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Thread: 2 Questions About Backing/Bobbin Thread

  1. #1
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    2 Questions About Backing/Bobbin Thread

    Hi - Two questions for y'all, please. (1) If you are using a different color bobbin thread on the longarm than the top, will it show through on quilt top? I have always used the same color. (2) My friend makes T-shirt quilts. She does not like a seam on the back, so she buys blankets at Wal-Mart. One brand that she uses is totally fine. When it is a big T-shirt quilt, that brand will not work so she buys another one so that I will have the extra inches I need on the long-arm, and that particular blanket has long fibers on the back that seemed to find their way through the needle holes a tad to the quilt top. I did not like it, but she is okay with it. Does fleece come in a 108 width? I could not find any. What about flannel? Does it knot up after a while? Anything else in 108 width that is like fleece? Is there a remedy for long fibers coming through. It's only that particular blanket that I have had trouble with.
    Thanks,
    LaDonna

  2. #2
    Super Member Pam S's Avatar
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    I've never backed a quilt with fleece so I can't help you there. But as to using different color bobbin thread: if you have your tension adjusted right, you shouldn't get any bobbin thread showing on the top. Just remember if the bobbin thread does show on top then your top tension is too tight so you need to either loosen your top tension or tighten your bobbin tension.
    People will see your quilts long after you're gone - NOT your housework!

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    Super Member quiltedsunshine's Avatar
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    I've tried to use two thread colors that are different colors on top and bottom, and the bobbin always comes through to the top. So I just use the same color top and bottom.

    I've never used fleece for a quilt back. There are several companies that make 108" wide, 100% cotton quilt backs. Shannon Cuddle makes 90" wide minky. I have had the minky come through to the top. My more experienced quilting friends say it migrates back to the back with use and washing. I sure hope so.
    Annette in Utah

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    Power Poster feline fanatic's Avatar
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    If your tension is set correctly you will not get "pokies" which are the little dots of the bobbin thread you see when it is a completely different color (or you may see pokies of your top thread on the back). I have done both, matched the backing and not the top thread or vice-versa. Personally I love the look of high contrast thread so I prefer to match or come as closely as possible to the same color thread as I am using in the top. One thing that helps with pokies is to use as small a needle size as you can for the type thread you are using. My go to needle size is a 14 for most of my longarming. Next most frequently used size is a 16. I rarely use an 18, even for King tut. I have never used any of the larger sizes.

    Regarding your experience with the fleecy blanket from walmart. I have seen those. I think they more closely resemble a high pile minky than fleece. I too have had Minky fibers migrate to the top and nothing I did stopped it from happening. I have had other Minky behave just fine. I have talked to several other longarmers and they feel it is the nature of the beast and any time you use a high pile fabric on the backing like Minkee or the blanket you described you run the risk of it happening. Nothing I did alleviated the problem I had with one that was high pile and textured too. I tried smaller needle, larger needle, W&N batting which is pretty dense. Nothing stopped it. If your client is ok with it, I wouldn't worry about it but I agree with you, I thought it looked horrible and convinced my client to change backings.

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    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    sometimes, if the bobbin thread shows just a smidge, when the quilt is washed, those will disappear into the center of the quilt sandwich,.
    Nancy in western NY
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    Missouri Star Quilt Company has great 108" fleece backing. Good quality and nice selection of colors/patterns. I've used it when quilting on my home machine and my longarmer likes it also.

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    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by feline fanatic View Post
    I think they more closely resemble a high pile minky than fleece. I too have had Minky fibers migrate to the top and nothing I did stopped it from happening. I have had other Minky behave just fine. I have talked to several other longarmers and they feel it is the nature of the beast and any time you use a high pile fabric on the backing like Minkee or the blanket you described you run the risk of it happening. Nothing I did alleviated the problem I had with one that was high pile and textured too.
    Feline, I wonder if you happen to remember which particular brands of the Minkee-style fabric you used. Minkee is a brand name for that style/texture of fabric; Cuddle is another brand name. I find a many people use "Minkee" the same way they use "Kleenex" or "Xerox". I'd like to know which brand(s) are the good quality ones.

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    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    I’ve used wide flannels to back many quilts. I purchase most of my wide backing from fabric dot com.
    i very seldom use the same thread top and bobbin with my long arm. My backings are usually different from the top, as long as your tension is balanced the bobbin thread does not show on the top.
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

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    Super Member grann of 6's Avatar
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    I nearly always use a different color bobbin thread than the top thread on my Avante, and never have any problem with it coming through, unless it is black or red in the bobbin and white on top. And I find it does sink into the quilt when washed.

    I did see at one time that Joann had a wide fleece. I have used fleece for backing, but found it sagged when on the longarm. I just don't like minkee, don't like the feel of it in my hands so I don't use it at all, too linty also to suit me. But flannel backings are great. I used a flannel sheet for one I did for my son.

  10. #10
    Power Poster feline fanatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peckish View Post
    Feline, I wonder if you happen to remember which particular brands of the Minkee-style fabric you used. Minkee is a brand name for that style/texture of fabric; Cuddle is another brand name. I find a many people use "Minkee" the same way they use "Kleenex" or "Xerox". I'd like to know which brand(s) are the good quality ones.
    Peckish, I can't be positive as my client provided it. I did specifically ask her if it was a store brand Minky style or the actual brand name from Shannon. She said it was the brand name. It was extremely high piled and had an embossed design in the nap that looked like brick work.
    One that I bought myself and tried and had no issues with I know was Shannon name brand Minky. It was not as high a pile and had no embossing. That one I had no issues with.
    So I'm not sure if it was because of the high pile of the embossed one that caused the issue.

  11. #11
    Super Member Ariannaquilts's Avatar
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    I bought 108 inch flannel from Joann's years ago, actually it must have been bigger than 108 because it was a king size quilt. That was when the flannel was better quality. Just an FYI Marshalls is selling the 108 for $7.99 a yard, I just love their fabrics.
    Maria
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    Very true. I toss a finished quilt in the drier with a wet towel and "steam" the quilt. Most of the time the "pokies" disappear.
    A quilt is like a good life. It's full of mistakes, but, in the end, it looks pretty good.

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    Thank you all! I just love this board - good, fast answers! I used a different color bobbin on my longarm for the first time ... and, it did Not show through. Yay Also, for some reason, this long-fibered blanket did not show through. Not sure what that was about other than the other one using that blanket was done with light lavender sashing, and it was a darker gray blanket and this time it is a red sashing. Maybe the darker color keeps it from showing. Anymore, it looks great. I did the diagnoal plaid from Urban Elementz on the T-shirt quilt. Thanks everyone again!
    Last edited by QuiltnNan; 04-18-2019 at 04:03 AM. Reason: shouting/all caps

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