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Needle size/thread snags/unpicking disaster

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I have just unpicked a border and restitched it . Why?

The backing is chocolate brown and I had poor tension, some of the top thread showed through and I had terrible pokies on the back (80/20 hobbs wadding) so it was decided that I would skin the whole quilt and start again.

I unpicked one border but found that despite a new needle there were marks left on the front. The needle snags show because the back of the fabric is a funny yellow colour (brown on the front) and as the needle goes through it twists the fibres around so that the yellow comes to the front. I use a 3.5 needle to minimize the hole size.

If I unpicked the whole quilt every bit that has this brown would look bad and have light colourd snags so I requilted the border and I will just have to live with the poor tension. I will never be able to quilt exactly on the same path as before.

This is not the first time I have had snagging problems, the last was with a dark red fabric and again the back of the fabric was not deeply dyed. Both these fabrics happen to be Moda which is usually a good quality..

Can't we have slimmer stronger needles ?titanium or sharper like microtex to get round this problem.

The quilt is for a friend who is donating it to charity and the uninitiated will think its wonderful but the point is that I do not think it is good enough for a customer.

There will always be times when you have to unpick but it becomes a real probl;em if it damages the top fabric. Starch,spray, iron will not fix the twisted fibre problem.


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I know this is a heart-breaker.

I think the snags aren't really snags, but they are dis-placement of the woven threads on heavily printed/top dyed fabric. Thimbleberries fabrics are very prone to this. When the needle enters the fabric it pulls the adjacent thread just enough to nudge it out of place. The white you see on top is the part of the thread that was under the adjacent thread and did not get dyed. Those stripes of light coming down from your edge-stitching in the second photo show this perfectly.

A smaller needle didn't look like it helped--nor did a new needle.

With some fabrics you can use a Pigma pen to color in the offending areas.

This can also happen when piecing--and think how much smaller a DSM needle is compared to the needle we use.

All I can think to tell you is to warn your customer when you are faced with these fabrics. It won't happen every time. Sorry for your anguish--we want it all to be perfect.

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Thank you Linda, I always thought the fibres twisted but can now see that they just pull a little. At least I know what is happening even if I can't fix it!

the wadding is lumps up but still pokied to the backing along with snags on the backing and top thread. I think Iwill write this one off to experience.

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You said this quilt is being donated to charity right? After being washed...it will all shrink up a bit and the fortunate recipient will just love it. They are not going to scrutinize the quilt as we ourselves do. Relax and get it donated. The top looks great and the back will be what it is. It will look much better once it is off the frame and washed. :)

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I should point out that the quilting is done by IQ not guided by me but all the problems are nothing to do with IQ just materials and my bad adjusting of the tension.

This quilt is going to the armed forces accommodation for families visiting injured soldiers so I wanted a pattern that swirled and had an organic look without being too flowery!

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>the wadding is lumps up but still pokied to the backing along with snags on the backing and top thread. I think Iwill write this one off to experience.<

I have always been told, lumps down, indentations up. The indentations/lumps signify the direction that the needle went into the wadding when the machine needle punched it. Our needles should go in the same way.

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