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Thread: Do you serge around your quilt top before machine quilting?

  1. #1
    Super Member #1piecemaker's Avatar
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    Do you serge around your quilt top before machine quilting?

    I was just wondering how many of you serge around your quilt tops before you machine quilt. When I was down checking out longarms, the girl there serged around the quilt top I took to test drive the machine. She said that it would keep the seams from coming undone around the edges. Do any of you longarmers do this ?
    A finished quilt excites me!! Whether is it mine or yours!

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    Super Member DebraK's Avatar
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    I don't and my seams stay together just fine.
    I have chosen to be happy because it is good for my health - Voltaire

  3. #3
    Senior Member IAmCatOwned's Avatar
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    I know a lady who serges the quilt top - she's had issues where the stitching on pieced borders has spread or broken while the quilt was being handled (before being finished). This reinforces that edge and the results aren't seen since serging is less than 1/4 inch. I doubt she does it on a regular one fabric border quilt.

    I also know someone who serges the quilt sandwich before putting it on to quilt - she only does this for kid quilts though. You don't generally have the wavy border issue on a small quilt, so I can't see a problem with it. I know it's easier to attach the binding if the edges have either been serged or sewn down first. I did it once - I would do it again for a high loft batt, but not the typical low loft most of us use.

  4. #4
    Super Member Stitchnripper's Avatar
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    I think we might have had a thread recently on this, if you want to try the search feature.

  5. #5
    Senior Member AndiR's Avatar
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    Nope. I've quilted probably 800 - 900 customer quilts, and have never had one with a serged edge. Very occasionally I've had a top where the seams at the edges were coming undone, but that only seems to happen if the piecer used too long of a stitch length or handled the quilt very roughly. I also am careful not to overly tension the quilt top, so I haven't had problems on most quilts.

  6. #6
    Super Member #1piecemaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stitchnripper View Post
    I think we might have had a thread recently on this, if you want to try the search feature.
    I'll do a search and see what I can find out. Obviously I missed ir if there was.
    A finished quilt excites me!! Whether is it mine or yours!

  7. #7
    Super Member quiltsRfun's Avatar
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    I serge the top before sandwiching. Keeps the seams together and also helps prevent raveling.

  8. #8
    Super Member #1piecemaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndiR View Post
    Nope. I've quilted probably 800 - 900 customer quilts, and have never had one with a serged edge. Very occasionally I've had a top where the seams at the edges were coming undone, but that only seems to happen if the piecer used too long of a stitch length or handled the quilt very roughly. I also am careful not to overly tension the quilt top, so I haven't had problems on most quilts.
    Oh, my gosh! 800 to 900 hundred quilts!!! Amazing!!
    A finished quilt excites me!! Whether is it mine or yours!

  9. #9
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    I've serged around the outside edge, but actually did not like it. The added thread on the edge made the edge stiffer.

    What I do now is really different from what most people do. Instead of cutting the edge, I mark the edge with a Sharpie permanent marker -- on the side that I will be machine sewing my binding on. (If I mark on the opposite side, I just use a long machine stitch to stitch on top of the mark in a contrasting thread so I have a similar guide on the opposite side.) I sew on my binding just as if the marked line was my cutting line, including mitering the corners. Only after I have sewn the binding on do I cut the edges. That way all the seams are locked into the binding before I ever cut. The only thing to be careful about when cutting is to make sure I do not cut into the binding at the corners; you never want to "trim" the binding at the corners! (Do not ask me how I know this.)

    Above works really well for me. It even allows me to fine-tune, as I can re-mark if I end up with a line that isn't quite where it should be.

  10. #10
    Super Member TexasSunshine's Avatar
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    I won't ask what you meant by trimming the corners, but I probably did the same thing.
    Texas Sunshine, piney woods of NE Texas

  11. #11
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    Serging will add bulk and bulk is something I avoid.

  12. #12
    Super Member huntannette's Avatar
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    i do after it`s quilted before putting the binding on

  13. #13
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    It sounds like a lot more work, more handling of the quilt edges, uses up thread, and not necessary. If the seams at the edges are coming undone, it seems to me that there is something wrong with the way they're being sewn to start with. Maybe decrease the stitch length, or be more careful with handling, or back stitch? Why would they be coming apart at this stage of the quilt, and not also be a problem when piecing blocks together?

  14. #14
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    I stay stitch around the entire top before sending it off for longarming. Particulary if there is alot of piecing in the border that has been strip cut.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Chester the bunny's Avatar
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    I agree with Lori,

    I do a long machine basting stitch all around the top if it has many seams. Especially if I am not planning on quilting it right away. This way if it gets manhandled (folded / unfolded) many times then the seams won't come apart.

    Carole

  16. #16
    Super Member karenpatrick's Avatar
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    Don't own a serger.

  17. #17
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by #1piecemaker View Post
    I was just wondering how many of you serge around your quilt tops before you machine quilt. When I was down checking out longarms, the girl there serged around the quilt top I took to test drive the machine. She said that it would keep the seams from coming undone around the edges. Do any of you longarmers do this ?
    Not only do I not stitch the edges of my quilt top in any way, and never had any problem as a result, I would have been furious if some longarm salesperson serged a top I brought in to test out a machine!! Even if she asked me first, I'd have taken my top and walked out, never to return.
    The Earth without art is just "Eh".

  18. #18
    Super Member thepolyparrot's Avatar
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    I only serge around the edge after it's all quilted. I also serge the edges of the binding shut so that it can't shift and pucker while I'm sewing it on. The extra stitching makes the binding full - "stuffs" it nicely.

    I don't serge to keep the seams from coming undone - I serge to give myself a nice clean edge.

    I would not serge the sandwich before quilting - quilting does different things to fabric layers and you could end up with a big fold on the edge where the backing has drawn up more than the top. Then what do you do for more backing fabric? You'd have to take it all apart and un-sew the quilting far enough in to sew more backing fabric on there. This is just not a good idea - not for quilting on a regular domestic machine, anyway. Maybe you can get away with it on a longarm.

    But serging just the top? It's not going to hurt anything if she did a nice job of it. (Kept your 1/4" seams, sewed straight, etc.)

    It will help fill out the binding and it will keep your outer seams from coming undone. Perhaps you had a longer stitch length or some edges that were coming undone and she was concerned? She should have asked you first, but I wouldn't get too upset about it. If I didn't want her to do that, I would just ask her not to do it any more in the future. It's really no big deal if it's just the top.

  19. #19
    Super Member wolph33's Avatar
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    I do not serge-great idea-but I do a stay stitch all round the outside to keep stitches from coming out during the quilting.There is tension on the quilt and stay stitching keeps seams from coming apart on the ends and helps keep the top from pulling out of square also.
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/Upnorthcrafter

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