© 2016-2020 APQS. In the photo below, you can see our three lines of test stitching, from bottom to top: 5.0, 2.4, 1.0, On the left, I shortened the stitch length to 2.0 and the beauty of the thread shows. This is a good example of my point. If you were hand quilting, tiny, even stitches on the front and back are considered heirloom if you can muster over 15 per inch.But with machine quilting, every single stitch is obvious. Thank you Mindy. The average machine quilting stitch length chosen is between 10 and 11 stitches per inch. LOL, Jenny, I LOVE that your carpeting looks like a wonderful quilting pattern….. Great article and I have noticed the same as I stitch along with different threads! The really great thing about quilting is that YOU are in charge of the look that you want for YOUR quilt. I worked with a designer and she knows what I do. I could not agree more wholeheartedly! As an obvious exaggeration, the bottom row has ridiculously long stitches and the thread is just laying there, forlorn. Thick batting will quilt better with longer stitches as well. For this style of quilting, increase your stitch length to 13 or so to create tiny, dainty stitches. Living room looks fabulous and I love the design in the rug. Use these tips to add texture to your quilts. Thank you Barb! I didn’t think the stitch length mattered after you lowered the feed dogs. In all cases you are looking for the same thing: each stitch should show the beauty of the thread. A good speed is around 75% of your machine's highest speed. ), That said, we’re often asked about what is the “right” stitch length to quilt with …and you know what the answer is going to be – it depends! Once you feel comfortable and consistent with the movement of the stitching you can use free motion quilting to create unique designs. In the top row, the beauty of the thread shows. I hope it’s clear from the photo-the stitch length on the background with thin blue thread is much shorter than that of the thicker white thread. This is one vignette from our Living Room. Getting a consistent free motion quilting stitch length can be difficult in the beginning because most quilters are used to their machine determining the stitch length for them. The techinques work. Yes Janet, love that carpet’s pattern and it’s no coincidence! Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Learn several techniques for relaxing your shoulders and controlling your body. Your time will come! I like a bit longer stitch but now I know the weight of the thread plays a big part. Have fun using these tips to get…, Peg Spradlin teaches you how to baste a quilt to get it ready for machine quilting. Cool, huh? Of course you also need to have good fabric, quality thread and perfect tension, perhaps subjects for a later blog post. Your next decision rests in choosing the proper length of stitch for your quilting project. Does the BSR regulate the length to the 3.5 or to my speed and motion? When you sew your quilting seams, most sewing machines have presets for common stitch lengths. I’m going to link up with Nina-Marie’s Off the Wall Friday. When you're free-motion stitching, the stitch length will depend on how quickly you push the fabric through your machine. You’re welcome Jayne! I continue to read articles and blog posts about the “perfect” stitch length for free motion quilting, as though it were a singular number. Thank you for that little article. On the right is the standard 2.5mm stitch length. btw – I noticed that your carpet (rug?) Once you’ve mastered free motion quilting, move on to this fun class where you’ll learn new ways of machine quilting. Heather then explains that it is also important to be consistent with your free motion quilting stitch length. Over one-third of quilters own an embroidery machine, and about one-third also do embroidery on quilt tops. Required fields are marked *. In hand quilting, every OTHER stitch is seen. So setting your stitch regulator to 15 stitches per inch for general designs would be too close (and imagine the fun you’d have if you had to “unsew” any of those stitches!). This length complements both delicate designs as well as bolder quilting motifs. Thank you for writing! There is no formula for the right stitch length, your eye is just seeking that length where the beauty of the thread shows. Can’t wait for the book! Thank you, Judith, Kelly Hanson gives us some ideas for thoughtful holiday gifts for loved ones. Sometimes by the time I snip the threads after sewing on the last border of a quilt, I’m so excited to have it finished that the last thing I want to do is wrestle several more yards through the machine to seam backing fabric. Thick threads need a longer stitch and skinny threads need a shorter stitch. It’s worth the time to get it right–you want the beauty of your thread to show. Thank you for your comment Irene! Maybe quilters would prefer presets in a longarm, too! Quilters on one side of the iron insist, “Always press toward the dark fabric!” The other side chants, “Always press to reduce bulk!” As a quilt piecer, I want it all—I don’t want my dark colors showing through my light fabrics; I want my patchwork to be accurate and I want it to be flat. a good explanation. When I begin a project I’ll do some stitch-outs on a scrap piece or in the seam of my project to find that sweet spot. Not that I’m opinionated about stitch length or anything…. Was that intended, or a beautiful accident? Don’t stress about the actual NUMBER of stitches – choose a number that is pleasing to your eye. Your email address will not be published. Choose fine thread to avoid looking frumpy and overworked in your detail quilting. It took us awhile and the help of an excellent designer to finish things up. I am impressed with her ability to explain the techniques of free motion quilting. The rug is a design I had not seen either. All rights reserved. The average machine quilting stitch length chosen is between 10 and 11 stitches per inch. NOTE: Your stitch length when free motion quilting is regulated by the combination of the speed of your hands and how fast your machine is revved: slow hands, slow machine, biiiiig stitches; fast machine, fast hands, teeeeny stitches. Even in quilt judging circles, the ideal number of stitches per inch is subjective. When I first started quilting I tried to follow that “ideal stitch length” guideline and it made me think that certain THREADS were ugly. APQS will be closed 11/26 & 11/27 for Thanksgiving. But there is no standard best stitch length because it depends on the weight of your thread. In this video, watch as Kelly creates an applique snowman as part of a fun gift for her grandchildren, and gives us some other ideas to get started on…, Sherri Driver explains how important it is to grasp and hold your quilt firmly when sewing your quilt pieces together. When fmq and the dogs are down, your stitch length needs to adjust to the thread and that is done with the combination of your machine speed and hand speed. Thanks for showing your point with different thread weights. I am a new member, just to let you all know. Even your carpet has a quilting pattern Jenny, ha ha I never worry too much about the stitch length unless it looks horrid, I seem to just ‘know’ when I have it right. Sign up for Jenny’s weekly newsletter with different content from the blog. I put the feed dogs up for the example just so my stitches would be a certain specific length. She begins by finding the center of your table and then folds your fabric in order to find the center of your quilt fabric. I continue to read articles and blog posts about the “perfect” stitch length for free motion quilting, as though it were a singular number. The thread begins to glow at 3.o. She shows examples of stitches that are too long, which is caused when you are moving too fast in relation to how fast your machine is stitching and examples of stitches that are too short, which is when you are moving too slow. SecureTrust Trusted Commerce - Click to Validate. I have watched two of Heather Thomas’ videos. Yes, we do hang out in our Living Room-it’s comfortable, not formal or stuffy, and you can put your feet up on anything–unless you’re a Basset.