sewing + quilting confidence grows here, tip by tip

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

How To Repair Broken Quilting Stitches


Help, I've got a problem with one of my finished quilts!!! Have you ever had an issue with your quilting stitches breaking too?  Fixing it isn't that big a task but often it's one we put off, well I know I do!
This weekend it's the Brooklyn Quilts! Show...


 ...and Andrea & Ivete of Gotham Quilts will be vending there and they're taking my For All The Summers Yet To Come Yuma quilt along with them to display in their booth.  The Yuma pattern, designed by Andrea, is free on their website and they sell a kit of the American Made Brand solid fabrics I used to make my version and there're other kit fabric choices too.  You can buy the kit online - click the link to the store on my blog sidebar.
  

Trouble is this is the very quilt I need to fix and there's nothing like a deadline to get a girl motivated.  
I want the quilt to look its best, which is tricky for a quilt that's well loved and well used by my daughter Flicky each time she's home.  As soon as I was asked if Gotham could use the quilt I knew I had some fixing to do - you can see the three broken sections in the pic below - I've popped a pin against each so they're easier to spot.


Just in case you've got the same problem and are putting off dealing with it too, I'll share my repair method with you - if you click on the images they should pop up larger and be easier to read.

Repairing Broken Quilting Stitches





Is Diagonal Quilting The Source Of The Problem?

I have been thinking though about why these quilting stitches broke in the first place.  Around the internet people think it's any number of the following reasons:

- machine tension was too tight;
- thread was old; poor quality; too thin;
- incorrect needle size for thread or needle type for quilting;
- insufficient quilting for quilt weight.

In my case none of the above were true 
instead I have my own theory on this:

I've NEVER experienced a problem with my quilting stitches breaking UNLESS I've quilted diagonally and EVERY quilt I've quilted diagonally has had this problem - the conclusion I've come to is that diagonal stitching can't stretch equal to the bias stretch in the fabric across the diagonal so it breaks.  I don't know if I'm right but it makes sense to me.   If anyone knows a definitive answer  or has other suggestions to add to this conundrum please share in the comments.

So my quilt is repaired, laundered and on Wednesday will be delivered to Gotham ready for their booth at the Brooklyn Show.  I'll be heading there myself on either Saturday or Sunday, haven't decided which yet, if you see me at the show stop me and say 'hi'.

Whatever you're doing have a great weekend :D 


Featured on:

Clicking on an image will take you to a new page of crafty goodness :)
 

Disclaimer: Gotham Quilts supplied the fabrics used at a discount price to mbCD otherwise this post is for informational purposes only, no payment or commission is received on click-throughs and opinions are my own.

Click to follow me on



Linky Parties This post may be linked to some great Linky Parties, always a great source of inspiration too.  If you click through to my 'Fave Linky Parties'  page you can see where I like to share my work.

19 comments:

  1. I have had thread break on the diagonal as well. The quilting was on the grid, done 4 inches apart. Fortunately, that quilt lives close by, so I can repair it when needed. I've quilted diagonals one inch apart, and didn't have this problem. I guess more quilting secures the quilt better for heavier use.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I totally agree Amy, and quite a few people have commented saying the same, so I think, as you say, if we're going to quilt diagonally we should consider adding more quilting lines than we might otherwise.

      Delete
  2. What a great tutorial. I will definitely need to refer back to this one.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I haven't had this experience yet, but am really glad to see your post - just in case. Thanks alot!

    ReplyDelete
  4. You know, that's a really interesting question. I've had thread break every which way after heavy use of something, or after a wash, but now that I think about it, I think it's mostly FMQ/curvy motifs or on the bias. I could see the stretch being a problem like you mentioned. The quilt looks great! Thanks for bringing this up in a post!

    ReplyDelete
  5. very useful. I don't quilt (I wish I had the time to learn, but I don't, at least not now)but I'm guessing this technique should work to repair broken stitches in other pieces of work too! Pinned!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I haven't experience this before, but thank you for the tutorial! Something to file away for the future!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Another beautiful quilt and great tutorial Chrissie! I have been fortunate and haven't had this problem yet.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Yes, the bias stretch can definitely be the root cause of stitches breaking, both in quilting and in seams. This is why you aren't ever supposed to pull a quilt up from the top when it's sliding off the bed and never supposed to sit on quilts! Especially hand sewn and/or hand quilted quilts, as the running stitch used to sew them together and the quilting stitches have even less ability to stretch than machine sewn stitches. Though not a stretch stitch, machine stitches go down from the surface to meet the bobbin thread coming up from beneath, and in proper tension meet and wrap in the middle. There's a bit of extra thread there that's not there in hand sewn seams, but not enough to stretch with the bias if someone puts their knees on a bias seam when it's on a soft surface like couch or bed!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Interesting observation about quilting on the diagonal. I can see how the fabric's bias stretch being greater than the thread's stretch could cause that. Good theory.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thanks for sharing such a great tutorial on broken threads. Very thorough and helpful. How fun to have your quilt on display, it is a beautiful quilt.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Great tutorial. Thanks for sharing with TGIFF!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I have a quilt that the same thing has happened on. I quilted on the diagonal in diamonds and a lot of those stitches have popped. This was a queen size quilt that was on my bed for years. Like you, I have thought it was due to the straight quilting on the diagonal. This is a great tutorial for how to fix it. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Quite a few commenters have experienced the same which is a shame because I love the look of diagonal quilting but I'm a little reluctant to use it now!

      Delete
  13. Such a informative tutorial. Thank you for sharing with us @ #HomeMattersParty. We would love to have you again next week.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Sehr informativ, zum Glück hatte ich bisher noch nicht das Problem!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Yes! Every quilt that have quilted this way has snapped threads, while the quilts that have quilting running more or less along the grain line are fine. And we really use quilts here, so it makes sense. I've actually heard them snap when one of my sons (or I!) give the quilt a tug...oops!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A quilt I made very early on for my son did the same - I handed it over and he wrapped himself up in it and immediately told me he'd just heard stitches snap. One commenter said you're not supposed to pull quilts upwards onto yourself or the bed or sit on them but for me that defeats the purpose of having a quilt. I make my quilts to be used and loved so I'll just keep repairing those diagonal popped stitches! :D - Chris

      Delete

I love to hear from everyone, thank you for taking the time to read my blog and share your thoughts. Please leave a message to let me know you visited, it's a great way to get to know you all better too :)

Chris Dodsley