Free Motion Quilting

How to Bury Your Quilting Threads

Want to learn an invisible way to end your quilting stitches? I have a secret weapon: the self-threading needle.

If you haven’t heard of a self-threading needle, it doesn’t really thread itself, but it’s the next best thing! A self-threading needle has an open part at the top which allows you to snap the thread into it so you don’t have to struggle with getting your thread through a tiny eye. This notion comes in so handy when you want to have an invisible end to a line of quilting.

Now, in all honesty, I have to say that I don’t always bury my threads. If I’m able to start and stop my quilting stitches off of the quilt top - in the batting and backing - I’ll do this and there’s no need to lock my stitches, but, if it is a special project or show quilt, burying your threads is a must and this is where the self-threading needle comes in.

In order to have an invisible end to your quilting stitches, you need to leave additional top and bobbin thread to work with. You’ll take these threads and know them about 1/8” above the quilt top. Next you’ll take the thread tails and snap them into the top of the self-threading needle. Once they’re in, you will slide your needle back into the quilt sandwich, trying to go back in at or near the last stitch. Don’t take your needle all the way through the quilt - you just want to go into the batting. Slide your needle along inside the quilt sandwich and pop out about 2” away from where you entered it. Give a quick little pull on the thread and you should hear it “pop” into the quilt sandwich. You can now cut off your thread ends close to the quilt top.

See, I told you it was easy! For more information, click on the image below to see a video of how I bury my quilting threads.

This leaves such a nice finish to your quilting stitches, but it does take a bit of extra time. If you haven’t tried burying your quilt stitches, why not get a self-threading needle and give it a try?

Creatively,

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Quilting Before You Appliqué

I like to do fusible web appliqué or raw edge appliqué. It’s easy and fast, but the part I don’t like about it is quilting it. I don’t like having to work my way around the appliqués on the project. If you are doing a design such as crosshatching, having to stop and restart your quilting around the appliqué pieces can be quite time-consuming.

Why not quilt the background first and then add your appliqués to it? There are times when this method would work very well – and other situations where it might not be appropriate.

If you are doing a small, simple project, you may want to consider quilting it first then adding the appliqué. One consideration of quilting first and appliquéing later is that you will have to put the quilted project into your sewing machine to finish the edges of the appliqué pieces. If you are working on a small project, this shouldn’t be a problem.

If your project has embellishments, such as hand embroidery on it, this probably isn’t the best choice. The hand embroidery really needs to be done on an unquilted surface – it just isn’t as effective if you are embroidering over a quilted area as the two techniques will compete with one another and detract from the overall effect.

 
 

This method of quilting first and appliquéing second wouldn't work if you were wanting to accent the appliqué. In this situation, you usually densely quilt around the appliqué, pushing down the background fabric which allows the appliqué to pop. Obviously, the appliqué would have to be on the quilt already so you could quilt the background around it.

If you are making a big project, this method might work if you are using a quilt-as-you-go method. You’ll be quilting a section at a time and adding the appliqués a section at a time as well, so again, you won’t have a large quilt to maneuver through the throat of your sit-down sewing machine. 

If you have a large project that is going to be all quilted first, this method probably isn’t your best choice either. Once you had quilted the sandwich, you would then have to add the appliqués and finish the edges which means working that large, quilted project through the machine throat. While this is difficult enough, you may find that the appliqués not yet stitched down may lift off as you move the quilt around.

 
 

If you want to try this method of quilting first and then adding your appliqué pieces, keep these situations in mind and choose the one that will work the best.

Click on the image below for more information on when it’s okay to quilt first and appliqué last.

Have you ever tried this technique? Leave me your thoughts in the Comments below.

Note: This is the last blogpost for 2018. I’ll see you in 2019 for more quilting advice and tips. Have a very Merry Christmas!

Creatively,

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P.S. Do you want to enhance your quilting and become the best quilter you can be?  If you answered “yes” to this question, you need to join The Quilter’s Way. The Quilter’s Way is the only quilting membership site that includes both training and an active, supportive online community. Don’t wait another day! Join now.

P.P.S. Did you know that you can sign up to receive emails full of FREE quilting goodness? Click here to receive FREE content directly in your email inbox every few weeks from Chatterbox Quilts. I know you'll be glad you did!


Needle and Threads for Free Motion Quilting

Every quilter needs to know how to quilt their quilt. Whether they free motion quilt it or prefer to do walking foot quilting, they need to know what threads and needles to use when quilting.

 
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I recently had a discussion with Allison Spence of Meadow Rose Quilts (Handi Quilter national educator and Superior Threads’ certified educator) about the type of needles and threads that work best when free motion quilting. There are different weights and compositions of thread and some work better than others when doing this type of quilting. Once you’ve chosen your thread, then you have to match it with an appropriate needle.

 
 

Click on the image below to learn more about choosing the "right" needles and threads for free motion quilting.

 
 

What type of thread do you prefer to use when quilting? Let me know in the comments below.

Creatively,

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P.S. Did you know that you can sign up to receive emails full of FREE quilting goodness? Click here to receive FREE content directly in your email inbox every few weeks from Chatterbox Quilts. I know you'll be glad you did!