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machine quilting

FyberSpace | Posted in Quilting and Home Decor on

I am trying to replicate the look of hand quilting with my machine, using invisible thread in the top and my regular thread in the bobbin, but I keep ending up with a rat’s nest completely trapping my fabric to the throatplate. (I have to cut it free with a scalpel!!) What am I doing wrong? Does anyone have a better way to accomplish this look?


  1. nursewing | | #1

    Ask your lovcal sewing machine shop teacher to show you how to do stippling. I am new at it so can't tell you vis this message but it looks real cool.


  2. Kilroywashere | | #2

    Sounds like a thread tension problem - you may need to adjust your bobbin tension as well as your top thread tension - someone more experienced than me is going to have to tell you how.  The other thing to do is make sure you have a good hold on your thread tails before you start, and start on a scrap of fabric, and then move into the main fabric. 

  3. MaryinColorado | | #3

    I know this is frustrating for you but don't give up.  My first thought is that the machine you are using may make a difference.  My Viking has a specific stitch for the handquilting so the instructions may be different than yours.  I use sixty weight cotton bobbin thread that the machine pulls to the top for the "handquilted" look and YLI polyester invisible thread in the needle for the "jump" type stitch in between. 

    If you do not have this preset stitch on your machine, it would not give the same results. 

    You may need to use a straight stitch needle plate and straight stitch foot on your machine so there is less liklihood of the fabic being pulled down into the slot. 

    I use a quilting needle which is sharper, usually size 80 depending on the fabric.  Stitch length 3.0 and stitch width 0.0  The pressure foot preassure on mine is set at 6.0 for quilting and the tension at around 6.0.  This all varies from one machine to the next.

    Hope this helps.  Mary

    1. MaryinColorado | | #4

      Oh, and make sure to let the feed dogs do the work, don't push or pull the fabric.  I think someone else mentioned manually pulling up the bobbin thread and then holding the thread tails when you first start to stitch.

  4. Teaf5 | | #5

    In our family, we call this the "crud stitch," and it's most often caused by using the wrong size needle for the thread and fabric. Invisible thread is really plastic, so it has a different weight and stretch than cotton or poly thread. I've had good luck with a size 9 needle, but I wasn't trying to get through layers of quilting.

    That said, I'd be cautious about using invisible thread on a quilt; the plastic can cut the fabric fibers and can melt if touched with an iron. It's not terribly "invisible," and little end pieces are very, very uncomfortable against the skin. Plastic often discolors or gets brittle within a few years, but most quilts last for decades. Hand quilting was nearly always done in white; would that work with your design?

    1. MaryinColorado | | #6

      You must be referring to the old NYLON invisible thread!  stiff and low melt temp.

      I have had wonderful results with both YLI and Sulky "invisible" POLYESTER threads in clear for lighter fabrics and smoke for darker fabrics. 




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