Friday, June 08, 2012

machine quilting

I've been teaching my machine quilting sampler/quilt as you go class (based on this quilt) at my local quilt shop the past few weeks and it's been a blast. Last night one of my students asked me if I buried my knots in my quilts. I sheepishly answered no. (Don't all gasp at once!) There on the spot I vowed to trying to do so. I had tried to bury my knots just a few weeks ago, but it didn't work out at all. Today I tried again and this time with much success! It's so nice to have the starts and stops virtually invisible. It's definitely worth the little extra time and care it takes. Yippee for learning new things! Do you bury your knots in your quilts? I'd be curious to know.
I'm slowly working on a blues and greens version of the sampler quilt so I have something to demo at my classes. The second version has 24 blocks and last Nov. I committed to coming up with new designs for each block (none being repeated in either of my two quilts). It's definitely a challenge, but I'm coming up with fun things...like this block. I call it my concentric amoeba. The center reminds me of an amoeba...and that's such a fun word to say! I am smitten by this design.
I got it stuck in my head that I needed to use that same design on a large scale...all over my patchwork quilt that I showed yesterday. After two false starts, I am well on my way. It was ambitious to try this technique on a quilt this size because I started in the center and I'm rotating the quilt constantly as I quilt outward. There is quite a bit of bulk in this quilt, but after a few rounds things got significantly easier. My ironing board for support of the bulk of the quilt helps a ton, too. I'm making great progress...and it is looking mighty fine! I'm so happy about that!

We had a great second day of summer vacation. My kids were fairly mellow and we had fun hanging out. We even did a craft together. Burning my fingertips with hot glue was something I could have lived without, but hey....it's alright. I'll show the results of that soon. Now I'm off to grill a late night dinner. Have a great weekend!

53 comments:

Suzan said...

I do bury my knots. I saw a video with a woman who used a self threading needle to pull up both strands of thread and snap back into the quilt. I bought the needles and it makes it so much easier. No trying to find the end of the thread and feed it into the eye of the needle!

Linda said...

I wouldn't have a clue how to bury my knots. I guess I need to learn that one, LOL. Glad you are enjoying having the kids home. :)

SoSarahSews said...

I just finished a quilt with the squiggly "amoebas" and will be loading it soon and adding it to my blog. I decided not to do one big one, but I did a few really good sized ones throughout the quilt. I'll have it up this week if you wanna see what that looks like!

BTW, I don't bury the knots. I don't really think they're that noticeable...maybe I'm doing something wrong? lol

emedoodle said...

I love this pattern of quilting! I've been really inspired by your work and your students' work! You're making me want to add more panels to the QAYG quilt I'm working on! Have you ever tried "matchstick quilting" I just gave it a go yesterday and I think I'm in love!

I'd love to see how you bury threads, I've thought about doing it but always take the easy way out and trim them!

Tamera said...

What a cool idea! I think I'll try it on a quilt I have in line to quilt!

Penny Schine Gold said...

I don't bury my knots if doing free motion quilting. I learned free motion from Jean Lohmar, a superb quilter who has won numerous national awards. She begins and ends with about 8 tiny stitches. If it's OK for Jean, it should be good enough for me! When doing straight-line quilting, though, and stopping/starting somewhere other than the edge, I do bury knots. Two methods of burying threads in the quilt. I use mostly the first method, but the second one when the tails are short: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OV3jNXy3Mn0 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M3gl4K8Z7XM&feature=player_embedded

Debbie said...

I for sure would like to see how you bury knots :)

Joan said...

I always bury my knots - love your patchwork quilt - and the one you have quilted.

Marge Gordon said...

I always bury my knots, regardless of how many million there are, it's worth the time and effort.

Mama Pea said...

I do so little FMQing, I sort of forget about burying my knots. I would love to see a tutorial on it. :-)

qltmom9 said...

I quit knotting. Instead I take a self-threading needle and sew small stitches (with both threads) under my last stitches into the batting (sew backwards, but hide it). My quilt threads no longer break and I've not had ANY trouble with this method.

Lucy~

Kristy said...

I don't bury my threads, mainly cause I don't know how.

JessicaGC said...

I learned to handquilt first in a very traditional setting. Literally! We were recreating the 1850s. Tiny stitches and lots of buried knots :)

Tara said...

Loving your amoebas! It is gonna be fantastic on your patchwork! Would also love to see how to bury knots. Might b e totally worth it! I'm lazy and don't bury anything, but I think that's just because I don't know how. We're a bunch of newbies out here and I think we all have things to learn.
I loved when you said last week that you learn something new with every quilt. And you have made hundreds!

I'm slathered with bug spray(homemade, of course) and the Mosquitos keep trying to bite me, but instead are kind of swarming. They're tring but are rebuffed. I'm grossed out, but so happy to be outside! Colorado is beautiful, if you wanted to let Kevin know!

seaschell said...

Ooo, I love concentric amoeba! Wanna talk about sheepish? I'm still quilting my QAYG quilt from last November's retreat. However, now I know how I'm going to quilt my next block! :)

Angela Nash said...

Hot Dogs? ;)

Terriaw said...

Wowza, that quilting looks awesome! especially on that color. Looks like a fun experiment. Happy to hear you're having fun on summer break with the gang.

Jennifer S. said...

I bury my knots because that's how I was taught by my friends who taught me how to quilt. I guess I didn't realize there was another way. So far I haven't had any problems. I love your patchwork quilt!

Unknown said...

I don't bury knots. Like Penny, I start with very small stitches for about 1/2 inch, them move on out to my standard stitch length. Looks fine! Just carefully snip the tails from the threads, both of which are pulled to the top before starting. Easy!

Love your quilt!
Joanna

Jacqui said...

I had no idea you could (or should) bury knots when machine quilting! I do it when sewing by hand though. It sounds like it would be good because I find those tiny stitches at the start aren't good if you have different colours top and bottom and is generally rather obvious even at the best of times, and back stitching leaves blobs even if you pull the bottom thread up. Will have to check it out!

Patrick said...

I am quilting a picnic quilt right now using matchstick quilting (for the first time). I love it, too! Since I have several colors in my quilt, I am using 4 different thread colors. I like that all I really have to do well is stitch a straight line, and it looks good. I can get very critical of my fmq'ing sometimes.
And I bury my threads with a self threading needle, btw.

Quilt n Queen said...

Yes I bury my knots, using a self threading needle...I just can't just snip those threads...takes a little longer but worth the extra time.

Carla said...

I just learned how to bury knots! It does give a nice finish and I do it on all my quilts now.

ms lottie said...

Yup, always bury my threads and since I started doing it with a self-threading needle, I don't dread it so much. But no matter how long it takes, it always looks so much better.

Sara said...

yeah probably should bury those guys eh?! hehe

I love the quilting "amoeba!"

Nell said...

Just wanted to tell you how much I LOVE your book! Today I even took a deep breath and sorted my scraps by colour (and it was quite a liberating process and showed me that I actually don't have as many scraps as I thought - certainly not even enough to make those yummy storage baskets yet!) Congrats on a superb book!

Michele said...

Nice design and I think it is practically impossible not to burn your fingers with the hot glue. I hope it wasn't too bad and will keep you from sewing.

carol said...

E-gads, so many proper thread buriers here, it makes me sick! Needless to say, I don't bury.....but maybe I should? I'd probably do it on a show quilt. You know, one that I was going to have juried.......but for everything else, why bother? I have too many fish to fry to worry about a few little ends!

Amanda said...

I love the concentric amoeba! It looks so fun.

Denise in PA said...

I think about burying my knots - LOL. I have a self-threading needle and I think I did it once. I really need to do it always. You may have inspired me to to "just do it!"

Diane Swett said...

I bury my threads sometimes - It depends on the project and the time constraints. I like the idea of using the self threading needle...would make it a lot easier to help and bury the threads. I find I do not like using the tiny stitches much and I would rather bring the bobbin thread to the top and tie off and bury or clip it....

pasqueflower said...

Yes, please, tell us how you bury your knots.

You are a brave woman, to attempt that design on such a large quilt.
I'm sure it will be easier once you are done with the center and in a groove.

Maxine said...

Please..please share how to bury knots...Have no idea how..As for the hot glue...I think you always burn your fingers...

Esch House Quilts said...

I knot and bury my thread ends from the back of the quilt. Using a self-threading needle makes it SO much easier and faster.

That amoeba quilting is fun!

Becky said...

Awesome quilting! I do bury my knots/threads, but apparently I need to get a self-threading needle like some others, because I always dread that job.

Live a Colorful Life said...

Bury knots?? First I would have to attempt the FMQ! But for the few times I have done straight line quilting and had to do something in the center of the quilt, I would LOVE to know how to bury the knots!

Denise Russell said...

Amanda Jean, I do not bury my knots but it is on my list to try if only on the art quilts. I like the idea of using self-threading needles for that. As for the glue gun, somebody tipped me about the low-heat glue guns and I love them! Now I can let my 12-year-old use it on his shells, too. Try it!

Becky said...

Leah Day has all sorts of info about burying your threads on her blog, but I'm just too impatient to do it I guess. I do a few "back stitches" at the beginning and end of each "run", and call it good. I also have a pair of curved scissors so that I can clip the thread right at the fabric. I use all of my quilts, and can honestly say that I've never had anyone, myself included ever look at the stitching close enough to matter once they're done.

Clair said...

I don't bury my knots on machine quilting, nor do I know how. I do that on my handquilting, though.

Mary said...

No, I do not. I still to this day do not understand how or why it is done. I do a locking stitch and snip the threads.

I like your amoeba. I thought it looked like a whirlpool.

Kati from Kati's Quilting said...

I bury my knots too! Your amoeba quilting looks really nice, I love the idea!

Cherie said...

When I'm hand stitching I bury my knots.
Love the quilting design. I'll be watching out for the big finish.
They do cool melt glue sticks too.. =D

I'm having a giveaway on my blog. There is one extra day to enter =D
http://ibescheraldine.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/official-150th-post-giveaway.html

Jennie P. said...

I'd love to know how to do that. Maybe you'll do a tutorial sometime soon :)

Coffeebean's Dailies said...

Hi Amanda Jean! I love the Amoeba quilting. Darling! I DO bury my knots. I don't understand though why some ladies are saying that they don't know how. So, I'll explain what I do. I knot the thread with a quilter's knot. I find where I want the needle to come up and go down as far as the needle will let me. I then go into that spot and out where I want the needle and therefore the first stitch. I tug on the knot until it disappears between the layers of fabric and batting. If this is what you mean; then yes, I bury my knots. I am curious about this self threading needle. Don't know this! Can't wait to see your finished quilt!

Cheryl Arkison said...

How fun!
If you are free motion quilting could you not do this without rotating the quilt? Moving it yes, but not rotating?

Thimbleanna said...

The only kind of know burying I know about is when hand quilting. So, inquiring minds want to know -- how the heck do you bury the knots on machine quilting????

Mary said...

CBD, thanks for the explanation. I actually watched a YouTube video after I posted. I will say it probably isn't going to happen here. That is HAND work and that is a four letter word! I don't do anything by hand if I can help it.

Denise said...

I have the same question as Cheryl as far as rotating the quilt. Unless you are doing it with a walking foot, it would seem you would not have to rotate it.

amandajean said...

Denise,

I wouldn't have to rotate the quilt, but I found that I got the best results from doing that. My stitching is more consistent and looks the best. Hope that helps!

Amanda Jean

Char said...

Yes , I've always buried my knots! I try to have as few as possible.

Suzanne said...

I love your confession posts. I always learn so much from the comments that the readers share. There are so many methods out there to discover as techniques.

quirky granola girl said...

well, you know that i just learned to bury my knots from Flaun at the workshop. i like it. but i also like to start and end quilting on the edge so i don't have to :)

April (Polkadot Sparrow) said...

How did I miss this post?? Good thing I saw it before I quilted a topper that is almost ready--because now I want to do it Amoeba-style! :) Thanks for sharing this.