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Thread: How many stitches per inch for piecework and why?

  1. #1
    Member Tallbald's Avatar
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    How many stitches per inch for piecework and why?

    New here and thanks in advance for info. Hate to ask old questions again, but here goes!
    While experimenting with our 201 hand crank, it quickly became apparent that cranking can indeed get tiring. But so be it. Now when I am joining top pieces, what is an accepted number of stitches per inch? All cotton material and thread, with a 1/4 inch seam allowance is planned. Just looking, it seems to be a good compromise at 10 stitches per inch. This allows me significant progress, and provided I maintain proper tension, a good snug stitch too. 7 per inch seems weak, and 14 seems to be overkill. Yes these are the questions of a man used to working in fractions of a thousandth of an inch precision, and the decision may be "just up to me" . Thoughts please? Don

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    Super Member Dina's Avatar
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    Well, Don, I had no idea, so I just sewed an inch and counted how many stitches. Eleven is what I use, apparently. That is when my machine is set to 2.5 (thought, to be honest, I don't know what type measurement that is...) That is the stitch length that my machine automatically starts with.

    So...I suspect it is whatever feels best to you. But you knew that.

    Dina

  3. #3
    Senior Member Karen's Kreations's Avatar
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    I piece with the default setting on my machine which is probably 10-12 stitches per inch.

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    Member Tallbald's Avatar
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    Dina I would say the 2.5 is probably millimeters. Is yours a European or Asian machine? I think 10 per inch will catch 7 to 10 threads of the materials I have looked at with each stitch. That should be plenty secure I'm hoping. Don't laugh folks. Again, I'm used to high precision metal work with blueprint specifications. I will have to struggle to leave that mode of thought behind......Don
    Last edited by Tallbald; 11-11-2012 at 07:03 AM. Reason: add info

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    Super Member ckcowl's Avatar
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    for regular piecing i generally use 10-12 stitches per inch- 16-18 for paper piecing (makes it easier to tear away the paper) and 4-7 for basting (makes it easier to remove them) i think alot of machines have a default setting at 2.5 which comes out to 10-12. i may lengthen it a bit if it's a heavy flannel- or tighten a bit if a home spun or fabric with a looser weave that is still thin.
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

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    Super Member laurafet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ckcowl View Post
    for regular piecing i generally use 10-12 stitches per inch- 16-18 for paper piecing (makes it easier to tear away the paper) and 4-7 for basting (makes it easier to remove them) i think alot of machines have a default setting at 2.5 which comes out to 10-12. i may lengthen it a bit if it's a heavy flannel- or tighten a bit if a home spun or fabric with a looser weave that is still thin.
    40 years of sewing all fabrics, all items- This is right on the money for me... on average.

  7. #7
    Senior Member QuiltNama's Avatar
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    Regular cotton 10-12 per inch, paper piecing (lots) 16-20, flannel (homespun) 9-10, basting 5-7.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Pat M.'s Avatar
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    I was using my hand crank last week end and I think it is set at 10 per inch, yup I just checked it out. Not loose just right.

  9. #9
    Super Member Dina's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tallbald View Post
    Dina I would say the 2.5 is probably millimeters. Is yours a European or Asian machine? I think 10 per inch will catch 7 to 10 threads of the materials I have looked at with each stitch. That should be plenty secure I'm hoping. Don't laugh folks. Again, I'm used to high precision metal work with blueprint specifications. I will have to struggle to leave that mode of thought behind......Don
    Don, my machine says it is a German design, but I don't know if that means it was made in Germany. You'd think it would say Made in Germany if that were the case. It is a Pfaff.

    At any rate, it sounds like you have several good answers.

    Dina

  10. #10
    Super Member EasyPeezy's Avatar
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    I had to go check...I'm at 16 stitches per inch...1.8 on my Janome 6600.
    I think for piecing you want your stitches short enough that they don't fall apart
    when pressing/handling but long enough that you can unstitch if you have to.
    I also don't backstitch for piecing (contrary to garment sewing) thus I prefer the
    shortest stitch I can manage.

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