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Thread: To QUILT or TIE/TACK...that is the question...

  1. #1
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    To QUILT or TIE/TACK...that is the question...

    Morning All, I have a Tee Shirt quilt I am finishing up on. I had Too Coo Tee Shirt quilts company finish the top for me and I am finishing the remainder of the quilt. I am using a polar fleece for backing, skipping the batting. Too Cool suggested tying the quilt vs quilting [since I am using my home machine [not a longarm]. However, I am just not liking the way the tying looks. I'm about a 1/3 of the way done with the tying. I have not snipped down the tails either. I was planning on snipping to a 1" tail. Since the quilt top is a mosaic of all colors, shapes, etc, the black embrodery floss just looks "scraggly." I was wondering if I could, in fact, quilt it on my home machine...? I am not doing anything fancy, I'm thinking of ditch stitching, then in each square doing a straight stitch from one corner to the other corner, then another line a couple of inches over from that one...like diamonds.

    What do you think? My main goal is to not break down and cry over trying to quilt it on my home machine. I do not have access to a longarm, nor do I want to pay or rent one. Oh and the quilt is 68x76. Thanks. Kori
    I'm a wife to my Navy Submariner and a mother to our 3 children. I've taken up quilting as a fun activity for me! Since I am new to quilting...I have a lot of questions!!!

  2. #2
    Senior Member humbird's Avatar
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    I do not get along well with machine quilting, so can't advise you on that, but have tied a fair number of quilts. I don't mind the "tails" but if you are not happy with it, I have heard of some people tying from the back. You may like that. I have also heard that you can "tack" using the machine. Just a very tight zig zag, then move on the the next tack. That may be easier than acutally quilting on the machine. Have thought I may try that on something small someday. Just some thoughts. Hope what ever you do turns out well for you.

  3. #3
    Super Member DOTTYMO's Avatar
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    Have you thought bout using the small felter to pounce in the threads or buttons or Suffolk puffs. Could do one or both sides. You can machine using a walking foot straight lines either side of seams to shadow. Don't forget to start in the centre of the quilt and stabilise it in 4 directions first. Others are better them me but you don't mentioned that you have tacked or ( forgot the American word) the quilt before tying. My friend also free motions on a sewing machine it is possible but good exercise for th arms and hands. Straight lines or diagonals are good with a walking foot.how about a picture of the quilt for others to help with designs etc.?
    Finished is better than a UFO

  4. #4
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    Well, the thing is since the squares aren't uniform the tails aren't either. So its more like a scattering of tails. When you say "tack" do you just mean a type of stitch that doesn't really go anywhere. Does that make sense? I have a design stitch on my machine that looks like a 1/4" circumference circle, filled in. Could I use that stitch? I hope I make sense. I don't want to tie from the back, because then I won'd know where the stitch comes up to the front. I'm not sure how it would look if there were tiny little stitches through the shirt faces. I was trying to avoid going through the designs of the shirts and tie just in the corners. But then some shirts are much larger so I would need to tie in those shirts because the shirt face is larger than 10". Ugh...what to do!
    I'm a wife to my Navy Submariner and a mother to our 3 children. I've taken up quilting as a fun activity for me! Since I am new to quilting...I have a lot of questions!!!

  5. #5
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    Ok, picture is on its way. I have no idea what "small felter to pounce in threads" means. I don't know what Suffolk puffs are either. LOL. I'm fairly new to quilting and self-taught. The quilt is basted with loads of large safety pins about 3-4 inches apart. I do know to start in the center and smooth work out, which is what I didn't when I basted.

    I did a sample piece of cotton top with fleece backing. I did a diamond pattern using my quilting arm thingy. I like that. I just don't know what to do and I'm kinda of afraid to mess my quilt up. This quilt has been a project for the last year with loads of mistakes, which is why I had Too Cool fix it for me. I'm not comfortable free-arming. The only type of quilting I've done on the two previous quilts I've made is SID.
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    I'm a wife to my Navy Submariner and a mother to our 3 children. I've taken up quilting as a fun activity for me! Since I am new to quilting...I have a lot of questions!!!

  6. #6
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    I was trying to avoid going through the faces of the Tee Shirts. If you look up Too Cool Tee Shirts you'll see loads of examples. The quilts look great when they are quilted, but I am not skilled like that and I don't have a long arm. I thought maybe using this circle stitch I had on my machine would work well if I used invisible thread. Then I did a pattern of rows and columns with it about 4" apart throughout. Yes, it would go through the shirt faces, but I'd have to anyway since some shirt squares are larger than 10" and I don't want the shirts to droop over time.

    I feel like I am a "hot mess"....LOL...
    I'm a wife to my Navy Submariner and a mother to our 3 children. I've taken up quilting as a fun activity for me! Since I am new to quilting...I have a lot of questions!!!

  7. #7
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    If you're looking at the quilt picture. When I mentioned using the diamonds pattern [I don't know what you call that in quilting terms]. When I made my sample diamond pattern, I used a ten inch square of fleece with cotton top. Then I straight stitched from one corner to the other, then using my quilting arm, I moved over and start a new line of stitching about 1 1/2" from the first one, and so on and so on. Then I took it out, turned it and sew down from one corner to the other corner...which is now completing a design pattern of many small diamonds. Geez...I hope I am making sense. So...what I thought might look good was creating the diamond pattern in each Tee Shirt square, starting from the center and working my way out.
    I'm a wife to my Navy Submariner and a mother to our 3 children. I've taken up quilting as a fun activity for me! Since I am new to quilting...I have a lot of questions!!!

  8. #8
    Super Member Prism99's Avatar
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    I definitely think you could machine quilt this on a domestic machine. Easiest would be to use a walking foot and simply sew straight lines. I would do this by starting at the top middle area and working down from the top, turning as necessary, to quilt in straight lines from top to bottom. My second line would be going from one side to another. Obviously these are not going to be straight lines, but rather straight lines with corners. Once you have that basic + of quilting lines through the middle, you can work from the middle out in each direction. The middle lines are the hardest; after that it gets easier and easier. You would have to quilt some "connecting" lines here and there at the end.

    I think one of the problems with trying to FMQ a t-shirt quilt is that it is hard to manage that much bulk plus some sewing machines will skip stitches from the changes in direction and pressure.

    Alternatively, you could machine tie. Look for a stitch similar to a zigzag but that stitches in place on one or both sides. Those stitches keep the tie from unravelling. You do not cut threads between ties; rather, you wait until you have a line of ties before cutting the threads close. When I have tried this, I have not really been happy with the look, so I would try the walking foot first.

    I'm not sure I would be concerned about the 10" squares drooping without additional quilting. This could be a problem if you were using batting, as it can pull away from the stitching lines and bunch up when quilting is that far apart. I would just quilt around all the squares and see how it holds up. If drooping inside the 10" squares becomes a problem over time, then I would go back and add some outline quilting inside those squares. However, I doubt that you will need to do that.
    Last edited by Prism99; 12-08-2012 at 11:57 AM.

  9. #9
    Super Member kim_s's Avatar
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    I am in a quilt ministry where we always tie our quilts. I am not a big fan of tying so, once I have stitched the outside and turned the quilt (so it looks like yours) I pin the entire quilt starting in the middle and then, using my walking foot, I start stitching from the middle out. Typically straight lines following the outside of the blocks.

    I understand about your not wanting to quilt the middle of the block faces but if you use invisible thread it would be difficult to see and, in my opinion, a better alternative to tying, which is very visible. Plus it looks like you really only have about 3 that are large and would require a little more stitching than just around the outside. Whatever you decide on I know it will look awesome.

    God bless you,
    Kim

  10. #10
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Hope you figure out what you want to do ... though if I'd had them make the top, I think I would have had them take it to the finish line!


    Thanks for leading the way to the Too Cool T-Shirt site ... I just visited it and learned a lot about how to make a T-Shirt quilt. Interesting that they seem to be the only ones NOT using interfacing/stiffener for teh t-shirt fabrics ... and their reasons make so much sense.
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    Sew many ideas ... just sew little time!!
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