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Thread: tying off when machine quilting

  1. #1
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    I am machine quilting a top by following the design of flowers on the backing. My question is............ how do I go from one area to the next 3-4 inches away. I sort of go over my already stiched areas to get there. Should I stop, stich in place and cut the threads then move the fabric? Should I stop, stich in place , move the fabric, stich in place and sew, cutting the thread later? Is there a right way to do this? Thanks for any guidance you can give me.

  2. #2
    Super Member Justquilting's Avatar
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    Hi, I just do loops or waves to get to my next place. I hope this helps! :-)

  3. #3
    Super Member mpspeedy's Avatar
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    When I machine quilt I do what you said about backstitching and then sliding. I clip the threads when I finish. If you want to machine tie it and your machine has an automatic buttonhole just set it to make a very small buttonhole. It will automaticly lock stitch at both ends then you can just slide it to the next spot and cut the threads later.

    I use both methods on the many Linus quilts I make.

  4. #4
    Junior Member quiltease's Avatar
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    Personally, I hate looking for ends to snip after the quilt is quilted so I would follow the flower outline, do three or four tiny stitches in the same place, move to your next flower. Put your needle down in place, do a few stitches close together, pull up on the threads between the two flowers, so the bobbin thread loop is visible (you need to do one first, then the other, you don't want to pull too hard) THEN you can cut the threads from flower one AND the new ends from flower two. It's a lot of stop and start, but you will be SO glad you did once it's all quilted and all you have left to do is sew on the binding!
    Honestly, though, there is no right or wrong way. It's whatever feels comfortable for you.
    Be sure to post it once it's done!
    bev. :]

  5. #5
    Senior Member Shelley's Avatar
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    There is no one answer for this. It depends on what you are doing. If you are doing a stitch in the ditch, follow the ditch. If you are doing a meander or loops, you can sometimes find a way to fit it in.

    If you doing a very controlled design, you may not have a way to hide those stitches. Then you'll want to break your thread, and start in the next section.

    As for starts and stops, there's as much discussion about that on the LA sites as on the home machine sites. For competition quilts, it seems that the consensus is to tie a knot and bury it in the batting. There are instructions all over the net on that. For everyday quilts, you can backtrack a few stitches, or just do several stitches very close together.

    HTH!!!

  6. #6
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    Thanks everyone. It was very helpful

  7. #7
    Super Member Shemjo's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info! :lol:

  8. #8
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quiltease
    Personally, I hate looking for ends to snip after the quilt is quilted so I would follow the flower outline, do three or four tiny stitches in the same place, move to your next flower. Put your needle down in place, do a few stitches close together, pull up on the threads between the two flowers, so the bobbin thread loop is visible (you need to do one first, then the other, you don't want to pull too hard) THEN you can cut the threads from flower one AND the new ends from flower two. It's a lot of stop and start, but you will be SO glad you did once it's all quilted and all you have left to do is sew on the binding!
    Honestly, though, there is no right or wrong way. It's whatever feels comfortable for you.
    Be sure to post it once it's done!
    bev. :]
    are we talking about about longarm quilting or table-top machine quilting? i have a longarm and i cut the bobbin thread each time after taking small stitches. the reason is that as the needle moves around up on top, it gets caught in that bottom loop of thread if i leave it, and causes problems. so as i finish each area i backstitch, pull some top thread up, snip, go to the bottom and trim the bobbin thread. then i go to the next area, needle down and up, holding on to the top thread and pull up the bobbin thread and begin sewing again. sounds like a pain, but it goes quickly. i wish there was a way to do it without creeping under the quilt.

    anyone know how?

  9. #9
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    If it is a show quilt, you clip the threads leaving a long enough thread tail to thread through a needle and you finish off both bobbin and top thread like you do when handquilting. Any thread ends showing on the front or back of a quilt will count against you in a show.

    Thank goodness none of my quilts are for a show so I just use the auto thread cutter and move on. :D

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