Saturday, January 1, 2011

Stabilizers in quilts

I hate the idea of paper in my quilt, therefore I tried to avoid using tear away stabilizers in my machine embroidery. I must admit that I did not realize the importance of the stabilizer in the formation of beautiful stitches. So after learning the hard way by trial and error I came to appreciate stabilizers more, but also try to come up with more acceptible solutions for myself.

When I make a quilt with heavy embroidery like a lot of satin and fancy fill stitches I use a needle felted cotton batting as stabilizer. The only problem then is to keep the batting out of the seam allowances when one sew the blocks together and to trim it evenly so as to have no lumps. I do add another full batting when layering for quilting. If this will be to lumpy I use a thinner needle punched poleyester batting- but not if the quilt is intended for a bed.

I also did not realise the reason for using a cut away stabilizer in stretchy fabric. Once again this lesson was learned when I ruined a nice T shirt when the embroidery shrinked the fabric. The cut away stabilizer is to hard for my liking and leave scratchy edges. So here I now also use poleyester needle punched batting to provide the stitches the support they need.

At a time I thought that water soluble stabilizer is the answer for all projects. I have now revised this idea. I have learnt that one need different stabilizers for different situations and tasks. I have also learned that one can experiment and come up with solutions that suit your own needs better. (I use a napy liner for continous support- it is a poleyster fibre and very soft after washing.)

1 comment:

  1. There is a lightweight very soft cutaway stablilizer. One person told me for T-shirt fabric, to use the sticky washaway stablilizer in the hoop to stick the fabric to and then slide a layer of the cutaway behind that. Is it all trial and error until you come up with the right solution.


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