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Thread: Stippling

  1. #1
    Super Member montanajan's Avatar
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    A recent thread spoke about learning to stipple. I read the answers, & now have questions from others' answers:

    I'm not good at stippling either - do wish to learn though.
    Please help me out here -
    1) what IS a stitch regulator?
    2) Someone mentioned spraying bed of machine with Pledge to make it smooth - does the fabric pick up some of the Pledge oils?
    3) Another mentioned creating a smooth surface with freezer paper - do you tape it all over, just in a small area by the machine - in other words, how is it used?
    4) What is a supreme slider?
    5)Also, what IS a stippling stitch built into a sewing machine?
    Thanks - I know someone out there can help me understand.

  2. #2
    Super Member Carron's Avatar
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    my sewing machine is very old I don't do any of the things mentioned but just make sure that the extended portion of your quilt is well supported so that it is not pulling against the needle section. Keep you machine running at a fast pace, start at the bottom right and work your way up and toward the left. This gives you visual aid as to where you are while working the quilt. Move the quilt slowly at first to get comfortable but keep the machine at a fast rate. There are special gloves you can purchase which help hold the quilt, ( I can't work with them myself but many do.) Start on a practice material until you feel comfortable. It really is easy.

  3. #3
    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    It's show time for me, too, and I feel the same way you do. I just bought a machine I can drop the feeds on, so now I have no excuse. I will be watching this thread. Maybe we can learn something together. There was a post a while back about using a oven liner from Bed, Bath & Beyond instead of the pricey slider. Sounds like it might work. I think I will roll up my quilt and start in the center like I do to stitch in the ditch. Tomorrow, I am going to make a fake potholder - just draw some lines and see what happens.
    My LQS has a class this week. If my practice runs are terrible, I may have to go.

  4. #4
    Super Member Annya's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by irishrose
    It's show time for me, too, and I feel the same way you do. I just bought a machine I can drop the feeds on, so now I have no excuse. I will be watching this thread. Maybe we can learn something together. There was a post a while back about using a oven liner from Bed, Bath & Beyond instead of the pricey slider. Sounds like it might work. I think I will roll up my quilt and start in the center like I do to stitch in the ditch. Tomorrow, I am going to make a fake potholder - just draw some lines and see what happens.
    My LQS has a class this week. If my practice runs are terrible, I may have to go.
    I found that I have more control by NOT dropping the feed dogs. The stitches are more uniform except where I forgot to check where the quilt falls off the table. I will be doing QAYG for the next few quilts especially if they are large ones. It can be a bit fiddley but worth it ion the long run.

  5. #5
    Super Member woody's Avatar
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    I just did a FMQ course today and some of the tips were, stippling is acually harder than some of the other quilting designs like teardrops as there is no stopping place where you can pause and work out where you want to go next.
    Practice Practice Practice!!! LOL
    A stitch regulator regulates the speed of your machine depending on how fast you move your fabric, a handy tool but not necessary once you practice.
    I would like something to make the fabric slide easier as I have a home made quilting table and although it's smooth the fabric doesn't slide as easy as the bought tables.

  6. #6
    Super Member ScubaK's Avatar
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    You drop the feed dogs and use a "darning" foot or "hopping" foot...
    One of the greatest things that I have found is that I increase my quilting area size...by skooching the ironing board up to my sewing desk/table...I then put a vinyl table cloth on the surface, this allows my quilt to move much more smoothly when I free motion quilt...
    Kirsten

  7. #7
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    Hi Sounds like you are off to a good start. The only thing I can say is practice and not a big piece of fabric (12 x 12) The machine I learned to quilt on does not have the regulator or did I use any of the methods for a slick surface. (Didn't know these hints) You need to drop your feed dogs so you can slide smooth and get an even stitch on both sides of your fabric. I learned to practice by drawing what I want to stitch - so I keep a cheap sketch pad with when I watch my favorite tv show or waiting for kids/dr. Just doodle. It works for me. I can't tell you how important it is to practice and remember Rome was not built in a day. Happy quilting.

  8. #8
    Super Member QultingaddictUK's Avatar
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    I do a lot of FMQ and once I got the hang of it love it, it makes quilting so much faster and gives a lovely look to the finished quilt.

    To drop, or not, the Feed dogs is an individual choice, you don't have to and as one member has already said you can get more control and even stitches by not doing so. I sometimes forget and don't find any difference.

    I ALWAYS always start off a new FMQ quilting with a cleaned machine, new needle and polish the top of my table and machine. Their is no oil or colour in modern silicone based polishes like Pledge and it helps so much in moving the quilt.

    There are no rules with stippling it is an individual choice and the only way to learn is to jump in with both feet and go for it. You do NOT have to have any special machines or gadgets, my favourite machine for FMQ is my old Singer as it is heavy n stable and the stitch I get from it is fabulous.

    My first attempts at FMQ where on Totes and placemats as I found practising on odd bits of fabrics boring and because they were a project I enjoyed doing them. I still have my first Tote that I did it on and to me it looks fine. :thumbup:

  9. #9
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    1) a stitch regulator is a device connected to your machine that *regulates* (keeps the stitches all the same size) regardless of how fast/slow you stitch.
    2)yes, pledge will leave a (nice, waxy residue) on your fabric. it washes out though
    3)just the top, throat space, feed dog area
    4)a supreme slider is a piece of (plastic? i don't think they are plastic i think it's silicone) that some people have found makes moving your quilt sandwich around easier.
    5)some machines come with a number of decorative stitches...including a stipple stitch, you would select the stitch and just sew, the machine makes the design.
    6) stippling is not a difficult stitch but can be time consuming if doing a small stipple on a large area. the only (rule) i know of concerning stippling is NO LINE TOUCHES OR CROSSES. if your lines touch/cross you are meandering not stippling. start on small projects until you get the hang of it and work your way up to larger and larger and just have fun with it.

    Quote Originally Posted by montanajan
    A recent thread spoke about learning to stipple. I read the answers, & now have questions from others' answers:

    I'm not good at stippling either - do wish to learn though.
    Please help me out here -
    1) what IS a stitch regulator?
    2) Someone mentioned spraying bed of machine with Pledge to make it smooth - does the fabric pick up some of the Pledge oils?
    3) Another mentioned creating a smooth surface with freezer paper - do you tape it all over, just in a small area by the machine - in other words, how is it used?
    4) What is a supreme slider?
    5)Also, what IS a stippling stitch built into a sewing machine?
    Thanks - I know someone out there can help me understand.
    :D

  10. #10
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    Great answers, I'm learning a lot here. One thing I'll add is that most domestic sewing machines (not long arms or high end embroidery machines) that have a "stipple stitch" produce a 5-9mm wide stippled strip. It's a cute, fun, deco stitch. It does work for quilting through the layers. But it is so small that if you were to try to use it to fill backgrounds, you'd *go crazy *spend hours and miles of thread *end up with cardboard. It's small a close. I have a few stitches like this on my machine and when I use them to quilt a thin strip it's so closely quilted that it's stiff and very flat. Cute and useful on minis. I hope I've explained well.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by woody
    I just did a FMQ course today and some of the tips were, stippling is acually harder than some of the other quilting designs like teardrops as there is no stopping place where you can pause and work out where you want to go next.
    Practice Practice Practice!!! LOL
    A stitch regulator regulates the speed of your machine depending on how fast you move your fabric, a handy tool but not necessary once you practice.
    I would like something to make the fabric slide easier as I have a home made quilting table and although it's smooth the fabric doesn't slide as easy as the bought tables.
    I also had a homemade table (to fit my disability) before I got the longarm. To make the top very smooth, I took those 12" self-sticking floor tiles and put them on the top. Worked like a charm! The top was smoother than a baby's bottom :)

    Just an idea...
    Debbie in Austin

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maia B
    Great answers, I'm learning a lot here. One thing I'll add is that most domestic sewing machines (not long arms or high end embroidery machines) that have a "stipple stitch" produce a 5-9mm wide stippled strip. It's a cute, fun, deco stitch. It does work for quilting through the layers. But it is so small that if you were to try to use it to fill backgrounds, you'd *go crazy *spend hours and miles of thread *end up with cardboard. It's small a close. I have a few stitches like this on my machine and when I use them to quilt a thin strip it's so closely quilted that it's stiff and very flat. Cute and useful on minis. I hope I've explained well.
    Mine was like that too. I never could use it for real quilting stippling, like you would do all over on a quilt top (like I do on the longarm now). But, I finally read something that helped me to make the stipple pattern well...think of it, and draw it with the thread, like dog bones!

    That's all a stipple is - the shape. So, if you draw a bunch of dog bones, in all directions - you've got it. And it looks wonderful! I got a lot of compliments in Houston on this, and I think it's the easiest way to make the 'stipple' shape. Practice drawing in different directions on paper first, then move to quilt.

    Hope this helps,
    Debbie in Austin

  13. #13
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    if you are one who does not drop feed dogs just remember that the feed dogs are tring to pull the fabric forward and back when you want to go left and right. I would think this might damage the bottom of the fabric.

  14. #14
    Super Member sewcrafty's Avatar
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    I was just playing with this yesterday and I had a moment :idea: You know those teflon sheets that you use with your iron for applique. I had an old one, cut a hole for the needle to go through and taped it down on the machine. It actually worked very well.

  15. #15
    Super Member QultingaddictUK's Avatar
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    I don't think it matters on the pattern, at first, just to get it quilted is a really good feeling.

    One of my pupils said her first attempt looked like "turds" :!: and her second like "fried eggs", all I saw was a nicely FMQ quilt, who cares what the pattern is :-D

  16. #16
    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    I'm enjoying reading this. As far as dropping the feeds, the day my 301 arrived, I was playing with her and was able to slide the fabric around easily with the feed dogs engaged, so I may try it with them first. My Elna has an adjustable pressure foot and the feeddogs do not drop. It does adjust beautifully to heavy leather or silk organza, but it never allows the fabric any freedom.

    At this time, I am not interested in stippling, but meandering. I need to learn my quilting terms. Lots of these tips will work for both. Keep them coming. By nightfall, I may be brave enough to try on the Quilt for Kids quilt that is on the machine right now. (If I get off here and go finish piecing it.)

  17. #17
    Super Member Pinkiris's Avatar
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    If the feed dogs on your machine don't drop, you can tape a business card over them with a hole cut out of it for the needle. It's also possible that those machines have a "plate" that will cover the feed dogs. I have an older Singer that has one.

    Sue

  18. #18
    Super Member tjradj's Avatar
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    One of the best things that has improved my free motion quilting is following Leah Day's blog: www.freemotionquilting.blogspot.com
    Her blog is my "go to" place for freemotion quilting.
    She has a ton of tips, patterns with videos on how to do them, and she has a web store that sells the supreme slider, machingers gloves, etc.
    The gloves have rubber tips on the fingers to help you move the fabric around.
    The supreme slider has a teflon top and a silicone bottom. It sticks to the flat bed of your machine and makes it more slippery to move your fabric around. I find it a bit awkward because I have a top loading bobbin, so I have to move it every time I change the bobbin, and I can't see the bobbin to know when I'm running low.
    Her videos are amazing. They're also on YouTube but you have to know what to look for.
    She also advocates having your sewing machine in the corner of the room and have a table beside you that goes to the wall and a table behind your machine which goes to the wall.That way you have lots of support for the quilt and it won't hang over the edge causing drag.
    I believe she freemotion quilts with her feed dogs up. I don't, I like them down.
    And, just play with it. If your stippling lines cross or get too close together - no one will shoot you@
    There are NO quilt police!

  19. #19
    Super Member montanajan's Avatar
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    Thanks for the tips - from what everyone is sharing, it appears the biggest deal is to "just do it". I shall begin with small practice pieces or little things I plan to put up in my sewing room - nothing big or fancy. You are all giving me confidence & for that I truly thank you! This board is terrific.

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