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Thread: microquilting

  1. #1
    Junior Member quiltease's Avatar
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    Hi all,
    I've finished my first Ricky Tims rhapsody quilt top and now have NO idea how to quilt it. I know I have to quilt the backgrounds around the appliques with microquilting, but I can't find any "how to's" except a short video from Bernina. I'm used to following pantographs, so this is WAY out of my comfort zone. Anyone know any links or books that will help? Or better yet does anyone out there do microquilting??
    Thanks for help in advance!
    beverley :]

  2. #2
    Roben's Avatar
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    Do you mean micro stippling, or very tight, small stipples? If so, here is a U Tube video that may help:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H5Aye2BHpwQ

    I've found Karen McTavish's book and video "Mastering the Art of McTavishing" very helpful; in the video, she does micro stippling on an applique quilt and it's very easy to see what she's doing.

    Good Luck!

  3. #3
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    You could also use McTavishing, instead of the stippling. Just keep the stitching close together. There are books and vidoes on McTavishing on youtube.

  4. #4
    Super Member Prism99's Avatar
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    I micro-stippled a doll quilt and did not like the effect. It made the quilt quite stiff. If you do decide to micro-quilt, you may want to use a lighter- weight-than-normal thread in both the top and bottom to keep the quilt soft and flexible.

  5. #5
    Junior Member quiltease's Avatar
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    Thanks to all of you! I had not heard of Mc Tavishing. I went to the web site for a closer look. Yes, that is closer to what I want to do. Some of my background space is very tight. She tends to have her "rows" pretty far apart. Would you go with a thread that is close in color to the background fabric (thereby putting the focus on the applique) or a contrasting color to show the quilting? Would a mid tone (like a beige) work for an all over, unifying the piece, or would that look like I was too lazy to change colors? This is the first quilt I have designed myself, top to bottom and I don't want to screw it up now!
    Another million thanks for answering this one!!
    bev. :]

  6. #6
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    The thread color will really depend on the effect you're trying to achieve.

    If your desire is for the applique to be the focus, you could use an invisible thread. The quilting patterns will still show though, the the main focus would remain the applique.

    If your desire is to accent the quilting, then a contrasting color thread is your best bet.

    A thread color matching the applique background fabrics will be similar to the invisible, but you may need to change thread colors for each applique background, if they're not all the same. The stitching will show up more with the matching thread, than with the invisible.

    And you can use different threads in the top and bobbin to achieve the desired effect. For instance on the last quilt I made for my DN, I used invisible on the top to keep the bargello pattern the focus. But I used a variagated cotton thread in the bobbin, to show off the stitching on the back of the quilt.

    The choices are endless and reflect your individual tastes.

  7. #7
    Roben's Avatar
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    Based on reading about her method and watching her do it, a couple of thoughts:

    There can be a lot of threadplay (retracing your steps, etc.) doing this, so the lighter weight thread the better (60 weight is recommended.) To minimize the look of thread buildup, match the thread to the background as closely as possible. The goal of the method is to give texture and movement to the background, rather than showing the quilting. Lighter weight thread helps achieve that.

    Bottom Line thread by Superior Threads is a good choice for this type of technique; I use microtex needles with it.

  8. #8
    Junior Member quiltease's Avatar
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    Okay, I'll go with matching thread(s). I was leaning that way from the start. I went to Amazon.com and bought a book by Singer about quilting. That might give me some fresh ideas and instruction (as if I don't already have my bookshelf overflowing!!). About the thread weight... I was looking at 50 wt. I'll have to check about the 60wt. Do you use that in the bobbin as well?
    Would you mark the top or just wing it? They make it look so easy on the videos. I wish...
    Again, more thank yous for the advice. I'll post the results once it's finished. Which won't be for a loooong while.
    big hugs!
    bev. :]

  9. #9
    Roben's Avatar
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    Bev, practice on some smaller sandwiches - say, 10" - 12" square. With McTavishing, there usually isn't any marking because it's a background filler, but you can certainly mark off sections (that'll make it easier than just looking at that big old blank background!)

    Bottom Line (the 60 wt thread) is normally used in the bobbin, so you would use it in both for McTavishing. Here is the Superior website where you can find out all about them: http://www.superiorthreads.com/shop/...ools/products/

    Remember, its all a matter of practice, and yours won't look like anyone else's - it's not supposed to :D

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