Quilting for a show  

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  1. 1. Do you knot and bury or take tiny stitches and clip?

    • Knot and bury
    • tiny stitches and clip

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Do you knot and bury,  or leave the tails for client to knot and bury?  

Or... do you take tiny stitches in inconspicuous places and clip?   


I've been trying to find info on this topic and cannot!!    I seem to remember that there is a bit of debate about the two.  

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If they want to pay me adequately, I would be glad to knot and bury. If not, small stitches to start and end. Knotting and burying on heirloom custom takes forever and is not included in my prices. And on the one client quilt that was entered into MQS, and on which I knotted and buried every last one of the (seemingly) thousands of them..not one thing about starts and stops was mentioned on the judging sheet. Not even a box to check.

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Some of my customer send their quilts to Houston and Paducah. They can't afford my rates for knot-and-bury and none of them expects an award---just participation. Judges check the back for tension and good stitches. If they find snarls or obvious build-up where the starts and stops are, they will comment. But they don't usually comment unless there's an issue. I'm a tiny-stitches-and-clip kinda girl.That's why I use thin and blending thread in the bobbin.

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Linda -  Thanks for that comment.    That helps a lot.  I've decided to leave the tails for the client and she will bury them.  It is a custom quilt, so there will be lots of stops and starts. I'm usually pretty good with stops and starts being inconspicuous, but have never really done a quilt for a client that wants to 'show' it.    thin and blending bobbin thread - what kind is your preference?   


Lynn -  this is my wonder -  do judges actually comment and look for knot and bury vs inconspicuous starts and stops.  


thanks for the input so far.   I know what the obvious thing to do is (knot and bury) if I am paid for it.   But just looking for the reality of show quilting if it is indeed necessary or is it kind of trending in a new direction.  

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Here's a tip if you want to leave the threads for your customer to knot and bury and keep them out of your way---insert a straight pin next to the exiting threads and wrap the two threads around the pin as many times as they can. They are now out of your way and easy for the customer to find and deal with. Watch out for pin pokes and glass heads pins hold better. The customer can give the pins back to you or you can charge a nominal amount for them. (This way you'll also see how many ends you would have needed to bury if you did them yourself!)

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Yes, judges look for starts and stops. They also check to see if the stitch length is consistent, stitch in the ditch is in the ditch, and backtracking is invisible. They also check to see if the density of the quilting is consistent across the quilt. Do the quilting designs enhance the look of the quilt and do the thread choices enhance the quilt. Straightness of the edges and borders is also checked. I have been in many judging rooms in different shows. The judges are all taught to look for certain things and then it gets down to what quilts are in the category and which ones stand out on that day, at that show. And sometimes if the judges are n a good mood

I love quilt competitions but the judges constantly surprise me with their choices!

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