Today’s Topic: Six Ways to Travel Stitch for Machine Quilters
Welcome to Week Twenty of The Better Machine Quilt-a-long based on my book 25 Days to Better Machine Quilting.
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Good Morning, Quilters!
Can you believe we are already in week 20 of our quilt-a-long? Time flies when you’re having fun!
This week we will look at options for travel stitching.–No, not stitching while traveling–that’s an important topic too–
Today we are traveling while stitching!
Travel Stitching for Machine Quilting
Travel stitching is what you do when you’re quilting away and you get stuck in a corner. Or when you complete a motif and you need to start another. You also need to travel when you’ve completed quilting a block and you want to move to another area of the quilt.
There are six options for traveling: retrace, stitch in the ditch, step off the edge, add a loopy line, echo stitch or knot off. The type of traveling you choose depends on the motif, the block and the thread.
Motif, Block, Thread
For almost all of the motifs found in my books and here at LKQ, I design the pattern to make it easy to travel from one motif to the next. When you try other motifs, look for this characteristic.
The block will influence the type of travel as well. For example, if the block has many seams, it may be easy to stitch in the ditch to travel between motifs. On the other hand, if the block is plain, one of the other methods of travel will be more suitable.
Finally, the type of thread will influence the travel method. For example, retracing a line with lightweight thread will look fine, but retracing with heavy weight thread may look messy.
Six Ways to Travel Stitch for Machine Quilters
You can often stitch over a previous line of stitching to travel to a new area within a quilt block. This works best with lightweight thread-as it is hardly noticeable. On the other hand, when using heavy weight thread, the double stitched line may look messy and create an unwanted focal point.
Stitch in the Ditch
Travel is easy when there’s a seam nearby. Carefully stitch in the ditch and the travel stitches will be invisible!
Step off the Edge
If you are near the edge of the quilt, you may be able to travel in the margins of the quilt to a new area without cutting your thread.
Add a Loopy Line
Some simple motifs look great when connected by a loopy line. Keep it simple!
My favorite way to travel (other than First Class) is echo stitching! Simply echo stitch the motif, or part of a motif to travel to the next area for quilting. While it may seem lopsided to echo stitch only part of a motif, the overall effect looks great!
Knotting off is everyone’s least favorite way to travel. Create a knot and move to another area of the quilt. (Read The Easiest Machine Quilting Knot here.)
It’s the obvious, but the most time-consuming way to travel.
They say the devil is in the details…
Travel stitching is one of those little details. You probably won’t think about this again until your quilt is stuffed under the harp space and you don’t want to pull everything out to tie a knot. For now, just tuck these ideas in a nook in your noggin for when the time comes…
What about YOU?
Do YOU travel stitch and stitch travel?
Do YOU miss going to quilt conferences and other travel?
Are YOU traveling anywhere in 2020?
We’d LOVE to hear!
YOUR Travel Companion (Warm Weather Ports ONLY!)
Up North, Lori
(where we’ve had 8 inches of snow already and it’s 20F this week!)
PS…All tutorials, images and information are the property of Lori Kennedy Quilts and are intended for personal use only. Feel free to re-blog, pin or share with attribution to LKQ. For all other purposes, please contact me at Lori@LoriKennedyQuilts.com. Thank you!
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