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Thread: Dumb question

  1. #1
    Super Member meyert's Avatar
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    Dumb question

    When I was young my mom and I sat at her sewing machine and she showed me how to sew. She taught me that when I start and end to do the little forward and backward to lock the stitches. I just bought a new machine and it does call out a "lock stitch" My confusion comes from when I watch those quilting/sewing shows and videos. I have never seen them do reverse to lock the stitches. Many times they actually sew big strips and cut them..... so my question is: Do I need be concerned about forward and backward to lock the ends?

  2. #2
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    I don't "lock" my stitches, but after I'm done with my top I do a 1/4" stay stitch around the top.

  3. #3
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    I do use the backstitch on the outside end seams of some blocks or the last border of the quilt. On the seams inside of the quilt, I don't since they will all have another row of stitching going over them in the opposite direction. On some patterns like an 8 point star, you can even remove the stitches in the center to swirl the seam allowances to reduce bulk when the eight points meet in the center. No back stitches also saves time when you have to reverse sew.

  4. #4
    Power Poster erstan947's Avatar
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    I never "lock" or back stitch. It has done me well over the years

  5. #5
    Super Member hperttula123's Avatar
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    I dont do the locking stitches when I'm making quilt tops. After I am done with the whole top, I do sew all the way around my quilt top about 1/4 inch around the edge. I've never had an issue with seams coming undone. Hope that helps.
    enjoy your life...it's the only one you have!!!
    Heather

  6. #6
    Power Poster feline fanatic's Avatar
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    The backstitch or lockstitch is mostly for garment construction. As others have posted, most peicing except your very last borders will have another line of stitching crossing a previously constructed seam which basically "locks" your stitching in place. If you find your stitches are easily unraveling beyond your 1/4" seam allowance in your block units just shorten your stitch length a bit and you will be just fine.

    BTW there are no "dumb" questions. It is always wise and smart to question, how else will you learn or discover other options?

  7. #7
    Super Member meyert's Avatar
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    Thank you so much for all of your responses. It does make sense that the lockstitch would apply more to garments than quilting... I am sure that is what my mom was working on when she showed me.

  8. #8
    Senior Member germanquilter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pocoellie View Post
    I don't "lock" my stitches, but after I'm done with my top I do a 1/4" stay stitch around the top.
    That is exactly what I do

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by meyert View Post
    When I was young my mom and I sat at her sewing machine and she showed me how to sew. She taught me that when I start and end to do the little forward and backward to lock the stitches. I just bought a new machine and it does call out a "lock stitch" My confusion comes from when I watch those quilting/sewing shows and videos. I have never seen them do reverse to lock the stitches. Many times they actually sew big strips and cut them..... so my question is: Do I need be concerned about forward and backward to lock the ends?

    no quilting do not require a lock stitch.

    No question is dumb!

  10. #10
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    i only do the lockstitch on the quilting of the quilt, not the piecing
    Nancy in western NY
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  11. #11
    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
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    As the (self-proclaimed) "laziest quilter in town", I never back/lock stitch.
    However, because I also often do not finish my tops right away (told you I was lazy!), I stay stitch about 1/8" in all the way around the top (within the seam allowance for the binding) to prevent the seams from coming apart as it is handled.

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  12. #12
    Super Member snipforfun's Avatar
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    I use mostly polyester -So Fine. Poly tends to unravel at the end of a row. I sew about 1/4" off the end. Lock stitching is hard to frog stitch!

  13. #13
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    No question is dumb - it is so much better to ask a question about something that puzzles us - at least that way we can find out why some do it this way and some do it that way. So many times in quilting there isn't one "correct" way to do something - I can think of at least 6 different ways to do 1/2 square triangles for instance - you just pick what works best for you.

  14. #14
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    I don't use the lock stitch very often as it leaves a little knot on the back. I do back stitch when I do garment sewing but not when quilting as most of the seams are stitched over and that catches the end. When I'm sewing the last border, I may backstitch it as it helps to hold everything as you are handling it quite a bit getting it sandwiched, etc.
    Alice the quilter

  15. #15
    Junior Member RGAY's Avatar
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    Once again, I have learned something from this board of amazing quilters! It never dawned on me to stitch all the way around a completed top to hold the end seams..... brilliant!

    And Meyert, I think the only dumb question is the one not asked.... because you raised the question, I now don't have to ask it! Most questions are pondered by many but raised by only a few! Thanks for bringing it up!

  16. #16
    Super Member Buckeye Rose's Avatar
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    The backstitching for garments is important because the fabrics and seams will get pulled and tugged on quite a bit, causing the seams to come undone if not back stitched. The many seams in pieced quilt tops are secured by all the cross seams, and then once again by the actual quilting itself. The quilting holds all the layers in place so there is no stress on the seams. I also stitch around the edge of the completed top....it secures all the seams and also helps prevent stretching/distortion of pieces while sandwiching/quilting.

    Feel free to ask as many questions as you need....we have all been there, done that....it's how we learn!

  17. #17
    Power Poster solstice3's Avatar
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    I don't back stitch

  18. #18
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    I do what works.if this works for you then go for it.no quilt police here.

  19. #19
    Super Member ArtsyOne's Avatar
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    Never a dumb question - without it I wouldn't have known about sewing all around the outside edge of a quilt to hold the stitching, and I've been sewing for more years than I care to count.
    A fabric stash is always missing that one fabric needed to finish the quilt on which you're working.

  20. #20
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    I was told that for every question asked, there are probably 10 people who wanted to know but did not ask.

    The only time I backstitch is for partial seams. Especially when needing a "turning hole" like in birthing a quilt or turning a purse/tote. There are also several block patterns which require a partial seam.

  21. #21
    Super Member cat-on-a-mac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuiltnNan View Post
    i only do the lockstitch on the quilting of the quilt, not the piecing
    I was just getting ready to post this same comment. When I'm just doing machine quilting (not FMQ) and can't start my stitching "off" the quilt top, I use my machine's lock stitch option, which locks at the beginning and end of the sewn line. Then I can just clip off the threads w/o having to bury the ends.
    Cathy

  22. #22
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    I am sure someone already said this, but I don't lock patchwork, because the next row usually crosses and locks the seam for me, though I do lock the borders rows.
    If you quilt fast enough, does it count as aerobic exercise? Bernice Manning

  23. #23
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    I sometimes backstitch a couple 3-4.

  24. #24
    Member teric's Avatar
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    I also stay stitch 1/4 " around..

  25. #25
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    I almost never lockstitch when I'm piecing. Most seams cross over other seams so there's no need. As others have said, I also staystitch around the perimeter of the quilt when I'm finished. Kind of makes sure it holds together until I bind it.

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