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Thread: How do you...

  1. #1
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    How do you...

    I was in another thread recently where someone was asking for quilting advice and a couple of things were mentioned...the wavy stitch and quilting with decorative stitches. I'm assuming both are done with a walking foot right? How do you keep the line of stitches straight when doing these? I think I would end up going all over the place. Thanks for any advice, I'm ready to try new things other than SITD and the general meander and both of these sound like fun (but I don't want to ruin my quilt and I certainly don't want to rip out quilting).

  2. #2
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    For the wavy stitch and other decorative I would use a template. Meandering I would practice, as I have on scraps. I have a few potholder and up to pillow size scraps that I practice on. I've ripped the stitches out and started over a lot and the thread is usually some old thread I've had. the largest piece is 12"x12". practicing is actually fun. You also learn eye hand control. My nieces daughter comes over once in a while and she practices. She's 8 and having a ball.

  3. #3
    Super Member hopetoquilt's Avatar
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    Try on scraps. When I do wavy stitch, I aim the seam for the center of the walking foot.

  4. #4
    Super Member katier825's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hopetoquilt View Post
    Try on scraps. When I do wavy stitch, I aim the seam for the center of the walking foot.
    me too. you could also use some masking/painters tape as a guild to run along the foot.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by katier825 View Post
    me too. you could also use some masking/painters tape as a guild to run along the foot.
    I agreed, following the seams, either beside them or over them, or running down the side of masking tape laid where you want to quilt. Both work great!

  6. #6
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    any decorative stitches your machine does should be done with the required foot for that stitch. a walking foot will do slight curves easily. you move the quilt back and forth for those. feed dogs up of course. Good luck.

  7. #7
    Super Member Prism99's Avatar
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    I have used the serpentine stitch to quilt. This is a decorative stitch on my machine that is in the shape of a large S. I adjust the stitch length and stitch width to something I like. Since this stitch moves from left to right and back again, I use a zigzag foot for it. This is a very forgiving stitch. Mostly I have used it to quilt over seams in a straight line. When I needed to extend into a border, I used a ruler and sliver of white soap to extend the line.

    Be careful when choosing a decorative stitch for quilting, as some can use a *lot* of thread and be very slow to quilt. I tried a feather stitch, for example, and found it pretty slow compared to the serpentine stitch.

    Not all walking feet are good for decorative stitching. A lot of them don't like backward stitches, and many decorative stitches have backward elements in them. I heavily starch backing fabric and also spray baste my quilts, so have not found it necessary to use a walking foot.

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    Senior Member hevemi's Avatar
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  9. #9
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    Ok so it looks like I can do zigzag or lengthen the stitch for wavy with my walking foot and use the bar to follow a seam line to keep it straight (I hope that's right) but I should not try a decorative stitch with the walking foot? I have never tried quilting with a regular foot since I'm worried it will bunch up and make tucks on the back. So according to Prism99 it seems like starching the back alleviate this? Do you iron the starch or just spray and let it air dry? I've never heard of this before. I have spray basted my sandwich together and am ready to proceed.

  10. #10
    Super Member Prism99's Avatar
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    Whether or not you can do decorative stitches with your walking foot really depends on the model and brand of your machine and the walking foot that you are using on it.

    I heavily starch backings before layering. My method is to mix a 1:1 solution of Sta-Flo liquid laundry starch and water, "paint" this solution onto the backing fabric using a large wall painting brush until the fabric is saturated (my kitchen island is the right height and makes for easy cleanup afterwards), allow a couple of minutes to make sure starch has saturated all the fibers, toss in the dryer, then iron with steam. The starch stabilizes the backing fabric so it is much less likely to stretch or distort while machine quilting.

    With an already-layered sandwich, it can still be worthwhile to give both top and backing several layers of spray starch to stabilize the fabrics. You can do this by laying the quilt on a large flat sheet, spraying the starch on (from sides to center minimizes overspray), letting the starch dry (a fan speeds this), and doing it several times.

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