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Starting or stopping a line of machine quilting stitches
(West Chester, PA)
I'm about to start machine quilting my third quilt...
How do I start and end a line of quilting stitches. I'd like to do a large amount of echo quilting on my current project and I know that will require a lot of stops and starts.
I have a fairly new sewing machine that back stitches very cleanly right over the forward stitches. Should I just do a couple of back stitches at the beginning and end or is there something else I should do? I've heard a few different ideas.
Good question, Kelly!
Like everything in quilting, there's more than one way to start and stop lines of machine quilting stitches.
I would personally not recommend using either a back stitch or a "tie-off" stitch that many newer machines have. Back stitching can result in unsightly thread build up. Using a "tie off" or "fix" stitch that is programmed into today's machines leaves a knot on the back that I find annoying AND I'm not sure that it'd stand up to much use.
In my humble opinion, the best ways to start and stop lines of quilting are to either use "micro stitches" or to hand knot and bury your thread tales.
Since you plan to do a lot of echo quilting using micro stitches would probably be more efficient.
The micro stitches work equally well for both quality cotton and monofilament threads. (I use both extensively.)
These links will take you to descriptions of both methods: