Monday, February 14, 2011

I need advice...

As I promised at New Years, I am working on finishing some of the quilt tops that have been waiting to be quilted. As I am fairly new at this, I have really appreciated all the tips and advice that I have received, and things I have learned from other peoples blogs. When I was working on my first real free motion project a few weeks ago, I first stitched in the ditch to stabilize the quilt. This worked great, and made it very easy to move the quilt around during free motion and not worry about anything shifting. So I have started doing that again for this quilt top... (this is the back)

My question is does everybody do this? or is this a beginners tool? or just a personal preference?? Although I like how it stabilizes the layers and also means you can pull all the pins out before starting the free motion, it is a lot of extra sewing.  This quilt top is a disappearing 9 patch, and the blocks are on point, so I think it is probably wise to do the extra sewing for this one.

But I have others, one is a "Yellow Brick Road" and it is larger, and I really wonder if I could just start off with the free motion quilting or should I do the ditch stitching first?

My other question is about thread (any Tips for Tuesdays coming up on thread ????)

 I have read that when you are using cotton for your quilt top, that you should always use 100% cotton thread as well. But I have also read that it doesn't make any difference?? Maybe this is largely personal preference as well. I find that Gutterman thread works well in my machine, so I have been staying mostly with that.

I sure appreciate any light that you can shed on my issues! Thanks!!

And Happy Valentines Day...these are flowers from my sweet hubby.....


  1. Specialty Threads is the topic for tomorrow! Post it all done, but I'm not putting up until Tuesday. ; ) Is your gutermann cotton? I can only find polyester in the stores so I stick with Coats & Clark. I did get a lot of mettler cottons from the sale the other day. They say that polyester thread cuts cotton fabric. I really haven't seen the effects... but that's what the experts say.


  2. It will depend on the quilt pattern - as you said, the basic blocks look good with the pre-quilt blocking and then fill in. If you are doing a continual pattern to flow across the entire quilt (pantograph), I don't think you want to 'box' out your quilt.

    Threads are a personal choice as well as what your machine likes, too. I get most of my threads the Connecting Threads - they just came out with a poly-cotton made by a machine quilter for machine quilting. Older polys were harsh, but they have improved them and the idea of it 'cutting' your fabric is a myth - if you want your quilt around 200 yrs from now stay with cotton - but remember cotton is biodegradable. I want my quilts used to the end, not put in an acid free, air sealed bag and box so it is here 200 yrs from now.

    Here are some sites with tips:

  3. Hmm...only thing I can say is that your flowers are gorgeous! Happy Valentine's Day:)

  4. Happy Valentine’s Day! Beautiful flowers!

    Here’s my two cents worth:
    If you want to learn about threads, try They have an “education” button that is full of good info. Don’t forget about the different needles out there too. That can make a world of difference. I can understand wanting to block out your quilt. Those pins do get in the way and stitching in the ditch really helps with keeping it straight and not getting puckers on the back. Generally, when I stitch in the ditch around blocks, I quilt inside that block, not stitching over the ditch stitching. I do a free motion design or a controlled motion design within the block. (You know I like control!) If you want to do an allover quilting design, actual basting might be the way to go. I’ve done that before. Another option is water soluble thread. You can use that to stabilize your quilt, sew your overall free motion design, and then when you wash the quilt, it dissolves away. I’ve done that also. In all my years of quilting, there are as many opinions on how to do it as there are quilters! Try different methods and see which you like the best. After all, it’s your quilt!

    Kudos to you for getting things done!


  5. Thank you all so much for all your helpful comments!


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