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Machine Quilting Over the Same Place Twice?

by Rory Ross
(Bedias, Texas)

I would like to machine quilt between the applique butterfly wings and it would be easier to go over a section more than once...I have been out of quilting for years and did all my other art quilts by hand...I will be showing this quilt so I need to be correct in how I do the quilting...the quilt is done in Wonder Under and machine stitched with blanket stitch...the quilt is being done of a painting I did in the 90's with batik fabrics will post picture later...

Thanks! Rory


Yes, you can machine quilt over the same place multiple times to get from place to place.

Your thread choice is critical in keeping these stitches from showing.

A fine thread of matching color or value or monofilament would camouflage your stitches best.


YLI makes a soft nylon thread in both a smoke or clear version. You will need to test which works best on your fabric. For the bobbin, Aurifil 50 wt is fine. You can use the monofilament in the bobbin if you'd like. However, if you've got plastic bobbins, wind them S-L-O-W-L-Y and only about 1/2 way full. The thread can stretch as it winds onto the bobbin. Winding slowly and evenly helps with this.

100 wt Silk Thread

Either match the color or the value of the thread to your fabric. Make your stitches small, they look better with this fine thread. It does have a bit of a luster. But because this thread is so-o-o-o fine, there is little thread build up when you travel over previous lines of stitching.

We use lots of YLI 100 wt silk for machine quilting because we can backtrack over feathers and spines and not have it show. Love this thread. For the bobbin you can use either the 100 wt silk, Aurifil 50 wt cotton or Superior's Bottom Line, a 60 wt polyester.


Made by a Canadian company, this is a 100w 2 ply soft polyester that comes in 30 colors. It's got a matte finish so it'd hide in the well of the appliques. Use it both needle and bobbin.

I cannot find it locally here in Illinois. I have played with a spool, just playing around with free motion and did like the results.

Needle Choices

I'd suggest a Microtex Sharp. If there were no fusible involved, then go with the smallest needle to make the smallest hole because all these threads are so very fine. That'd be the 60/8.

However, because of the fusible, you may need to go to a bigger size so that you're not breaking these "staple" like needles...try a 75/11 and move up if needed.

As always, test, test and retest on a practice quilt sandwich, but you already know that if this is for competition! It isn't any fun to get part way into a quilt that you love, only to find that you haven't made the proper needle and thread choices and the quilting has turned into a drudge instead of being the pleasure it should be.

Good Luck to you, Rory. I hope this has been of help. We can't wait to see the finished quilt!


Julie Baird

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Thank you!
by: Janet

Thank you so much for your reply to my questions. I will be practicing until it looks right, now that I know the "rules".


From the Editor: Just remember that rules are guidelines. The great thing about quilting is that as your skills grow, your ability to choose the guidelines to follow that get the job done with the most accuracy, efficiency and joy grow, too!

Happy Quilting!

~ Julie

by: Janet

I think this is the closest post to the question I have.

I know that in Stippling and Meandering quilting stitches, you are not supposed to stitch over your previous lines of stitching.

What I don't know is how to stitch patterns that seem to require you to stitch over previous stitches, such as a feather design, where each feather shares a line of stitching with it's neighbor, or the veins in a leaf, or when making a sailor's rope.

Also, how do you go from one spot on the quilt to another, from design area to design area?

Do you end after each motif, tie off, then start again in another place?

Thank you for any help you are able to give me. I can't wait to increase my quilting design repertoire!

From the Editor:

For stitching over the same place twice, just like anything else in quilting it takes practice to learn. I find if I keep my eyes focused at the edge of my round darning foot that pretty much keeps on the line.

Your quilting can start to look 'thready' when you go over the same line twice.

The remedy to that is to use a much finer thread. I find with 100 wt silk you don't notice the double stitching.

The more contrast there is between the value of the thread color and fabric color, the more those double stitches show.

As for travelling between motifs...

If there's a ditch I can use, I use it. If the thread color for the background fill is the same and I can 'fill' my way to the next motif, I do it. Otherwise, yes, you will need to tie off and start again.

I hope this helps!



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