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Thread: Do you use a serger for any quilting?

  1. #1
    Super Member Charleen DiSante's Avatar
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    Do you use a serger for any quilting?

    Would a serger be a good thing to have for quilting? Do you have a recommendation about a serger?
    Charlie DiSante

  2. #2
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    I used a serger on a couple of quilts. Honestly, I do not recommend it. It is difficult to piece precisely with a serger, and there is substantially more thread build-up in the seams that shows up when you go to iron. I do not even like to use it to serge edges on a quilt because it is so easy to not do it straight, plus I do not like the harder edge the thread build-up gives to the finished binding.

  3. #3
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    I use a serger to overcast raw edges before washing the fabrics.

    I also use it for finishing seams when I make quilted bags.

    Some of them are easier to thread than others.
    Last edited by bearisgray; 11-03-2015 at 08:19 PM.

  4. #4
    Power Poster ManiacQuilter2's Avatar
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    I agree with Prism99. Bought one and found the seams to be too bulky. The only reason I still have mine is a serge the doggie beds.
    A Good Friend, like an old quilt, is both a Treasure and a Comfort

  5. #5
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    I have used the serger for the following: flatlocking to join large pieces of leftover batting, serging the raw edges of a quilt top, adding the binding to the quilted top, serging large pieces of fabric together for a backing, piecing squares together into a "fabric" before layering it with batting/backing to cut up for a fun quilted jacket and making a pillowcase to match a lap quilt.

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    I have done 2 king sized log cabin quilts with my serger, very fast and accurate.

  7. #7
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    I love using my serger for so many things including quilting. I've made a couple including a QAYG one. You can also do decrotive stitching too with it. You can chose how many spools of thread you use and there are several options when it comes to stitches. I have a Babylock Ovation. Nancy Zieman has a book about making quilts with a serger along with some you tube videos. My next quilt I'm going to quilt with my latest toy, my Babylock Sashiko 2.
    Judy

  8. #8
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    I made a LC quilt with my serger and it turned out fine. However, I don't think I'd ever use a serger again for a guilt. I just fee it's over kill and a waste of thread. I sew clothes from time to time and I'd never want to not have a serger to finish off those seams, it makes the seams look so nice! But if you have a machine that came with a nice amount of machine feet you may find that it has an overcast foot or it may be called by another name (edge foot maybe) that will zig a stitch going off the edge of the fabric then zag back onto the fabric and will leave a stitch that encases the edge so it won't ravel. I use mine when I'm too lazy to change the color of the thread on the serger when a thread change would really matter.

  9. #9
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    I too love using my serger for all my quilts. I use 4 threads because I like the double straight stitch as extra security. When directing seaming blocks together, you do have to watch but I don't think that is much different from any other machine. I have a Babylock Evolve and an industrial serger and favor the industrial by far. If you have the room for a 48" table and the muscle to bring it too the right spot that is the machine I would suggest. I did buy the industrial machine off Craigslist for $400 and added a Servo motor for another $200 which is a far cry from what I paid for the Babylock and would never look back! Not much goes wrong with either machine but I have so much more versatility with the industrial for far less money. I have had to bring it in once in four years but other then that no problems. I use it for curtains, prewashing fabric, doll mattress for a baby buggy and blankets too match, edging wool blankets, finishing the edges of awnings for my husband's camper, upholstery work and the list goes on and on! I have 6 industrial machines and am happy with each and everyone of them but do have 1/3 of our basement as one of my sewing rooms. They are all vintage machines and ranged in price from $100-$400 plus the servo motors but they do so much more then the home machines if you have the room. Just finished the Double Irish Chain quilt top all of which was done on the serger. I also have a longarm machine and only have problems with going over the seams once in a while which can happen with straight stitched seams too. Wouldn't finish my quilts any other way! Good luck on your decision.

  10. #10
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    I have a friend who makes quilted table cloths. She serges the seams on them, because unlike a bed quilt, they are washed much more frequently. She feels the serged seams will hold up better in the long run. I have not noticed bulk from the extra thread when sitting at her table.

    If I was making a beach or play quilt, I would do the same. Serge the seams, so they can better handle the wear and tear.

    mtpockets, god information about the industrial machines. The occasionally come up for sale around here. Do they need extra power to run?
    Attending University. I will graduate a year after my son and year before my daughter.

  11. #11
    Super Member Stitchnripper's Avatar
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    I made a few QAYG quilts for the grandkids to play on and used the serger. It was easy and they are holding up well. I just put the piece of backing under the body of the quilt and the batting and top fabric on top and serged and then brought everything to the right and did it again. I could use up pieces of batting. My strips were between about 4 and 7 inches wide.
    Alyce

  12. #12
    Super Member QuiltnLady1's Avatar
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    I have a friend who uses a regular machine to piece blocks, then reinforces the seams by surging them -- she does this because her numerous grandchildren (and greats) are very hard on quilts and she wants them to last. I haven't tried this, but with only grandsons I will try it soon.
    QuiltnLady1

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  13. #13
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    I'd just do it all on the serger, it seems like an extra step that isn't needed. The other great thing about doing it on a serger is there is no bobbin thread so you never have to worry about stopping to fill and change them. Most sergers have a 1/4 in mark and 1/4in feet as well. I do totally understand the little ones are very hard on them.
    Judy

  14. #14
    Super Member Charleen DiSante's Avatar
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    Wow! thanks everyone for these posts. I am thankful for all your help.
    Charlie DiSante

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    There are machines that are 3 Phase and those do require 220 not regular house power. Mine are all regular plug ins and even if you buy one with a 3 Phrase motor all you need to do is buy a Servo motor that is regular house current and you are more then ready to go. They even have Servo motors that have the needle down but on the two machines I have that on it needed a special adapter so it would fit on the hand wheel, I'm lucky my cousin made them for me. If you would like pictures I will gladly put some on for you. The Servo motor makes the machines much more controlled. I did use the serger without the Servo for probably 2 years with the regular clutch motor but the difference is night and day for controlling your speed. I also do suggest if possible you buy a Singer as needles, manuals, blades etc are far more readily available. Mine is a Rimoldi and everything except for the knobs is available but manuals are not very good. I do have a 3 thread Singer serger that never lets me down, this was the first machine that started the industrial machine quest for both my cousin and myself. I had the 3 thread first but really wanted a 4 thread because of the double straight stitch. Let me know if you need any assistance as I will be happy to help!

  16. #16
    Super Member jitkaau's Avatar
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    Nancy Zieman and Kaye Wood each have videos on serger quilts. They are a good introduction for you. I sew on my serger more than I use my machines. I can do a nice chain stitch as variation to quilting. The only disadvantage is that most sergers do not have a large harp or throat for quilting. If you bought the new models with the wider harp you should have little difficulty.

  17. #17
    Super Member Sandygirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quilttiger View Post
    I have used the serger for the following: flatlocking to join large pieces of leftover batting, serging the raw edges of a quilt top, adding the binding to the quilted top, serging large pieces of fabric together for a backing, piecing squares together into a "fabric" before layering it with batting/backing to cut up for a fun quilted jacket and making a pillowcase to match a lap quilt.

    Great input!
    sandy
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  18. #18
    Senior Member mhollifiel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peggy Payson View Post
    I have done 2 king sized log cabin quilts with my serger, very fast and accurate.
    I have a queen sized log cabin I am going to be using as a wedding gift made on the serger. I used it in desperation when my sewing machine was overlong in the shop. And the serger did an amazing job!
    Holli
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  19. #19
    Senior Member newjeepgreen's Avatar
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    I also have an industrial overlocker and it is very good. I have done a few of Kay Woods quilt and they are a great and reversible.
    Every child is a story yet to be told

  20. #20
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    The best use of my serger was in serging the lining to the velvet of the princess design with sweetheart necklines of 10 bridesmaids dresses for the wedding of son #2's best friend. If you've ever worked with velvet, you'll have some idea how much fraying and fuzz the serging prevented. Nowadays, I use it for the quick making of dog beds for the shelter and finishing the edges of fabric for prewashing (I confess that I'm old-school about that). I wouldn't be without my serger when it comes to construction of garments with knit fabrics either.

  21. #21
    Super Member IBQUILTIN's Avatar
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    I use my serger to square up a quilt before binding. Makes it so much easier

  22. #22
    Super Member Jackie R's Avatar
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    I did make a couple of quilt as you go quilts with my serger - they're rather like a very large log cabin style that's a nice lap size. Turned out rather nice.

  23. #23
    Super Member Charleen DiSante's Avatar
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    Love the comments and appreciate your expertise.
    Charlie DiSante

  24. #24
    Power Poster lynnie's Avatar
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    I saw a quilt maybe over 20 yrs ago made with a serger. she made filled strips about 4" wide and sergered both long sides and encased the batting. then wove the strips. I always wanted to try something like that.
    put off till tomorrow what you can do today, and if you procrastinate long enough, you may never have to do it.

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