on the BERNINA blog is only possible after logging in with a blog user account. Sign up now or create a user account if you do not have one yet.

    Hi Irene, I love the BOM quilt you posted that was last years Dutch BOM. It’s creative and fun. The photo was posted with quilt on the q24. Is the pattern available for purchase? 

  • Karine Peaudecerf EditEditing comments on the BERNINA blog is only possible after logging in with a blog user account. Sign up now or create a user account if you do not have one yet.

    I love the Q24 machine ! I test it 3 whole days in a Bernina shop in Toulouse (France) and it was so amazing. It opens so many possibilities. I quilt 2 big quilts in 3 days with rulers. On my regular machine, it would have been so complicated and so long… I love to read articles on it here. Thanks Irene !

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