YOUR Questions–Open Line Friday
Today is Open Line Friday-–anyone asks, everyone answers! We have more than 10,000 contributors to The Inbox Jaunt and we need everyone to share their experiences–whether you are a beginner or expert, YOUR knowledge is helpful!!!
I will begin with questions received this week.
ONE HUNDRED TIMES???
Earlier this week, I shared a video link showing how our sewing machine creates a stitch–known as a lockstitch.
I wanted to make the point that each point on our thread goes through the bobbin and through the needle more than 100 times before it is laid down as a stitch.
This caused some confusion.–It is difficult to visualize!
I would like to take another stab at explaining. (Read the comments too–several readers commented with similar explanations.)
Imagine using a marker to draw a point on the thread just as it leaves the spool–above the take up lever. Let’s call that position #1.
Now imagine the Lockstitch being created in very slow motion. (Re-watch the video if necessary.) To create the Lockstitch, a large length of thread (let’s just say 100 mm of thread) is pulled through the needle and into the bobbin area to create a loop.
The 100 mm loop goes around the bobbin case and catches the bobbin thread and is then pulled back up by the take up lever and one stitch is made–let’s just call it a 1 mm stitch...
Now our marked point is a little farther away from the spool–it is 1 mm away–or whatever our stitch length is. Our marked thread point is now at position #2.
The machine begins the next stitch, pulling a 100 mm loop through the needle and around the entire bobbin case. It catches the bobbin thread, and is pulled up by the take up lever and another 1mm stitch is laid down. Now our point is at position #3.
This process is repeated more than 100 times–with our marked point, moving just 1mm away from its previous point each time— before the marked point becomes a stitch.
Does that make more sense? Is it easier to visualize?
If not, please say so!!
If it is, let’s complicate things…
What if we increased our stitch length to 2 mm? How many times would the thread go through the needle and the bobbin before it became a stitch?
YES! 50 times!
I also received several questions about the type of batting I use…
I will write more about this topic soon.
In short, for all of my tutorials, wall hangings, and table runners–which I rarely wash… I LOVE Warm and Natural 100% cotton batting. (Affiliate Link) This batting is very light weight and does not have a lot of “puff”. It has a slight texture that grips the fabric and backing so I don’t baste small projects, I simply press the three layers.
For all of my bed quilts, I LOVE wool batting. (Affiliate Link) I LOVE how wool batting responds to heavy quilting, but what I like best is how soft it gets with repeated washings. It’s “like butter”!
(Sewing Machine Tutorial HERE)
What about YOU?
Do YOU have a favorite batting?
Do YOU want to know more about how YOUR machine works?
Do YOU have any questions about YOUR machine, quilting, motifs….
We’d LOVE to hear YOUR questions and YOUR thoughts!
And don’t miss out–we are shipping MORE Free Motion Machine Quilting 1-2-3!!
With the step-by-step tutorial for The Baby Bunny!
May all of YOUR stitches be happy!
PS…All tutorials, images and information are the property of Lori Kennedy at The Inbox Jaunt and are intended for personal use only. Feel free to re-blog, pin or share with attribution to The Inbox Jaunt. For all other purposes, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!
60 responses to “YOUR Questions–Open Line Friday”
I need to start quilting my quilts. I have a pile of quilt tops.
I have quiltingophobia. It is a real disorder!!!!????????
The table I would use for quilting and the machine, a mechanical White, is all set up in my dining room. The table is my mother in laws and has a leave removed and the machine is dropped into a “set up”
Anyway, The dining room is kind of a room with nothing in it.
I could go crazy in there, which contributes to my disorder.
Should I move the dining room quilting set up in to the kitchen eating area and do my quilting in this room? better lighting.
Then I could move the kitchen table into the dining room and hubbs can eat on the couch which is in the family room, clear view to the tv, and kitchen.
Or, should I leave the set up as it is, and just get in there and quilt in the quiet dining room and just hum some tunes…. stop making excuses?
Thank you for any and all assistance, opinions etc
Don’t quilt in the kitchen, unless that’s the only place you have to do it. You’ll wind up with grease on the quilt, or someone will set a dirty dish on it. You have a quilting space already, what you need is an incentive to get on and get something completed. Start with some practice squares, not a big quilt, and try out some of Lori’s patterns till you feel confident enough to move on to a quilt
Oh, and get some audiobooks to keep you company in there! I have ‘read’ loads of books while quiting, I mainly favour crime fiction,
LOL! Stop thinking. Just quilt! Neither situation is perfect–none ever is!!! I did some of my best sewing in my nasty basement with a cement floor– with poor lighting next to the washer and dryer.
Start where your machine is today!!!
All of this is fantastic advice
I think I just needed to hear this. Thank you Lori and AC
I appreciate the firm advice.
Thank you for the “visual” Lori. Okay. I am fortunate not to be in a nasty basement.
I am grateful.
If you like music, then get a set of earphones or even an audiobook
Thank you for all I’ve learned from your blog. I’d like to know more about wool batting which I’ve never used.
I love wool batting. I initially worried about it shrinking but the original quilt I used it in has been washed many times. It did not shrink and it’s held up very nice. It’s warm without extra weight and the more I wash it the softer it gets.
That’s my experience too!
I didn’t think you could wash wool. I remember accidentally washing my step dads wool sweater the first time I ever did laundry and it shrunk so bad!! I’ve been afraid to wash anything wool ever since. So, my question is….if you’ve washed, how come it doesn’t shrink??
Will write more. Best way to learn is to buy a small piece. Quilt it and wash it. See what YOU think!
I will add wool batting to my list.
Thank you for the link, Lori
I had to sew a patch on a block to make the right size, now there is a seam going up the block. How can I quilt that so it disappears? The scene is a moose, trees, birds, fish and the setting is looking thru a window. Any ideas, I am new to this.
Can you make the seam into something–like a tree? Or stitch leaves weaving over the line to blur the line.
I would also like to know more about the wool batting you use, especially since you say it gets softer with each wash! Do you pre-shrink it? If not, how much does it shrink when you first wash your quilts? I don’t like that crinkly look that quilts get when the batting shrinks, but I love how a soft, cuddly quilt feels! I recently finished a queen (with long overhang) quilt with cotton batting and it is too stiff, so I am looking for an alternative! (It was also very heavy and difficult to drag through my machine!) So please share all the particulars about your favorite wool or other batting!
I will do more writing about batting. I did not pre-wash and there is some wrinkling, but I think there’s less shrinkage that cotton batting. I will experiment!
I assume there is no recourse if you are allergic to wool…
I’ve loved and slightly envied those that can use wool.
For people with bad allergies to wool, Quilter’s Dream Poly batting comes in different weights and works out lovely with almost the same effect as wool, without the allergic reaction.
Cotton batting can be pre-shrunk, the directions are usually on the package. Also you can iron your quilt after washing and get some of the wrinkles out. I use cotton almost exclusively and love it. But I do know some people don’t like the wrinkles so I use the polyester for them. I’m wondering if wool might be too warm here in So. California.
Good morning… I don’t have a question, but want to wish you and ALL 10,000 plus followers, the HAPPIEST OF THE HOLIDAY! I am not just saying this, but your blog is the only one that I read on a regular basis, as it is so fun and informative. THANK YOU! I can’t wait to see your next idea!
Yes! Happy Easter and Passover
I read all the time, every time, but rarely comment.
and Ditto too! Blessings to all!
I will try this. Hope it will help.
The 100 is not clear to me because of the wording in your post – everything is so literal sometimes. I look at the thread at the eye of the needle. There’s not many steps between the point of the needle to fabric to make a stitch. When you think of the thread point at the edge of the spool, then, yes it has to go through the machine parts many times before it is able to get down to the eye of the needle to make a stitch. This is why I love good quality thread.
You you do actually “get it”, it is the amount that has to go through the machine parts many times. If you don’t have the 100 millimeters of thread, you’re not going to get that 1 mm stitch. That thread is pretty tired by the time it gets to rest in your quilt or any other sewing project. Hope this helped.
I used wool batting and it bearded real bad after washing. It also shrunk a bunch. But I loved the softness. I am afraid to use it again. What brand do you use?
I use Quilter’s Dream and have never had a bearding problem…and I quilt my quilts to death!! http://quiltersdreambatting.com/
This is my favorite brand of batting, too. I love all the various fibers it is available in. And I love that you can quilt up to 8″ apart, since I hate the quilting part of the process.
I have a question about drag when trying to quilt medium/large quilts. Is there any tricks besides the small sliders. Sometimes I just can’t move my quilt in order to quilt it. That’s my biggest discouragement in quilting on my home machine.
Check out Sew Very Easy on You Tube. How to use snow carpet to quilt your quilts. Cheaper than other sliders.
Here is what another quilter did!
I recently put a suspension system in my sewing room, bungee cords, spring clamps & hanging lamp hooks. It really helps and was much cheaper than the commercial ones I looked at.
Just went to Amazon and ordered 2 snow carpets… What a great Idea!
I bought rigid foam insulation panels, 1 1/2 inches by 4X8, cut in half, put one on top of the other, and cut out a hole (use an electric knife or serrated kitchen knife) for the machine.The machine sits level with the surface of the insulation. (Build it up with books if you need to) Cut a tunnel pathway for changing the bobbin. The insulation has a silver foil backing which is smooth and slippery so the quilt moves easily. I used clear packing tape to bridge any gaps and soften edges. I could post photos if you would like.
What is the easiest way to keep the backing smooth and to keep it from bunching up during quilting?
Someone once told me to: pin, pin, pin, pin. I now do that but only quilt small areas at a time and keep checking and smoothing out the backing. Unpicking is the worst!!!!!!
Where is the best place to get a small wool bat reasonable? I’ve never use any either, sounds interesting.
PS I agree with Mrs. Plum that Quilters Dream Wool is the best. You can find batting reasonably and even half price (sometimes) on line at various quilting web sites- Craftsy among them.
The Warm and Natural 100% cotton is my batting of choice especially for table runners, mug rugs and wall hangings because it stays so nice and flat and you don’t have to do a lot of dense filling. Washes like a dream also! Easy to hand quilt through. Have my copy of the new book! TERRIFIC! Really cutting into my housework time! LOL! Have a blessed Easter everyone!
I, too, love wool batting. My favorite brand is Quilter’s Dream Wool. It seems the most consistent thickness of all the wool batting i’ve tried. When I have pure white in the quilt, I use Quilter’s Dream Poly. It is not nearly as soft and drape-able as the wool, but it is consistent, and i’ve had no problem with bearding.
I love wool batting, especially for bed quilts, as wool, unlike polyester, is warm in Winter and cool in Summer. I’ve found that one brand isn’t good because the thickness was uneven and didn’t lay out nicely. I did prewash and dry the “good” wool batting. It came out beautifully. I do want to try silk batting too.
My other comment is that I’m going away for Easter and thought of making a quick table topper for a hostess gift. I felt that I didn’t have enough time.
THEN, I remembered your pretty vase quilts. I wish I’d thought of them sooner. They would be a perfect gift anytime!
I wondered about that thread comment also…thanks for the explanation…I get it now 😀 I am currently using the cotton/poly blend and like it a lot.
When quilting for a completion I use Soft and Natural, with a wool batt on top. This gives a trapunto effect. It is puffy and makes beautiful detail quilting. Thank you Lori for all your talent and sharing.
What about the itchiness factor of wool? I can’t wear any kind of wool or linen because it drives me crazy. I’ve always been afraid to use it for quilting because of this.
It shouldn’t matter if the batting is in a “sandwich”
I believe it would matter during the time she needs to manipulate it to make the sandwich. I’m allergic to wool and wearing gloves doesn’t help, the fibers get into the air, fibers so small you can’t see them but you do breathe them in.
I think I would have a problem with it because of the fibers getting in the air. I can be in a yarn store only for a few minutes before my eyes start itching from the wool fibers.
I am also allergic to wool but I’ve never had any reaction to Quilter’s Dream Wool. However, I do use a longarm to quilt. Perhaps there is a longarm quilter who could baste your quilt on their longarm for you to quilt on your DSM and you would not have to handle the batting at all.
Wool fibers migrate through the cotton fabric (just a tiny bit) and that is enough to react on people with wool allergies.
I would love to know how you avoid the problem of having extra fabric in the block when it is time to quilt the area or when you get to a seam. I am trying to stitch down all the seams in the quilt and the block before I quilt and, no matter how well I pin the layers together and how carefully I layer everything, I frequently run into this and get a small pucker.
I have learned so much from your blog and book– soon to be books. Have recently entered competition quilts that were machine quilted on my domestic and last year won “Best of Show” for one of them. In the past, all my show quilts were hand quilted so I am making significant progress. Still not able to quilt like the long armers but now able to do my own without spending $200-300 or more.
Twice in the past couple of months I’ve heard people say they use water soluble thread to add additional basting to a quilt and that helps with the puckering problem. You baste the puckered area heavily to kind of flatten it down. When your’re finished with the quilt, you wash it or even just dampen it, the water soluble basting thread vanishes, and supposedly, so do any puckers. I’ve never tried it, but it sounds like it should work.
It could be the pressure on your pressure foot is too high. I lower mine by a third. That solved my problem and really helped smooth out my quilting.
Spray basting with 505 works for me. Refer to Crista Quilts for her tutorials on her methods.
To those of you who like the texture but can’t work with wool PLEASE try bamboo batting. It is fabulous, gets softer with every wash, and doesn’t shift when quilting. It’s the best I’ve ever used.
My biggest question is deciding on which way to quilt it. I get stuck and end up echoing mostly.
I made a Carpenter’s square quilt for my grandson but it is too short for his 6’4” frame. How can I add length to a finished quilt and make it look good? I’m a beginner only have made 5 quilt tops and 4 of them were from kits
If you can unpick the binding on one end you could add more fabric, or blocks there, and then quilt and re-bind. If everything is done in the same colors, fabrics, pattern, etc. it should look very good.
Thank you Chris
I’m new to quilting and I enjoyed your article. I’ve made one lap quilt for my
husband and in the process of doing a suduko quilt. thank you for the inspiration.