Go Back  Quiltingboard Forums > Main
Chain stitching >

Chain stitching

Chain stitching

Old 08-09-2013, 09:34 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Westland, Michigan
Posts: 43
Default Chain stitching

I'm a newbie in quilting. When I start to chain piece my thread gathers, when I cut them apart I have to resew the ends. Why is this?
LadyLuck is offline  
Old 08-09-2013, 09:52 AM
Super Member
jrhboxers's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Lexington Park, Maryland
Posts: 1,052

It usually helps to run off the fabric 3 or 4 stitches. This helps to 'lock' the stitch a little better. I just did a bunch of chain stitching last night. I have the starters and enders and I run 3 or 4 stitches between the pieces and the starters/enders. When I am doing the chain piecing and I am on the last rows and things, I will back stitch a bit on the edges. Usually when I know that that edge is going to be pulled on it with quilting and binding and such.
jrhboxers is offline  
Old 08-09-2013, 09:54 AM
Power Poster
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Western Wisconsin
Posts: 12,930

I think you mean chain piecing? Chain stitching refers to a different type of sewing machine.

It is probably being caused by unbalanced tension on your machine. If this is the case, either the top tension is too tight or the bottom tension is too tight. What kind of machine do you have? If it's not a drop-in bobbin, check out this Youtube video:
Even though it's for longarm machines, the same technique works really well for domestic machines. What you are aiming for is a balanced stitch with the stitches locking in the middle of the fabric.

If you have a drop-in bobbin, I assume you just have to use trial-and-error unless someone else on the QB can advise.

Meanwhile, if the problem persists, you can get around it by simply allowing a gap of about an inch between pieces (more if your pieces are large) as you sew. Cut the thread halfway between and there should be enough thread for the gathering to smooth out without the ends coming undone.
Prism99 is offline  
Old 08-09-2013, 10:13 AM
Power Poster
Join Date: May 2009
Location: NY
Posts: 10,568

My first guess is your stitch length is too long. Try shortening it.
feline fanatic is offline  
Old 08-09-2013, 10:23 AM
Power Poster
nativetexan's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: home again, after 27 yrs!
Posts: 19,388

use at least a 2.2 or a bit smaller.
nativetexan is offline  
Old 08-09-2013, 11:14 AM
Super Member
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Pacific NW
Posts: 7,639

I usually hold both threads for the first 2 or 3 stitches. And I agree with the previous advice from others - shorten your stitch length a bit, pull the previous piece out just a hair, and know that it's okay and normal for one or two stitches to be loose or pull out on a section you just sewed. Quilting is different from garment sewing in that a lot of quilters don't bother to backstitch.
Peckish is offline  
Old 08-09-2013, 01:04 PM
Super Member
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: howell, Mi
Posts: 2,345

It took me a couple of years to stop back stitching when I first started quilting. It was a habit from sewing garments. It's amazing how quickly you form a habit and how long it takes to break the habit.
susie-susie-susie is offline  
Old 08-19-2013, 06:23 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Woburn, MA
Posts: 708

Try making your stitches smaller. I just butt each piece up to the next (with no extra thread between) and never have any problems. Good luck!
Donnamarie is offline  
Related Topics
Thread Starter
Last Post
10-07-2014 04:43 AM
10-03-2013 07:09 PM
01-11-2010 07:40 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

FREE Quilting Newsletter

SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.