Machine quilting stitches per inch

rosajoe_gwJune 12, 2008

OK, MQ is a completely different skill than HQ.

I have found that to eliminate puckers I must use much more starch and have the backing much more taunt. But it works (for me anyway LOL).

Now, if I am quilting in the ditch how many stitches per inch should I try for???????

I know this is subjective, but if I just leave my machine on the normal settings the stitches are really tight and I don't like them. What setting do you use for just plain on SITD???

This is not FM quilting (where I know the length is determined by YOU) but just plain old grids with a walking foot.

I must learn to crawl before I walk, and crawling I am!!!!


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I don't have any special feet or attachments, so I can't really FM.

For regular machine quilting I had started out w/ 12 stitches per inch, I seem to have gone to abt 10 spi. I don't really distinguish btwn whether that's in the ditch or not. I seem to like to use 10 spi for anything w/ turns or curves, like I do lots of echo work & concentric squares or roman key designs if you know what they are (thru tracing paper & then torn the paper off, 10 spi also seems better for the paper & easier to remove). It seems to turn the corners w/ stitching, I find go better at 10 than 12, maybe it's just me???

    Bookmark   June 12, 2008 at 10:06PM
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I use about 10 also, just looks good to me. Anything smaller looks too puckered or tight for my liking. If I am using a decorative stitch I adjust till I get a look I like. For stitching in the ditch I tend to wander out of the ditch more if I use a smaller stitch for some reason.


    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 8:58AM
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Thanks, I'll try 10 and tracing paper never occcured to me.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 12:40PM
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Hi again Rosa,

I only do the tracing paper 'cause I do wall hangings & art quilts more than bed quilts.

Having never washed a quilt, I'm reluctant to mark them for quilting motifs, so I use the tracing paper. I've made my first baby quilt & have to wash it, to see that it can withstand it, I'm just nervous to do it.

Any tips on washing my quilts pls. (the fabrics were all prewashed by me & dried in the hotest possible drier to try & maximize any shrinking prior to the project being made)?

Hope you don't mind my adding a question of your existing thread.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 9:30PM
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My stitch length is 1,2,3,4, do I compare 10 and 12 sts. to these numbers? I can lessen the presser foot tension and I find this helps on any of you do this?

    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 11:24PM
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Jean--Sew a couple of inches on each setting then take a ruler and count how many stitches per inch you have on each setting. Now you know your st/in for each.


    Bookmark   June 14, 2008 at 11:30AM
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Annie that is exactly what I did after I read the 10 SPI answer!!!!! I couldn't figure it out any other way Jean.

Dear Pirate girl,
I have always washed my quilts with no problems. I use the cold water gentle cycle with a baby laundry detergent (or something like Woolite), a color catcher, and no softener. I dry it outside spread over a table and throw it in the dryer on delicate for about 10 minutes to fluff it up. Watch the sun, it can fade the colors when it is hot, mine is on the covered patio.
Once I had a my white totally hand quilted double size whole cloth on a bed when company came. Somehow it became stained and I had to soak it in a bleach for colors and then wash it and I have washed it several times since with no problems.
However, I do not always prewash my fabrics now (depends on the colors and brand of material) but I ALWAYS use a color catcher in the cold water wash and a separate one in the cold water rinse if I had doubts about the colors running.
I think a baby quilt, or kiddie quilt, is going to be used and washed a lot (IMO) so I always prewash fabric and I sometimes mark for quilting so I rinse after finishing them to get the marks and starch out. I also love the soft look and feel after they are washed.
Todays fabric bleed and shrink far less today than they did when I started quilting in the 80's.
If I am really nervous about a quilt I just wet an area and lay it on a white cotton towel and then you can see if anything is left on the towel.
My friend washed hers in the bathtub but that is too much trouble for me and I can't squeeze the water out as well as the machine.
Good luck!!!! Post pics!!!!

    Bookmark   June 14, 2008 at 5:42PM
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Hi Rosa.
Do you recommend a brand of Color Catcher, and where can you find that?

    Bookmark   June 16, 2008 at 4:34PM
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I use Shout brand and they are not expensive and you can find them in grocery stores next to the detergents.
I have found they work very well.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2008 at 1:30PM
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