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how---double knit quilt...now with pics!!!

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I just had a call from a repeat customer that she is bringing me a double knit tumbling blocks that she has a double knit piece for the backing too.....so all you seasoned quilters....how do I do this--do you need a different needle, any suggestions on thread type. She said she had some kind of "blanket" to put in the middle--but I think I convinced her to use a poly batting.

So yeah--any help you have would be appreciated.

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Oh what "fun" you\'re going to have:).

I have done a few double knit quilts in my day, but I must admit that the gal who was prolific in producing them has passed away, so it\'s been a while.

Ball point needles are available from APQS if you want to try them (we only keep a few packages on hand--not much demand for them) but I went ahead and used the standard 4.0 needle that came with the machine.

Try to load the backing piece so that the least amount of stretch is between the rollers (put the lengthwise grainline perpendicular to the rollers.) This will help reduce the risk of overstretching the knit backing. Also, instead of using the clamps along the sides which can weigh the edges down and create distortion, try pinning the opposite end of the clamp\'s elastic to the edges to hold them firmly. You can also pin a piece of selvedge removed from a length of fabric around the area where your clamps are attached to the frame, and then take the free end over to the quilt and pin it to the quilt.

Use pins along the sides, as the quilt will want to "draw in" a great deal when you begin quilting.

Check the height of the hopping foot--make sure it isn\'t pushing the extra thickness of the double knit (especially around the seams) out of position. If it is, raise it up according to the directions in the manual.

Quilt from the freehand side of the machine if possible, and use one hand to help keep the seams in position as you travel across them.

The double knit my gal brought always left a flakey, almost dirty residue all over the machine as well as in the bobbin area. Keep it as clean as possible between bobbin changes.

Use polyester thread for durability. The fabric and quilt will be very heavy Use a light weight batting. Spend extra time rolling the quilt on to its roller, because the bulky seams will want to distort it and cause the edges to "wobble".

Chalk it up to experience and don\'t stress too much. Maybe someone else has more recent experience that they can share.

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I\'ve personally done a couple of the knit quilts and I would probably refuse to do one that is done in the tumbling block design...all the bulky seams (yuck). Also my doctor tells me I need to avoid stress as much as possible. Good luck in your quilting endeavors. Praying that is goes quick and smoothly for you.

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Double knit quilts require additional time to prep and stitch because the fabric is so stretchy and the seams are so bulky. I can\'t imagine doing one with a double knit back. My first suggestion to the customer would be that she tie it. If you do take on this project don\'t forget to charge for the extra time it takes.;)

Janet Mohler

Colorado Springs

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  • 1 month later...

Well I tamed the beast--I will say that it wasn\'t quite as bad as I thought it was going to be--but still not something that I would want to do everyday!!! But this little lady is in a nursing home!! and still sewing--I hope that I can do that--and I hope that some young person is still willing to help me continue in my hobby.

I should have followed Dawn\'s instructions and raised my hopping foot--but was too chicken to try that--so I just tried to stay away from the bulky intersections!! Had to drive machine with one hand and gently hold seams straight with the other--never did that before either.

Used QD Puff--probaly should\'ve used something thinner--but didn\'t have anything else--and that is what the LQS carried. Let\'s just say that this quilt should be around in 100 years and still be in the same condition that it is now!!!

Just to finish--if you get one in--just go for it--not as bad as I thought it might be!!!

Just noticed--on the wrong screen to post pics and don\'t want to retype all this--so pics will follow.

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I love it. I actually bought a double knit quilt top on ebay just to try quilting it. I have a dear MIL who made everyone in the family double knit quilts in the seventies. I just wanted to quilt one in her honor. she is 94 and still a delight even though I\'m not married to her son. I sent her a quilt on her 90th BD and she loved it. I say rescue any of those tops that you can. they are part of our quilt history. I had to stop looking at tops on ebay because I thought that too many of the quilts were calling me to rescue them.

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In the seventies and eighties, my hubby\'s grandmother ONLY used double knit to make a ton of quilts! She pieced them on her treadle machine. They, sometimes unfortunately, last forever!

I too bought one on e-bay. Now if my machine will just start working again I plan on quilting it to use in the family room. My hubby and kids don\'t REALLY consider it a quilt unless it is double knit... yuk!

I can only hope mune turns out half as good as yours did!

Jeanne Morris

Monroe, GA

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Wow you are right it is georgous! You really did a wonderful job and the quilt is gonna last forever!

I am one that will try anything and I have noted all the tips given on this topic so if I ever get one I will know what to do.

Right now I am working on a t-shirt quilt on comission and it is my first one. By the time I am done I hope to be much more knowledgeable about this type of quilt.

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And it looks like the piecer did a decent job matching the points, which couldn\'t have been easy considering the bulk there.

I, also have a double knit quilt mom did for me when I went to college (30 yr ago!) but she tied it . She\'s a hand quilter. And of course it still is in fine shape considering what our family has put it through!

We\'ll be dead and gone and this quilt will still look this good! Thanks for sharing your experience.

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Fabric007--just wondering what fabric made you think it was from NW Iowa--because that is exactly where I am from---right in the corner of SD, MN and Iowa.

What part of Iowa are you from???

Thank you for all the kind comments about this quilt--I am having so much fun learning new things with my new toy!!!

And feel like I can try anything!

What a great machine!!! Thank you APQS!

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