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Thread: Unsure about starting and stopping quilting in the middle

  1. #1
    Member MathTeacher1980's Avatar
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    Unsure about starting and stopping quilting in the middle

    Hello fellow quilters!

    I am self taught and don't really know anyone that quilts so this place is a blessing.

    I was looking at a pattern called triangle tango that has a checker board affect alternating between a white print and multiple colored prints. The sample was quilted with stippling in the white triangle/diamonds and straight lines in the colored triangle/diamonds.

    This is where I am a bit unsure. The lines are not continuous so you are essentially quilting one block at a time. How do you deal with the ends of the thread? And doesn't this take for ever??

    I have done pretty basic quilting with continuous lines so I haven't really run into this issue before.

    Any info would be appreciated

    -Toni

  2. #2
    Super Member Farm Quilter's Avatar
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    I quilt on a longarm, but the theory is the same. Start with your bobbin thread up on top of your quilt top and when you end, pull up your bobbin thread. I tie them just like I would if I were hand quilting and bury them in my batting. Going forward and backwards to secure the ends is also something you can do, but I just don't like the way it looks, so I don't do it. Post pictures when you are finished with the quilting!! Also, if you can sneak and stitch in the ditch a bit or plan your path well, you can do different kinds of custom quilting without stopping.

  3. #3
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    Some people like to start and stop their FMQ with a few tiny stitches in the same place. I don't like the look of the extra thread so I hand tie and use my easy thread hand needle to bury the thread ends. Yes, it does take time but I try to bury the ends as I finish each section so I don't have a lot of them to do at the same time.

  4. #4
    Member MathTeacher1980's Avatar
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    Thank you for your replies. I was thinking this might be the case but was hoping not! I was reading about a "cheater needle" for this.... I just could imagine someone burying thread for four lines on 42 blocks. Yikes. I thought there had to be another way! I don't think I would like the back tacking either so bury I shall!

    I will of course post pics when I finish but it will be quite a while before I do any complicated quilting on a large quilt. For now I just put a bunch of pics of my finished projects in my albums.

    I think I may wait until I have a set up that will allow me to move a large quilt around a surface (this was only one of my many concerns ) . Right now a quilt on a wooden kitchen table and my machine is not flush to it, so Im going to stick with long straight lines for a bit.

  5. #5
    Super Member Farm Quilter's Avatar
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    I use the good old self-threading needles that allow me to pop the thread in from the top. I did buy one of the S shape needles for $6 and it bent on the first quilt I used it on. Yes, it can get tedious to tie and bury the tails...I had one block in a quilt that had 84 stops/starts that I buried...one 12" block at that! Oh what I will do for a MIL I love!!!

  6. #6
    QM
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    Sometimes I will use one thread overall, especially a multicolored thread, which avoids the problem. Sometimes I use a unobtrusive color, like a mild grey to stitch in the ditch to make a gridwork across the whole quilt. I was taught to pull the bobbin thread up , cut both long then go back later to tie those threads and embed the ends. On my guild's long arm, the suggestion is to stitch 3 stitches in one place, cut, then go back later and cut the threads off even with the fabric. On my home machine, what I generally do is take 2 stitches at the end, use the thread cutter on my Janome, which leaves 3/8" thread ends on the back, then later I cut those off. BTW one of the reasons I use the SitD grid quilting is to make my fancier free motion quilting easier, with fewer pins in the way.

    There is a lot of difference of opinion on this subject, but I dislike burying thread ends and do get plenty of blue ribbons with the methods I employ.
    Last edited by QM; 08-11-2012 at 12:04 AM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member quilter711's Avatar
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    I do fmq on my dsm. I bring bobbin thread to the top. I leave long threads at the beginning and ending of the design. I use a spiral eye needle (side opening) and run a little bit of thread under the top layer and batting then cut the threads - no tying off! I do this watching tv - so easy!
    quilter711
    Nancy

  8. #8
    Member MathTeacher1980's Avatar
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    Oooh I had to do some looking up on these acronyms . I haven't been a noob in a while, it's kinda cool. I can't believe that I, and internet dork, did not hunt this website down during the first five years I was quilting. Its so nice to hear from people who quilt, especially since I don't know a single person that does.

    I may have to try some SitD before my next attempt at free motion. My first machine quilting attempts were stitch in the ditch but my technique is so crappy it looked a mess (at least to me, no one else ever seems to notice).

    So much I want to try, so little time !!!

  9. #9
    Super Member Farm Quilter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QM View Post
    Sometimes I will use one thread overall, especially a multicolored thread, which avoids the problem.
    This only works if you are doing an all-over pattern, not a custom quilting job. If you are doing custom quilting and there is no way to sneak to another area, you have to stop and secure your threads, either by tying off or going back over your stitches. Some quilters can be nearly invisible on backtracking and some can't - I can't so I choose to tie and bury.

    What is "the SitD grid"? I have never heard of that!

  10. #10
    QM
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    What is "the SitD grid"? I have never heard of that!
    That is my own term. As an example, on the quilt I am currently making, I will stitch in the ditch edging my 12" blocks. This stabilizes the quilt a lot. I will then go back and FMQ outline the features in each block.
    Through many errors, I have found that it is very important to press the top and backing very well before I pin baste. I hate ironing, but there is no way around it. I use spray sizing to help the process. Having the surfaces well pressed and the pin basting really secure helps with all sorts of quilting. I especially noticed that my SitD went from ugly to nearly invisible. While I had a good teacher whom I miss greatly, I am hard headed and had to find some things out by experimentation.

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