My sweet husband is amazing. I showed him a picture of a Gammill in a magazine one day and he went out and got all the supplies to build me this version. I can quilt a king size bedspread on it! It cost less than a hundred dollars to build and I've been using it happily for over ten years now. It's made of wood, angle irons, sprinkler pipe, and mattress ticking. It rolls very smoothly in all directions, and it works just fine for me. I love it.
I pin both edges to the ticking flaps, making sure my quilt is centered.
My quilt is already pin basted. I pin baste my quilts on a big table using notebook clamps for the edges. My favorite batting is Hobbs Heirloom. I safety pin about one spread hand width apart. Before I quilt a row, I take the pins out of that row only. My favorite thread to quilt with is Mettler Metrolene, but I have to mail order it. Superior Thread's Bottom line is great too, and readily available. I use it both on top and in the bobbin. I like a thin, strong thread for quilting. A thin strong polyester thread gives me lots of texture and doesn't show mistakes like thicker thread does. I used to always use cotton thread for everything, but for quilting, I'm a poly convert. Less breakage, lots of texture.
A long view.
My machine is a Brother PQ1500S. It has a longer arm than a regular sewing machine, but is lightweight and meant for home use. It was relatively inexpensive (under $1000) and has everything I need to quilt, including an automatic thread cutter, which is very handy. It only does straight stitch, both with the feed dogs up and down. To quilt on this machine, I lower the feed dogs. On my Bernina, I leave them up while I'm doing free motion quilting.
I usually quilt one row, then go do something else for a while, come back and do another. My maximum is four rows a day because I become so immersed in it that my head and shoulders get stiff. It's impossible to think about relaxing and sewing on this machine. My shoulders end up somewhere north of my chin every time. So I do a row and relax. Do a row and relax. Repeat until quilt is finished.
More quilting tomorrow! I'm really happy to have gotten some quilting done today! I didn't get much email done, though. And guess what? More email came today, just like yesterday. It kills me not to answer it promptly, but a girl's gotta quilt, right?