Patchwork Flowers Table Runner - Hoop Along Part Four

We are almost at the end. Did you get all your table runner blocks stitched? If not have a peek at part three of our hoop along.

Top and Bobbin Threads
I constantly flip flop about the top and bobbin threads when quilting in-the-hoop. The reason is that each project is so different.  There isn't a one setting that fits all. The look you want to achieve is really the key to the type of thread you use. For the top you can use rayon thread, regular sewing thread, clear nylon/polyester thread or my current favorite Invisafil by WonderFil. For the bobbin you can use rayon, embroidery bobbin thread or regular sewing thread. If the back of the quilted item is visible, you'll want to use a thread to match the color of the backing fabric in the bobbin. You'll also need a more balanced seam, so you might need to increase or decrease the top tension.

For example, in the quilted pillow I used rayon on top with embroidery bobbin thread in the bobbin. In this case the thread is part of the design, so I wanted it to be visible. As for the bobbin thread, the back of the embroidery is not visible, so regular bobbin thread is fine. And I didn't even worry about the tension, cause again, the back of the embroidery is not visible.

For the placemat in the Christmas tree napkins and placemat project, I used clear nylon on top with regular sewing thread in the bobbin. I needed the bobbin thread to match the placemat backing and regular thread is the only thing I had. Also, because of the nylon thread, I had to reduce the top tension even more than it would be for embroidery. When the back of the quilted item is visible, you want the tension to be balanced.

In the Patchwork Flowers Table Runner embroidery quilting directions you are instructed to thread on top and in the bobbin with the matching cotton thread. Because I didn't want my top thread to show, I used the Invisafil on top with regular sewing thread in the bobbin. With the Invisafil on top and cotton thread in the bobbin, I left the tension as for embroidery. The combination of these two threads gave me a balanced tension. Because there are so many variables in top and bobbin thread, it is best to stitch a sample of your quilting embroidery design. You can work out the thread and tension issues in the test stitching.

Embroidery Quilting
In my last hoop along post I offered to send a set of combined designs for those of you that have a 14.2”x 7.9” (360x200mm) hoop. These combined designs will reduce the amount of hooping and re-hooping. So if you don't have yours, contact me.

First of all you'll notice that we do not need stabilizer. We are stitching through three layers, quilt top, batting and backing so stabilizer is not needed. Next you'll notice that the batting and backing is cut a bit larger than the quilt top. The extra fabric is for hooping; I try to add only as much as necessary. I too don't like to waste fabric.

If you are using the individual embroidery quilting designs, go ahead and follow the directions that are included with the embroidery designs. If you are using the combined designs that I sent you, follow the information below.

With a fade away marker, mark the center line across the length of the table runner. Next mark the center lines across the width of the runner, in each nine patch block. Hoop the center of one end block. Hooping larger pieces of fabric is a bit tricky, especially when the fabric is bulky. One simple trick to help you hoop is to put double sided tape on the under sides of the inner hoop. The double sided tape keeps the inner hoop in place and keeps the fabric from shifting while you hoop. The good part about quilting in the hoop is that while the hooping takes time, the stitching is very quick.

So, I quilted each of the centers using the design titled "design_group_center".

Next mark the center line across the width of the runner in the side patches in each of the three nine patch blocks. Hoop the side of one end block. Hoop and stitch the design titled "design_group_side". Quilt each of the side patches. Hoop so that you have the shorter end of the runner on the inside of the arm of your machine. Great thing about quilting in the hoop is that it doesn't matter which end you stitch from. You will have to mirror the design for a couple of the sections.

Trim the backing and batting and you are ready for the binding!

Binding
The binding is stitched from the wrong side of the runner. The folded edge of the binding is then turned to the right side of the runner. You topstitch the edge of the binding, so you can be sure it is caught in the stitching. If you fold the binding so that it's wider on top than on the underside, the topstitching falls just beside the binding on the backing and totally blends in with the fabric, especially if your backing fabric is a busy print. Your current set of instructions may have the images showing the binding being stitched from the right side. If this is the case, just re-download the instructions. The corrected version is uploaded to the download site.

I used my Left Edge Topstitch Foot for the topstitching. Love this little foot - you probably have something similar for your machine. It allows you to straight stitch perfectly along a raised or slightly raised edge. The underside of the foot features a higher edge on the right side so thicker edges (bindings, collars, pockets, and hems) are positioned to the right as you sew.