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Thread: Machine Quilting - How do you Start & Stop your rows?

  1. #1
    Super Member Quiltgranny's Avatar
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    Hi Everyone,

    I'm curious to know what method of Starting and Stopping your rows works best for you when you're machine quilting? Some folks do a Lock Stitch, others tack it with a forward/back/forward stitching while still others start out with a teeny tiny stitch and gradually increase their stitch width and vice versa for the end of a row. Recently, I've learned of those who "bury" their thread tails with needle and thread afterward.

    I've done all of the above, and each one seems to have it's own "issues" - some cause thread bulk, others appear unsightly. Increasing and decreasing stitch length require me to remember to do so and burying takes a lot of time and is painful for my hands, although the results are awesome! Any recommendations or thoughts? Maybe I'm doing something wrong and just need to keep plugging along at it.

    Confused in CO

  2. #2
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    I like to sew 6-8 stitches in the seamline and then move onto the quilts surface. :D:D:D

  3. #3
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    i do one of 2 things either the tiny stitches some place that they won't be noticed and if this is just not an option i bury the threads in the quilt sandwich.

  4. #4
    Super Member Tiffany's Avatar
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    It honestly depends on what I am doing as to which method I use. If I plan on the quilt being put into a show, I will knot and bury the threads. If it is for a table runner or something similar, I will either start and stop with very tiny stitches or run the stitching backwards for a couple stitches. If it's a baby quilt or lap quilt that will get a lot of washing and love, I will usually do a reverse stitch to lock the threads in place. I know, not very helpful! :lol:

  5. #5
    Super Member Quiltgranny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amma
    I like to sew 6-8 stitches in the seamline and then move onto the quilts surface. :D:D:D
    Now, that's an interesting way to start. :wink: I would never have thought of that. But, how do you secure your beginning and ending stitches? Inquiring minds would love to know. :lol: Thanks,

  6. #6
    Super Member Quiltgranny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kluedesigns
    i do one of 2 things either the tiny stitches some place that they won't be noticed and if this is just not an option i bury the threads in the quilt sandwich.
    Today, I had to bury them as I was quilting what I'd call a starburst design that started and stopped on the background - not at or by any seams. This did seam to be the best approach for this particular design. Thanks Klue.

  7. #7
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    I do a few tiny stitches and then move on to FMQ.

  8. #8
    Super Member Quiltgranny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiffany
    It honestly depends on what I am doing as to which method I use. If I plan on the quilt being put into a show, I will knot and bury the threads. If it is for a table runner or something similar, I will either start and stop with very tiny stitches or run the stitching backwards for a couple stitches. If it's a baby quilt or lap quilt that will get a lot of washing and love, I will usually do a reverse stitch to lock the threads in place. I know, not very helpful! :lol:
    Yes Tiffany, you're very helpful because there are a variety of situations we find ourselves in. :thumbup: I really appreciate you explaining why you use what stitches for different projects. Thanks so much!

  9. #9
    Super Member Quiltgranny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by littlehud
    I do a few tiny stitches and then move on to FMQ.
    Thanks. I haven't learned to FMQ yet, but am practicing. :wink:

  10. #10
    Google Goddess craftybear's Avatar
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    lots of cool information on this thread, thanks

  11. #11
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quiltgranny
    Quote Originally Posted by amma
    I like to sew 6-8 stitches in the seamline and then move onto the quilts surface. :D:D:D
    Now, that's an interesting way to start. :wink: I would never have thought of that. But, how do you secure your beginning and ending stitches? Inquiring minds would love to know. :lol: Thanks,
    They are protected in the seam line, and I don't think they would unravel. Your seams don't come unraveled, and these stitches aren't getting as much stress put on them. The stitches from the binding cross over them and that also helps to stop them from coming undone :D:D:D

  12. #12
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    I have done different methods. Lock stitch, run it into a seamline, and my favorite is to start and stop at the edge of the quilt so the ends are enclosed in the binding.

  13. #13
    Senior Member gail-r's Avatar
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    I agree, it depends on what you are quilting, how it is going to be used and what method of quilting you are doing. If I am doing ditch work, I use a smaller needle and usually backstitch to start and stop. If I am doing a fill design, I also try to start in a seam and will backstitch is I am using a walking foot or a regular foot, but... if I am doing FM then I usually just do 5 or 6 very tiny stitches. Also, sometimes the fabric makes it easier to do one method over another. I'm currently quilting some large borders on a king size quilt that is brown with some tiny flowers and blue and rust colored grid lines. I found that is I use some embroidery thread that is a bit darker than the lines on the border, just do walking foot quilting I can start in a bit and then do 2 back stitches and it is not at all noticiable.

    But then if the project you are working on has any posibility of being entered into a show,fair or anywhere, where it will be judged you will want to knot and bury. I sort of learned this the hard way, and have to say that it is a bitter pill to swallow when backstitching keeps one of your star quilts out of the competition.

    Good luck, i'm sure you will pick the right method for your project. I find it interesting that many of us use several methods.

  14. #14
    Member mc2fran's Avatar
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    I found that if I hold the fabric back at the start of a line of stitching, the stitches are very small. Then I don't have to fiddle with the stitch length control. In other words, have a tug of war with the feed dogs.

    The trick to burying threads is to use a self threading needle. If you don't have much thread tail, sew the needle in first, before you thread it.

    Work from the back, knot the two threads together, and stitch them back into the last hole they came from. Run the needle through the batting (between the layers) until the knot pops into the fabric. Come up and cut off the thread right there.

  15. #15
    Super Member Rachelcb80's Avatar
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    I take a few inches of stitches forward, following whatever design I'm quilting, then go back and bury the thread tails with a self threading needle. Resume quilting and end the same way. I do this for all my projects as I think it looks the nicest.

  16. #16
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    My Pfaff has a lock stitch for beginning and ending and that's what I use almost exclusively.

  17. #17
    Super Member Kitsie's Avatar
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    I like to pull the bobbin thread up to the top and do 4 or 5 teeny stitches. Sometimes I'll do teenies before I turn a corner, too.

  18. #18
    Super Member Quiltgranny's Avatar
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    These are all such terrific ideas!! I've sure learned a lot from reading all of these posts.

    Thanks everyone,

    Karla

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