If you are not doing what you love, you are wasting your time-Billy Joel

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Monday, 22 April 2013

Hints and Tips 2- Quilting in The hoop

Many digitizers are selling ITH quilting designs and may or may not give tips and hints to ensure that you end up with a successful result that mirrors free motion machine quilting using a straight stitch. I am using a free sample from Kenny Kreations for this tutorial.

Make a test sample and stitch that out before starting on a full project. You can make adjustments to that without running the risk of messing up a project you have spent many precious hours creating.
Before you start make some adjustments on your machine.
·   Slow your machine speed down
·   Turn the trimming option OFF

·   If you have an option that stops after the first stitch turn that on

·    Do not hoop all three layers if you are quilting using a high loft batting. I like to use a low loft bamboo or polyester batting and I am usually able to hoop all three layers. If you are not going to hoop all three layers you may choose to hoop the backing fabric and then machine baste the batting and top fabric. The problem of hooping a pre assembled quilt can be addressed by hooping water soluble stabilizer and then basting the quilt to that. If you are quilting a large object make sure that it is well supported. If you have folding tables etc use them to help provide support.
·      Make sure that you use good quality thread and not bobbin thread in the bobbin. You may need to adjust the top tension to achieve satisfactory results. Also using a larger machine needle such as a Size14 will improve results.
·       Once you begin stitching only take one stitch and stop the machine. Use that feature on your machine if you have it.
·       Tug on the thread and pull the bobbin thread completely through to the top. Hold the threads in your fingers and stitch a few more stitches of the design until you think you have access to be able to end of the threads.
·       Take both threads and tie a knot. Thread the tails through a needle with a large eye and bury a few inches away from where you tied the knot. As you pull the threads through make sure the knot gets pulled down into the fabric. Trim the threads.
·       A curved needle might help here if you have one. Quite often they come in a mixed selection of needles.
·       Continue stitching the design and if you have the cutter turned off it will not cut the threads at the end of the design.
·       Take the hoop off the machine and clip the threads leaving about a 6 inch tail top and bottom.
·       Once again tug on the top thread until the bottom (bobbin) thread is pulled to the top. Repeat the process of tying the knot and burying the threads.


  1. Vicki, As usual you always have good ideas, suggestions. Thank you!

  2. Vicki, can you tell me why you don't use bobbin weight thread for quilting in the hoop? Thanks for the great tutorials!

    1. Hi Fran, if you have a good bottom weight quilting thread that you can get good tension with that is perfectly fine. you do not want normal bobbin thread on the back of your quilt though