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Thread: Please explain in more detail for this novice quilter.

  1. #1
    Senior Member JusticeClan's Avatar
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    I am a novice quilter. That is my only confession for today! I'm scared to death to do FMQ. So far every time I tried it, it looked awful. Short stitches and then long stitches all mixed together. I need tons more practice. But my question is when you quilt around appliqued items (like flowers for instance) where you want to outline the item, do you start and stop, cut your thread and then start and stop the next row? I know how to tie off the threads and hide them inside the fabric, OR stitch in place a few stitches before starting, but I don't know the appropriate method when you want to outline something. Hope that makes sense. Can anyone give me some adivce?

  2. #2
    Super Member thimblebug6000's Avatar
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    I think we each have our own preferred way. Myself, I don't like the little bump of thread that you get when you stitch in place, however it is alot quicker. If I am making a donation quilt I will do it that way, but for a gift quilt or for myself I will take the time to stop & start.

  3. #3
    Super Member Prism99's Avatar
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    If making a single outline around a flower, I will typically just start and then run a few small stitches over the beginning stitches when I get to the end. This doesn't make much of a bump and saves having to hand-bury thread ends. I would definitely do this if making a single outline around lots of flowers.

    If doing echo quilting, however, where I want to make multiple outlines of the flower each 1/4" apart or so, I would consider doing it continuously. Once I have made small stitches over the beginning stitches, I would just sew a slant line out 1/4" inch and start the outline there. It makes a slight difference in the overall quilting that may or may not work for a specific flower.

    For a large flower, I have actually using my walking foot to do echo quilting. It's a little slow because you have to stop and adjust the sandwich under the presser foot frequently, but you do get even stitches this way. The flower has to be large so the curves are fairly large. For a small flower you'd have to stop after every one or two stitches and it wouldn't work.

  4. #4
    Super Member Rose_P's Avatar
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    If you mean machine satin stitches around applique, I start by pulling the bobbin thread to the top, then take a few straight backward stitches, cut the thread tails and then satin stitch forward to anchor them. When I reach a corner or outside curve, I stop with the needle down on the right, turn the fabric as needed and continue. If it's an inside turn the needle stops on the left. This avoids having a break in the line of stitches.

  5. #5
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    If the quilt is going to be washed and loved on a lot, I will tie off the stitches and bury the knot. :D:D:D

  6. #6
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    If you are referring to echo quilting around an applique, I stop each row, tie a knot and bury it before doing the next row.

  7. #7
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    There are as many ways to do it as there are quilters. On my Tea Time in Tokyo quilt is FMQd stems and leaves between the flowers because I needed quilting there anyway. This might not work for another layout. Each quilt is different, so do it any way you like.

    Since I don't enter contests or shows my rule for stitch length is simple. When I stand back 6 feet can I still see the irregularities? If not then most people will never see them either.

    When I learned to sew 50 years ago I was taught to reverse stitch several stitches, then forward stitch. The over-stitching locks the beginning/ending in place but blends with the other stitches. I still like this better than 1 lump of stitch-in-place.

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