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Minimize needle holes in backing


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What are the best ways to coax backing fabric to relax and minimize the appearance of needle holes that expose the batting? I discovered in the forums that my customer falls into the "red, tight weave, wide backing fabric" category - which apparently has issues with needles, even brand new ones.  Of course, I immediately took steps to prevent the holes (smaller needle, looser quilt, etc.), but I would appreciate your suggestions on what I can do to improve the appearance of the back.

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So, I didn't understand, so maybe I am a little slow. When you first posted, I thought you were just saying the holes in the fabric were large. Not so much that you were having pokies, like pieces of batting sticking out the holes. So I have been sticking with this posting, but now I am thinking you were talking about pokies....maybe  :)

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I usually don't have much trouble with holes unless I use a high thread count material for backings. they usually have a tighter weave and it's less forgiving. With these types of materials I like to soak them in the tub with a gentle fabric softner, then rinse and hang dry. 

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Mary Beth most cases I found after washing, holes will disappear or the appearance of them are minimized; unless the holes are because of thread breakage in the weave. When I use batiks I found sometimes I will get holes, so I like to give them a bath to help soften the fabric before use.

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What thread are you using in the bobbin? I've stopped using super thin threads like Bottom Line because it doesn't fill up the needle hole and looks messy to me. The holes probably do close up after washing, but I just don't care for the look right off the frame. I use Madiera (spelling?) Cotona in the bobbin. It's kind of expensive to do this but I love the way my stitches look on the back, and I can get a lot of thread on each bobbin. This thread with Glide on top works really well for me.

Carol

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Needle holes will usually close up if you spray them with Magic Sizing.  I have done this and it works very well.  Several of my quilts have batik top and back and I use the Magic Sizing to close up holes in areas where I have had to take stitches out.  Usually the needle is 3.5, sometimes 4.0, and thread is Glide with Glide Delight bobbins.

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