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Thread: Stitch Length

  1. #1
    Rexene's Avatar
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    I'm machine quilting a quilt (Downey, Quilt for kids) for the first time. I was told to set my stitch length at 3.0. Now that I look at it, it seems like the stitches are too close together. I only have the borders left to quilt; do I use the same stitch length I started with or use a longer one? What stitch length do you use for sewing machine quilting?

  2. #2
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    finish with what you started (the stitch length).
    i usually set mine to 3.0 for doing quilting in straight lines.
    i think that my default stitch length is shorter than that on my machine.

  3. #3
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    CHanging it for one section might be noticeable. I would finish how you started. I usually change my stitch from 2.5 to 3 also for SID quilting and that is a good length for me.

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    I like to stitch on 5. Would that be a reason I am breaking needles or am I just hoping for a quick fix?

  5. #5
    Super Member kwiltkrazy's Avatar
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    Finish it how you started it. A lot of the time the stitching length is controlled by how fast your moving the material under the needle. Are you using a walking foot? Next time you start a project to quilt, make yourself a sample sandwich, and check all those things out. I always do this, I make a 9x9 sandwich, and quilt this to practice and check everything out, then I have a nice potholder, I save them up and give them as christmas gifts. Check out daystyledesigns.com she has a lot of info on her site.

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    I like to stitch on 5. Would that be a reason I am breaking needles or am I just hoping for a quick fix?

  7. #7
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dsb38327
    I like to stitch on 5. Would that be a reason I am breaking needles or am I just hoping for a quick fix?
    Could be...5 is very long. I like 2.5 -3 for quilting and for piecing around 2ish.

  8. #8
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dsb38327
    I like to stitch on 5. Would that be a reason I am breaking needles or am I just hoping for a quick fix?
    Not sure why stitch length should lead to needle breakage. Are you forcing the fabric through? Are you using needles that are too thin? Are you using a walking foot? The only time I break needles is when they hit something they shouldn't.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwiltkrazy
    Finish it how you started it. A lot of the time the stitching length is controlled by how fast your moving the material under the needle. Are you using a walking foot? Next time you start a project to quilt, make yourself a sample sandwich, and check all those things out. I always do this, I make a 9x9 sandwich, and quilt this to practice and check everything out, then I have a nice potholder, I save them up and give them as christmas gifts. Check out daystyledesigns.com she has a lot of info on her site.
    This is a good idea. I do my piecing at 2.0 stitch length and I did the quilting at 3.0. I just thought the stitches looked to short at 3.0. I was using my regular 1/4 inch piecing foot and stitched on my marked, straight lines, kind of a cross-hatch. I just checked my user's guide for my Viking Designer SE and it does not show a walking foot as coming with my machine. If I'm just following straight lines, I don't have to have the feed dogs down, do I?

  10. #10
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    For straight lines I would leave the feed dogs up. It's the same stitch length I use. I wouldn't change it now.

  11. #11
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    I adjust the stitch length depending on the batting. I use a longer stitch to quilt something that has a thicker batting in it, shorter stitch for a thinner batting.

  12. #12
    Super Member quiltsRfun's Avatar
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    If you're using a walking foot and quilting in straight lines I would think the feed dogs should be up.

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    Super Member Melinda in Tulsa's Avatar
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    Glad this question was asked. I've just been using my default setting of 2.5, Even for SITD. So far, so good, but maybe I should do some experimenting.

  14. #14
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    The Viking has a walking foot you can buy to attach for quilting. In case you have puckers it may be worth the investment. A nice taut sandwich and a walking foot can make a big difference.

  15. #15
    Super Member Barb_MO's Avatar
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    I like to use my stitch length at 3.0 when doing straight lines. I use the walking foot. I think it is a good length. When I free motions with the darning foot I try to do about the same length of stitch, in fact I just leave it at that length until I start to piecing again for I use that length to sew the binding on.

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    Super Member Kitsie's Avatar
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    While on this subject I've always been curious as to how many stitches per inch is "3.0" or "2.5"? I piece at 2.5 but quilt at 3.0.

  17. #17
    Super Member Barb_MO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kitsie
    While on this subject I've always been curious as to how many stitches per inch is "3.0" or "2.5"? I piece at 2.5 but quilt at 3.0.
    If I could see well enought to count them, I would tell you. :-)

    I think it is about 11-12

  18. #18
    Super Member Kitsie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_MO
    Quote Originally Posted by Kitsie
    While on this subject I've always been curious as to how many stitches per inch is "3.0" or "2.5"? I piece at 2.5 but quilt at 3.0.
    If I could see well enought to count them, I would tell you. :-)

    I think it is about 11-12
    I know, Barb, I need new glasses too! I know what: I'll mark out an inch or even 2 on some fabric, set the stitch length at 3 and count the number of times the needle goes thru the fabric! BRB...OK, I stitched thru and index card with 1/4 lines. 2.5 = 9 1/2 SPI (Stitches Per Inch), 3.0 = 8 SPI & 2 = 12 SPI. There now we know!

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by dsb38327
    I like to stitch on 5. Would that be a reason I am breaking needles or am I just hoping for a quick fix?
    I bought some needles that weren't Singer brand and I broke them right and left. Bought Singer brand and have had no more problems. They just didn't clear through the plate where the feed dogs are right.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by MadQuilter
    The Viking has a walking foot you can buy to attach for quilting. In case you have puckers it may be worth the investment. A nice taut sandwich and a walking foot can make a big difference.
    I know the Viking walking foot is about $100. I just went on eBay to see if I could find one less expensive and I found several for under $50 and they were the Viking brand.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rexene
    Quote Originally Posted by MadQuilter
    The Viking has a walking foot you can buy to attach for quilting. In case you have puckers it may be worth the investment. A nice taut sandwich and a walking foot can make a big difference.
    I know the Viking walking foot is about $100. I just went on eBay to see if I could find one less expensive and I found several for under $50 and they were the Viking brand.
    Yikees! That alot of fabric!

    :shock:

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by watterstide
    Quote Originally Posted by Rexene
    Quote Originally Posted by MadQuilter
    The Viking has a walking foot you can buy to attach for quilting. In case you have puckers it may be worth the investment. A nice taut sandwich and a walking foot can make a big difference.
    I know the Viking walking foot is about $100. I just went on eBay to see if I could find one less expensive and I found several for under $50 and they were the Viking brand.
    Yikees! That alot of fabric!

    :shock:
    Yes it is!

  23. #23
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    When machine quilting, I set mine about 3.5. That includes Q4K.

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    If you are doing SID, why would you want the feed dogs down, unless you are using your fm attachment. My Viking came with a walking foot, but it was a used one so that is probably why.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marge L.
    If you are doing SID, why would you want the feed dogs down, unless you are using your fm attachment. My Viking came with a walking foot, but it was a used one so that is probably why.
    I wasn't doing SID. I just wanted to make sure the feed dogs weren't suppose to be down; I didn't think they were except for free motion. My machine was used also. I have the guide bar, but not the walking foot.

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