Monday, August 9, 2010

WIP - Doll Quilt Swap

After much agonizing, I finally came up with a design I like for my first round of the Doll Quilt Swap.  I can't even tell you how much time I've spent scouring my partner's Flickr favorites and blog, but I think my "research" has paid off.  I'm pretty sure this is right up her ally.

Here's sneak peek of the progress I'm making.  I've had so much fun making my first all-solids quilt.  I used Kona Stone and Kona White as well as 14 colors from my Kona Starter Pack.  This little quilt is about 22" square, but I'd love to make a larger version of this someday, maybe as a baby quilt or a throw.

I still have to quilt the center, but one thing that's holding me back is that I need to learn how to hide my starting/stopping threads.  I usually just backstitch at the start and finish of my quilting lines, but on this project that doesn't look too good with the white thread showing against the stone colored fabric.  Any advice or links to a tutorial would be greatly appreciated!  I frequently hear bloggers talking about "pulling their threads through" or "hiding their threads" but I have no idea how to do this.  I still have so much to learn!

Happy sewing!


  1. I LOVE it! I have never known what to do with my threads either when stopping and starting so I will be really interested to see the other responses.

    And remember; we always see the flaws that no one else sees. So threads or no threads, it's an awesome quilt...

    Jennifer :)

  2. I spend a lot of time making knots on the back of the quilt and threading them between the layers! time consuming but it works!
    Good luck with the quilting, solid colors can be so tricky!

  3. I. LOVE. THIS!!!!! I'm sure your partner will love it!

  4. It's gorgeous, Mary!! I too would like to hear what others say as I have no advice for you! :)

  5. Hi, Mary! Love the little quilt and I agree it would make a stunning larger quilt! I would also do it Morgane's way, make tiny knots and, after threading a needle, pulling them between the layers. I don't know of any easier/quicker way to do it! Look at it this way, though - at least it's small! Choose a quilting design that has only one stop and start!

  6. My machine has a button that makes it take several stitches in one spot before starting or stopping. Does yours have that? If so, there you go! Sometimes it leaves a bit of a mess on the back though (at least mine does and I have to clip it at the end). Otherwise, you could do more like a spiralling square so you only have one start and stop. Could you change thread color and use a matching top thread? I am fresh out of ideas now so I hope one of those will work.

  7. Love the colors and quilting on this !! I usually pull on my thread on the back side of my quilt which "loosens" the front thread that's hooked around it, I use my seam ripper to grab that loosened thread and pull it through so that both threads are on the back side of my quilt. I tie 2 little knots then cut the extra string away. Hope it makes sense :)

  8. Love it! Hope you find a good solution~ I will be checking back for good answers. I agree with Jennifer! :)

  9. I don't know how to "pull" threads through either, but I feel like I've done it before when I was young and in 4-H.

    Great doll quilt. :)

    (I have the feature that stitches in one place -- it's what I'd use)

  10. Beautiful! Your sketch is great. I so wish I could do that, it would make life a little sweeter!

    I learned a quilting starting/stopping technique at my LQS - there isn't a tutorial, but I can give it a go right here.

    Before you start quilting:
    - hold the top thread
    - needle down
    - needle up
    - pull the top thread -(bobbin thread will come
    to the top)
    - hold both threads
    - needle down in same spot, & make 3 or 4 short
    stitches close together
    - pressure foot down
    - start quilting

    When you finish quilting:
    - presser foot up
    - make 3-4 tiny stitches
    - move quilt 7" from needle
    - hold top thread
    - move quilt back to last stitch
    - needle down
    - needle up
    - pull the top thread
    - bobbin thread will come to the top
    - trim threads

    It seems like a whole lot of steps, but it goes pretty quickly once you get through it once. I hope this helps, I think you'll be happy with the results.

  11. Beautiful — solids make such a striking visual impact!

    Most tutorials say you should bring your bobbin thread up to the top, but I prefer not to in most cases. Usually, I just make sure I have long thread tails before I begin quilting, and hold them to the side while I make my first few stitches. From there, if I'm not stitching nearby where they might get tangled I just leave them. When I'm done with a line of quilting, I leave longish thread tails again before clipping. Then I turn the quilt over and pull my thread to the back. I tug just a bit on the loose end of the bobbin thread, to pull the top thread to that side, then I hook it with a dull seam ripper and pull it through. Once it's through, I tie a teeny knot with the two threads. Then I use a needle-threader and thread a needle with both threads. I insert the needle as close as possible to the knot, keeping the needle between the backing and batting. When you have the tails threaded through the back, you can trim them so they will "disappear" into the quilt sandwich.

    This is just my technique that works for me... I hope it makes sense to you!

    (Hand-quilting tutorials have good info about "hiding" thread tails, too)

  12. Oh it is just gorgeous!!! And the quilting just adds the right touch! Who needs patterned fabric..when it can look this great!! I might just have to try one! xx

  13. It looks very happy and cheerful! I am very sure your partner will love this! As for stitching, I think it would look just fine with some back-stitching done in the middle. I know I wouldn't mind that at all ;)

  14. This little quilt is as cute as pie! I'm posting a site that carries invisible quilting threads in smoke and clear. I've heard other quilters talk about using this type of thread. I never have but if someone else has, please comment about it's use. There is a needle chart posted on this web page also. I was once told to use silk embroidery thread to match the color of my fabrics, that it would disappear into the fabric. Just some thoughts.


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