Quilting in the Hoop: Use Your Embroidery Machine for Personalized, Perfect Quilting

Quilting in the embroidery hoop, a popular method with many uses, needs certain special considerations from the selection of layout, thread, and stabilizer to determine how to finish off the ends of the thread. In these places, a little extra effort and thinking will improve the performance and elegance of the damaged quilting machine.

First of all, in contrast to models that are digitized as quilting templates, try utilizing sketches for filled designs and rework designs — using editing software to fix only the outline or phase through the layout on the screen. Check the outline stitch process as some are discontinuous or jump around, which would not suit a quilt motif.

Many models have thicker shapes, such as when the model utilizes a triple stitch rather than a simple running stitch, making the design’s back appear thinner. While it is not easy to change the heaviness of the stitching, even these thick lines may look softer when using lightweight thread in both the bobbin and the needle.

Second, if the quilting is to be hidden, the bobbin thread should match the backing fabric. Because nearly all bobbin threads are either black or white, lightweight embroidery thread is a good choice of bobbin thread for the embroidered quilting machine. Many patterns will also fit in the bobbin, pin, or both using monofilament thread.

If using monofilament thread, it is safer to slow down the speed of the computer. If the sewing is to be noticeable, the stitching thread can be used in the bobbin to contrast with the backing cloth. This is a great place to use in both the needle and bobbin cotton embroidery threads because they suit the form of cloth and are finer than the threads in rayon embroidery.

If the needle thread suits the bobbin thread, no special adjustments need to be used, but if the two threads are different colors, some modifications may be needed. Embroidery devices are designed to draw the needle thread for an unbalanced stitch to the back of the embroidery. If the needle thread color appears unsightly when it appears on the back of the quilt, the needle tension can be increased until a more balanced stitch is reached, with the threads interlocking within the batting layer thickness.

The third factor is to choose an appropriate stabilizer. One of the greatest benefits of quilting in the hoop is that there is often no need for a stabilizer, such as hooping a three-layer quilt sandwich and embroidering a low-density design.

There are several potential methods when a stabilizer is required. The easiest thing would be to use a water-soluble stabilizer that can be washed away once the quilt has been finished. Quilting can also be done on a sandwich consisting of a top fabric, batting, and a cut-off stabilizer, with the back fabric being attached either at some point during the quilting process on the underside of the hoop or as a complete later step.

It is also possible to use a quick tear-away stabilizer, but it can be time-consuming to rip the stabilizer away from running stitches, rendering this a more difficult process. As this quilting technique increases in popularity, other stabilizer combinations are being developed.

Finally, what to do with the ends and knots of the thread is the biggest consideration. When the quilting is to go all the way to the edge of the quilting piece, hoop the top, bat and backing together and stitch the design together, then trim the larger hooped piece to size and finish the quilt.

Finishing strategies vary from conventional knots to surged edges to different methods of quilt-as-you-going. So when you want to use an embroidery pattern for quilting a line, what about those times? Or for those projects where the quilt layers are already in place before you embroider in the center of the quilt through all the layers? What are you doing with the ends of the thread on the back? Based on the desired result and the commitment expended to obtain the result, there are several options.

Simply allowing the computer to break the threads is the easiest choice. Add a small amount of a fray stop solution to the knots and to each end of each jump stitch when the quilt is separated from the hoop. Trim the threads to approximately 1/8 inch when the solution is dry. The loops and thread end will be obvious, but the fabric of the embroidery is so delicate that the knots should not be quite evident. This is even recommended and considered a quilting characteristic in the hoop to be identified.

The stitches of the jump will be small enough to be barely noticeable in some designs and can be left intact. There are ways to make such stitches disappear or almost invisible if the patterns have longer stitches in them. One way is to stitch these designs through the layers of top and batting, adding the backup afterward by some other method.

In most instances, though, quilting will be through the three layers of sandwich, so with the skip stitching, something has to be achieved. It is necessary to cover the threads if clear skip stitches are not suitable, making the back look as beautiful as the front. This requires more effort, but it can go smoother than one might anticipate.

When burying thread ends, make sure to turn off all automated thread snips and cutters. Leave between any separate motifs long thread tails. When all quilting is complete, on the front of the quilt, trim one end of each jump stitch and turn the quilt backward. On the back, trim the same end on the front for increasing jump thread. With a minute fall of fray stop solution, this region can be further protected.

At the other side of the top knot, remove the bobbin thread and attach the needle thread to the bottom. If the needle thread does not move backward, loop it through a strong sewing needle’s eye and use the needle to push it backward. For extra security, you may tie the needle thread and bobbin thread in a small square knot, but this is not always required. Both strands in Bury finish in quilt padding, whether separately or together.

It will slide back into the quilt sandwich and disappear if you pull the thread so that the fabric buckles a little before you snip off the end. Another method is to snip the thread about 1⁄4 inch beyond the cloth so that a little tail emerges and then raise the backrest enough for the tail to pass between the layers of the quilt. The fibers can be snipped in the center of long jump stitching, then threaded between the layers at each end of the hop.

On the threads that start and end a pattern, this method is also used. Be sure to leave long threads between motifs and snip them in the center to hide them later. Use the loops of the bobbins to drag the threads of the needle downwards and cover the threads with a special stitching tool. It takes a bit of effort to do this method, but it pays big dividends. The quilt’s back looks as beautiful as the front, and it’s safe to stitch and won’t get undone.

Another method of halving the finishing workload is to continue each project by pulling up the bobbin thread at the beginning and retaining both the needle and bobbin threads as the stitching begins. Then both threads can either be either covered with a needle or snipped off on top, respectively, based on how tightly the majority of the stitches are keeping them.

Endless hoops and rework motifs allow quilting in the hoop a nice, easy way to have fine, design quilting around any quilt’s borders. With all the choices for quilt-as-you-go finishing methods and various possibilities for digitized quilting patterns, the options for stunning embroidered quilts are constrained to the creativity alone.

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