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Quilting in the hoop questions

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    Quilting in the hoop questions

    Hello to all,
    I've been working on this quilt for a while and it morphed from a simple lap sized quilt into a full sized monster. But so far I really love how it looks. I have three more rows to finish, then add an outer border in black.

    I've finally decided that I'm going to use my embroidery machine and do the quilting in the hoop using the designs that came with my machine. I've watched just about every YouTube video I can find about how to do this and can't find answers to specific questions; I also have nobody else to contact and my dealer is two hours away, so no lessons there. So any help you guys can provide will be greatly appreciated.

    The blocks are 9 7/8" squares. I'm planning on using variegated Isacord thread on the top and a color to match the backing. Sashing will be done in black. The machine I'll be using is a Bernina 880. The manual doesn't give much help.


    So here goes:
    Is there a specific type or thickness of batting I should use?

    Can I still baste the layers with safety pins, removing as I get to every block? I don't like spray basting, especially in a closed house.

    Should I stitch in the ditch before I quilt the blocks? I'm planning on using a serpentine in the sashing anyway so should I do that first?

    Do I still quilt from the center outward or should it be quilted in columns or rows?

    I think that's all for now. Again, thanks in advance for any help. Have a good night.


    Re: Quilting in the hoop questions

    I'm curious about the answers to your questions as well.


      Re: Quilting in the hoop questions

      I've seen several suggestions to do Quilt as you go for doing this. I think it would work well on your design. Your hooping it, so you wouldn't need pins.

      I didn't answer you right, because you already made the quilt. lol Instead of using in the hoop I tried 'continuous quilting on you embroidery machine' or edge edge to edge etc.. Maybe you will find some better videos.

      The link I gave above from Urban Threads has wonderful designs if you haven't checked them out before. My dd and I found them when they first started out.
      Last edited by Hulamoon; January 22nd, 2020, 05:52 PM.
      🌺 Lorie


        Re: Quilting in the hoop questions

        If you have one, it is easiest to use a magnetic hoop. If not, use what you have. I like Nancy's tip about using strips of double sided stabilizer to hold everything together. You can google "edge to edge machine embroidery designs"


          Re: Quilting in the hoop questions

          Hi Barbara:
          I have the Janome 15000 which does in the hoop quilting. I have done a throw size and this was what I did and my experience:
          I did individual blocks but next time plan to do all over free motion (more experience and knowledge about my machine
          do start in the middle of the quilt - hoop the block or area you want to quilt, be diligent in removing any pins as you hoop, can not stress enough
          I used standard warm and natural batting and did use the magnetic hoop that came with my machine.
          I did not pre-stitch in the ditch - you will need to smooth out your blocks as you go and the ditch stitching could cause problems
          The first blocks were a challenge in getting them hooped up straight and aligned. By half way it was much easier to do and by the end I was pretty good at getting it hooped right without any adjustments. My last block was near
          I would suggest making a sample larger than your block, use plain fabric or muslin and your choice of batting .... and mark out where you want your block to be and practice practice first. See what issues you may have and fix before you start on your quilt.
          Have plenty of bobbins ready to go, so you don't have to stop and rewind a bobbin in the middle of a block. I tried to watch my bobbin and changed it when it looked low at the start of a new section.
          I am sure I have forgotten something, but my quilt turned out nicely and I plan to do another one very soon.
          Also for your first one, I would practice on a quilt for your self or a charity quilt. I didn't want to mess up one I had planned to gift.
          Hope this helps. Go for it, as anything else it takes practice practice practice!
          Good Luck


            Re: Quilting in the hoop questions

            Thank you Murphy224.
            Your answers give me a starting point. I have many ugly batik fat quarters willing to sacrifice themselves in order for me to practice.
            After much thought, I ordered a magnetic hoop for my machine. If I can quilt just one quilt instead of sending it out to be done, it will pay for itself.
            I'm so looking forward to doing this.......


              Re: Quilting in the hoop questions

              I've done a few projects using the EMB machine creating a stippling design.

              Typically, the batting is 80/20 and I use a magnetic hoop. It will be hard to get all that thickness of a quilt sandwich hooped in a regular hoop IMHO.

              What size is the quilt? You have to factor the weight of the rest of the quilt not ITH. The pulling can cause the quilt sandwich to pop out if not secure. Stitch out the design on a practice piece first.

              You will also need to know the area of the hoop for the design size. I use the largest hoop so there is room to move the design on the machine screen if needed.

              Check the bobbin before you start stitching. You don't want to have to change bobbins in the middle of a design stitch out. It can be done of course, but, it's a pain. Some machines allow you turn off the auto thread cutter.

              I also pull up the bobbin thread and leave a long tail of bobbin and top thread. Bury them later. Use the plus 1 stitch feature to get to right area before pulling the thread up. Yes, start in the center and work out in consecutive blocks.

              Cut the batting and backing about 4 inches bigger around the quilt to assist with hooping. Remember, this adds more weight to the quilting project.

              Good luck!


                Re: Quilting in the hoop questions

                I did quilting on my embroidery machine prior to selling it fairly successfully. If you do a search this subject has been discussed several times and you will probably find lots more info.
                A little advice: #! put your machine on a surface that will hold your entire quilt without it falling off the table edge. #2 if you choose a round design you will not have to fuss too much with placement, you only need to find the center. #3 puddle the quilt around the machine so there is no drag at all on the hoop.
                This is along with everything else said above.


                  Re: Quilting in the hoop questions

                  I have done several king size quilts on my embroider machine. I find that I prefer to put the designs in the negative spaces and FMQ the remainder. I use the standard hoops that came with my machine with HOBBS 80/20 batting, sandwiching and pinning as usual. Remove pins after you get the area hooped.
                  Make sure your table will hold and support your quilt as mentioned above and puddle what you can to remove the stress. The only issues I ever have is when I leave the room. ha ha. Changing the bobbin mid hoop is not fun. I use prewound bobbins because embroider is a thread hog. lol
                  As a side note...I ordered a new batch of prewound bobbins from and got white, black and an assortment of nice colors. I went directly to their website this time instead of amazon and their shipping is $4.95 which was saved in the cost of the threads.