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Thread: Which type cotton fabric is best for blocks using machine embroidery designs?

  1. #1
    Senior Member ShirlR's Avatar
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    Question Which type cotton fabric is best for blocks using machine embroidery designs?

    I notice from time to time that members are using machine embroidery to embellish or create blocks for a quilt. For those of you who do use machine embroidery, what type of fabric do you find best for a project of this type? For instance, I just purchased 16 designs showing ladies wearing fashions from the 1800s through to the 2010s. I would like to use these designs in blocks to construct a quilt for my granddaughter. Would kona be better because it is thicker? My main issue is to prevent puckering because it looks as if these designs are quite stitch intensive. Thanks for any advice!
    Shirley
    "We shall pass this way on Earth but once; if there is any kindness we can show, or good act we can do, let us do it now, for we will never pass this way again." Stephen Grellet

  2. #2
    Senior Member charlottemarie's Avatar
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    I have two embroidery machines and what I have found is the fabric will not pucker if you spray starch the block 3 or 4 times before hooping. I also hoop my heavily starched block with plain old wax paper for the stabilizer. Honest to god it will not pucker at all and the fabric choice does not seem to matter. Give it a try, but I have tried every stabilizer and every type of fabric and this is the first thing that really seems to work for me!
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  3. #3
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    I always prefer the very densely embroidered designs and I follow the rule of one layer of stabilizer for every 10,000 stitches unless the fabric is heavy like a denim. I cannot stand to see even a tiny pucker. I starch, stabilize, stabilize and and stabilize and stabilize sometimes 6-8 layers. Baste your fabric and stabilizer before you hoop if your test piece has a pucker. Never judge your test piece until you have washed, dried and pressed it. Always embroider your block BEFORE it is cut to size. It is hard to hoop smaller sizes and embroidering will shrink the size of a block even if it is 16x16.

  4. #4
    Senior Member ShirlR's Avatar
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    Thank you, Ladies! Tanya, I had not heard of one layer of stabilizer for every 10,000 stitches, but it sounds like a winner. The designs I will be using are about 34,000 stitches each. Would you use 3 or 4 layers of medium cutaway stabilizer with quilting cotton or kona, then? Thanks!
    Shirley
    "We shall pass this way on Earth but once; if there is any kindness we can show, or good act we can do, let us do it now, for we will never pass this way again." Stephen Grellet

  5. #5
    Senior Member cmw0829's Avatar
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    Shirley, how large is the design? I've read that the 10,000 stitch rule is for a 4x5 design. I am doing designs that are 6.5x6 which 60,000 stitches. So, you'd think I should use 6 layers of stabilizer. But my 60,000 stitches are spread over twice the square inches of a 4x5 design. So I divided my 60,000 by 2 and result is 30,000, divided by 10,000 is 3 layers of stabilizer. I'm using quilt shop quality cotton fabric and I am very happy with the result.

  6. #6
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    Shirley, I would use 1 more layer of stabilizer than cmw0829 would and I would baste the fabric. However, I've lost a lost of the strength in my hands and I think I can't stretch the fabric as taut as I should. And I really can't stand even a hint of a pucker, so I probably over stabilizer.

  7. #7
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    Medium weight fabric and cut-away stabilizer. And if you still have puckering after all the stabilizer additions, consider adjusting the bobbin tension. Just a smidgen. Use the right needle for embroidering, and change it often.

  8. #8
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    I have two embroidery machines and I always try out the design on a piece of material similar to what I intend to put it on. I just use a large piece of fabric to try it out on and then make a baby quilt out of it. I then donate the quilt to someone who is needy or hospitalized. I have a few pieces that just seemed to pucker no what I did. I've kept them to remind myself how bad it can be. I never heard of the rule with multiple stabilizers based on stitches, guess I should check into that.

  9. #9
    Member purvissp's Avatar
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    I was wondering How would oxford cloth work for machine embroidery?

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