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Thread: Quilting: Inside to Outside, Or Outside to Inside?

  1. #1
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    Quilting: Inside to Outside, Or Outside to Inside?

    Do you quilt from the inside to the outside, or from the outside toward the center? Why?

    ~ C

  2. #2
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    I start in the center and work my way out, generally speaking. I have started on the outside and worked my way in before, only to end up with a slightly baggy center because things shifted (or maybe stretched) slightly despite being glue-basted.

    Plus the center is the hardest to reach, so I like to get that done first.

  3. #3
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    Start in the center. Any shifting will work its way to the edges. If you start on the outside you may end with too much or to little in the center

  4. #4
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    i agree with sewnoma
    Nancy in western NY
    before you speak T.H.I.N.K.
    T is it True? H is it Helpful? I is it Inspiring? N is it Necessary? K is it Kind?

    Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance.

  5. #5
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    I'm on a marathon of watching various classes right now and one of the teachers suggested that you should quilt from the outside in. "Interesting," I thought, since I always go from the center out. She works on a grid, using SITD on the boarders first, then the rows of blocks, always working toward the center. She does spray baste and set it with the iron, so the sandwich is very secure. I haven't finished the video, but so far, it appears that she doesn't have any issues with is puddling up in teh center. The reasons she does this is 1) you don't have a lot of bulk in the harp of the machine until you get to the center. 2) You assured that your borders are nice and straight, with no wavy edges.

    I haven't tried this method yet. I may try it on something small, like a pillow cover, or crib quilt and see how it works out.

    ~ Cindy

  6. #6
    Super Member ArtsyOne's Avatar
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    I usually start at one side and move vertically - seems to be easier on my old Kenmore that doesn't have a large harp, although I find myself quilting towards me on the first go-round and away from me on the second. Guess I'm just used to it.
    A fabric stash is always missing that one fabric needed to finish the quilt on which you're working.

  7. #7
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    I quilt from the center out to the edge.

  8. #8
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I start in the center, go down to bottom. Start in the center again, go to the top. Again start in center go to right edge. Again start in center, go out to left side. Then I quilt each quarter, always quilting next to quilting.
    After a couple hundred quilts it always works for me.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

  9. #9
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    I remeber hearing Barbara Barber from Great Britain speak at a guild meeting once. She said she'd start in a lower corner, perhaps right side and work her way across. She said where will judges' eyes go? To the center, first but not probably to a lower corner. This stuck with me since it seemed so unconventional at the time and she had won ribbons at major shows.

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    When I plan to do my quilt on my DSM, I glue baste the quilt and let it dry completely. I learned from Cindy Needham (and other) to stabilize with STID. I do that from the center out horizontally and vertically. I do it with the 100% cotton thread I plan to use on the back in the bobbin and an appropriate color of Bottom Line on the top. This completes a grid quilt. There will not be any moving in the grids. Then, I quilt wherever I choose. If I have a difficult motif in multiple places, I can do all the hard stuff and then go to easier stuff. I have done this on small and king sized pieces and it works well for me.

  11. #11
    Super Member Irishrose2's Avatar
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    I use the board method with pins and I quilt any place I please. I don't use a lot of pins, but nothing shifts as long as the back isn't fleece. Fleece seems to pull up somehow. I had to trim an inch off two Christmas quilts because the fleece was smaller than the top after it was quilted. Why? No puckers or full spots, so who knows.

  12. #12
    Senior Member QuiltingHaven's Avatar
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    Yes, I start in the center and work my way out. Doesn't matter if I am hand sewing or using the machine, I start in the middle and work my way out.
    Busy in Ohio

  13. #13
    Super Member jmoore's Avatar
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    Like Sewnoma and Quiltnan, I start from the center and work my way out...I would be curious to know what tutorials Tropit is watching that shows outside/in.
    attitude is everything...the rest will fall into place.

  14. #14
    Super Member Daylesewblessed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jingle View Post
    I start in the center, go down to bottom. Start in the center again, go to the top. Again start in center go to right edge. Again start in center, go out to left side. Then I quilt each quarter, always quilting next to quilting.
    After a couple hundred quilts it always works for me.
    That is basically the method that I use.

  15. #15
    Power Poster Boston1954's Avatar
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    I've always been told to start at the center to avoid bunching.
    Life is not a movie. No one is going to yell "CUT" when you make a mistake. - Anne L. Fulton

    I am from the South....39 miles south of Boston.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Kwiltr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tropit View Post
    I'm on a marathon of watching various classes right now and one of the teachers suggested that you should quilt from the outside in. "Interesting," I thought, since I always go from the center out. She works on a grid, using SITD on the boarders first, then the rows of blocks, always working toward the center. She does spray baste and set it with the iron, so the sandwich is very secure. I haven't finished the video, but so far, it appears that she doesn't have any issues with is puddling up in teh center. The reasons she does this is 1) you don't have a lot of bulk in the harp of the machine until you get to the center. 2) You assured that your borders are nice and straight, with no wavy edges.

    I haven't tried this method yet. I may try it on something small, like a pillow cover, or crib quilt and see how it works out.

    ~ Cindy
    I took this class too and have completed several large, including King sized, with this method without a ripple or a pucker in any. It has worked very well for me.

  17. #17
    Super Member copycat's Avatar
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    I spray baste the quilt sandwich first and then pin the four corners and a few along all four sides to insure the edges are taunt and won't come loose during the quilting process.

    I begin with stitching a plus sign down the center of the quilt if there are rows that allow me to stitch in the ditch. Now the quilt is divided into 4 sections. I will continue to sitd from the inside out using the plus sign is my guide until my rows of blocks are done. If there are borders, I sitd those last. I can quilt all over designs or individual blocks and not worry about shifting. I read this method on a blog years ago.

  18. #18
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    Hi jmore,

    I'm watching, "Small Machine, Big Quilts, Better Results," with Ann Petersen. I'm not finished watching it yet, but I think that I've gotten through the chapter explaining why she starts from the outside. Her idea is that she doesn't want to try to squeeze all that bulk of the quilt into the harp of the machine, like you would if you started in the center. She stablizes the whole thing first with stitch in the ditch, so each section is going to stay put, so no worries. This also leaves a straighter, outside edge because if started in the center, there might be some fabric pushed out to the sides and borders would be misshapen with all that quilting and shoving things around.

    I'm also taking another class with Marti Michell that explains techniques on how to divide the quilt up and quilt as you go, so you don't have to deal with all that bulk. With her method, you can also start your quilting anywhere you want.

    ~ C

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    I'm intrigued by the idea of setting the spray baste with the iron. Did she demonstrate any particular kind of spray? I may have to give this a try.

  20. #20
    Super Member Annie68's Avatar
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    From center out, you can smooth as you go to the outside.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by toverly View Post
    I'm intrigued by the idea of setting the spray baste with the iron. Did she demonstrate any particular kind of spray? I may have to give this a try.
    She did, but I don't recall the brands...sorry.

    ~ C

  22. #22
    Senior Member KathyJ's Avatar
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    I have a sit-down George by APQS with a 20" throat. I quilt from the inside towards outside. I usually quilt in quarters so there is not so much fabric to maneuver, especially if it is a larger quilt. I have done a queen size that way with no problems. Kathy

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    Inside toward ourside.

  24. #24
    Senior Member IAmCatOwned's Avatar
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    It depends a bit on what it is I am quilting but I usually start at one end and work to the other end instead of inside to outside. I am not trying to win awards - I don't see well enough to do very fine work. If you've basted enough, it shouldn't really matter where you start.

  25. #25
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    I cannot SITD; my work is too "wobbly" to look good.

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