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Stitch in the ditch OR stipple OR both?

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Stephanie posted on Wed, Oct 31 2012 9:34 PM

Hi! So, I'm new to the forums. I am pretty new to quilting too, but have been practicing different stitches and have been learning a lot along the way and loving every minute of it. I have a baby quilt that I've been working on, and I now have my completed quilt sandwich. All 3 layers of my quilt are cotton, including the batting, which is "warm & white". The top of my quilt is more of a non traditional take, as in it doesn't have the quilt blocks like most quilts do. It measures 40" x 40" square. The layout looks like this - 36" x 36" central area of polka dot fabric, then outside of that a 2" scrappy border of various colors, and then outside of that another 2" of the polka dot fabric. Inside the central 36" x 36" area are letters (in the lower left) that have been zig zag stitched to the top layer of the quilt. So, I now have it all layered together and basted with pins. My question (sorry that it took so long to get to it) is that I'm stuck now wondering if I should stitch in the ditch around the scrappy border first, and then stipple inside the central area, or if I should stipple throughout and then stitch in the ditch around the scrappy border, OR possibly skip the stitch in the ditch altogether and stipple throughout. I haven't done such an open area of a quilt before, so I'm just not sure what results I would get if I ditch stitched first and then proceeded to stipple throughout the center afterwards. Would I see any shrinkage or bunching with it being such a large area of stippling? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance! :)

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Verified by Stephanie

I would stipple first and then put on the binding, of course that is just my opinion

 

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Verified by Stephanie

I would stipple first and then put on the binding, of course that is just my opinion

 

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Verified by Stephanie

Stephanie ,first off welcome to the club,   you do not want to put your binding on until you get the quilting  finished. . As you quilt you will need the room for your quilt as it stretches ,when you are quilting. It doesn't do it much but you want this extra room.  Next you need to stabilize your quilt .If you can do a stitch in the ditch (SID-) across the center of the quilt  form one side to the next  this will keep your quilt form shifting while you quilt it. if you have borders on your quilt  I would also SID around them at this time  . Then starting in the middle of your quilt then you can start your stippling. If you have any questions please ask .Good luck and we would love to see a picture when you finish.. Barbara

Liberty,Missouri

EAT!! SLEEP !! QUILT!!

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Verified by Stephanie

In the quilting class I took on Craftsy.com, the instructor gave the same directions as Barbara.  Stabilize the quilt with stitching in the ditch both ways first.  And you probably know this, but the rule of thumb for sandwiching is to have the batting 2" wider/longer than the quilt top and the backing 2" larger than the batting.  Craftsy.com has a free class on backings, and I found that tip very helpful. 

Brigit-Carol

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Stephanie, I usually start in the middle and work in quarters . That way you can keep track of what you have done. I didn't know of course that your middle was so open. so I don't blame you for not doing a secure stitch down the middle . I would make sure my quilt is really stable with pins or basting spray so you do not have any shifting while you quilt .  Just take your time and don't forget to breath . it can be a lot of fun to watch your quilt come together.  You don't have to rush your quilting .and try to stay at a consistent pace to help  keep your stitches equal ,IF this is your first FMQ experience don't be hard on yourself if it is not perfect . NO quilt should be perfect ..Good luck . and we look forward to seeing your finished quilt .

Barbara

Liberty,Missouri

EAT!! SLEEP !! QUILT!!

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All Replies

Not Ranked
Female
4 Posts
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Verified by Stephanie

I would stipple first and then put on the binding, of course that is just my opinion

 

  • | Post Points: 25
Not Ranked
Female
4 Posts
Points 105
Verified by Stephanie

I would stipple first and then put on the binding, of course that is just my opinion

 

  • | Post Points: 25
Top 10 Contributor
Female
19,842 Posts
Points 248,959
Verified by Stephanie

Stephanie ,first off welcome to the club,   you do not want to put your binding on until you get the quilting  finished. . As you quilt you will need the room for your quilt as it stretches ,when you are quilting. It doesn't do it much but you want this extra room.  Next you need to stabilize your quilt .If you can do a stitch in the ditch (SID-) across the center of the quilt  form one side to the next  this will keep your quilt form shifting while you quilt it. if you have borders on your quilt  I would also SID around them at this time  . Then starting in the middle of your quilt then you can start your stippling. If you have any questions please ask .Good luck and we would love to see a picture when you finish.. Barbara

Liberty,Missouri

EAT!! SLEEP !! QUILT!!

  • | Post Points: 40
Top 100 Contributor
Female
736 Posts
Points 18,435
Verified by Stephanie

In the quilting class I took on Craftsy.com, the instructor gave the same directions as Barbara.  Stabilize the quilt with stitching in the ditch both ways first.  And you probably know this, but the rule of thumb for sandwiching is to have the batting 2" wider/longer than the quilt top and the backing 2" larger than the batting.  Craftsy.com has a free class on backings, and I found that tip very helpful. 

Brigit-Carol

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Thanks for the suggestions and advice everyone. I did go check out the backing tutorial on Craftsy and decided I wanted to add a little flare to the back so I took my basting pins out and added to my back. Now I'm in the process of basting my layers back together. I really don't want to run stitches down the middle of the quilt, because the openness of the center is what I like about it. I am just going to proceed with SID around in the inside seam and outside seams of my border on my quilt top and then will proceed with stippling the center, then binding after that. Do you suggest starting the stippling from the center of the quilt and working out? I've read other suggestions that start from one side and kind of work in rows so as to not back yourself into a corner. I've been practicing my stippling (again, I'm new to this) and it doesn't seem like I'm doing very well. I can't stay consistent with my speed and tension on the back. Any suggested settings for tension and speed during free-motion? I'm going to look through the How To Videos to see if I can find some help in the meantime.

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Verified by Stephanie

Stephanie, I usually start in the middle and work in quarters . That way you can keep track of what you have done. I didn't know of course that your middle was so open. so I don't blame you for not doing a secure stitch down the middle . I would make sure my quilt is really stable with pins or basting spray so you do not have any shifting while you quilt .  Just take your time and don't forget to breath . it can be a lot of fun to watch your quilt come together.  You don't have to rush your quilting .and try to stay at a consistent pace to help  keep your stitches equal ,IF this is your first FMQ experience don't be hard on yourself if it is not perfect . NO quilt should be perfect ..Good luck . and we look forward to seeing your finished quilt .

Barbara

Liberty,Missouri

EAT!! SLEEP !! QUILT!!

  • | Post Points: 40
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Thanks Barbara! This is my first attempt at FMQ. I think I will pick up some basting spray today. I have pins, but with this being my first attempt I think it might add a little security and set my mind at ease as well. I did find some great video tutorials online by Leah Day, so I'm going to practice more and find my steady pace before I start on my quilt. I'll be sure to share it once it's finished. I'm so proud of what I've done so far, so I think I'm just hesitant to start stippling on it and possibly ruining it. I'll be the first one to admit I'm a perfectionist, but I've just told myself along the way that my friends receiving this blanket for their baby on the way will love it not matter what it looks like. That tiny misaligned zig zag stitch will not be noticeable to anyone but me! :) 

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Stephanie ,that the spirit . do practice some first , stippling is not hard to do and you can do just about any twist and turn you want but you need to try and keep it all the same size if possible .  or close not exact. but the biggest thing to remember is its just you doing the movement instead of the machine , you don't have to hurry .

Barbara

Liberty,Missouri

EAT!! SLEEP !! QUILT!!

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I'm new at FMQ myself.  So, I signed up for the Free Motion Quilting class from Leah Day on Craftsy.  She is an awesome teacher and can answer every single question you have posted here.  I have learned so much from her.  If you go to her blog: "http://www.freemotionquilting.blogspot.com/2012_11_01_archive.html.

then scroll down to her article on Craftsy, you can then click on the link and get the class for $19.99.  It is cheaper that way.     Hope this helps.

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Silverlining ,I to am taking this class. Leah is a fabulous instructor.  and I am enjoying her class. We do have a FMQ group here that I try and help folks with,I to am a beginner but we do okay and try to help each other out .  It is free to join. Barbara 

Liberty,Missouri

EAT!! SLEEP !! QUILT!!

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