Do you need to backstitch when quilting?

Quilting requires joining at least 3 layers (the top, batting, and the backing) of clothing fabric together to create what we call a quilting sandwich. Back stitching, on the other hand, is a technique used by seamsters to secure the end and the beginning of seams so that they don’t get undone. 

In view of this, it will be well-grounded to conclude that it will be impossible to exclude backstitching as part of the quilting process. Nevertheless, some seamsters believe otherwise and would often ask questions like, do you need to backstitch when quilting? This is one of the several questions that will be considered in this article.

Do I need to backstitch when quilting? 

No, it is not necessary that you backstitch when quilting. The main reason why people backstitch is to prevent their stitches from getting undone. But when it comes to quilting, fabric pieces are sewn in such a way that the stitches are locked in; hence, you may need not worry about the pieces unraveling at some point because you have failed to back stitch the seams. Actually, you may even want to discard backstitching altogether when quilting, especially with machines, because they cause thread buildup, which may dent the beautiful piece you are trying to create. 

Do you need to backstitch when quilting a piece? 

No, a backstitch is not necessary when you are quilting a piece together. If you have just been introduced to quilting, you may be thinking that backstitching is the only way to secure your stitches both at the borders of the quilt and at the end of the stitches. However, as you continue to gather more experience, you will come to realize that there are several other ways you can begin and discontinue your stitches without resulting in the old style of backstitching. You will learn more about this later on in this article. Keep reading! 

Do you backstitch when machine quilting? 

Yes, you can backstitch when you are using a machine for quilting; nevertheless, it is a technique that most professionals discourage because it can lead to thread buildup that may cause your piece to look unappealing — your seam will look unprofessional. When quilting, whether you are starting or ending the process, just do your sewing the normal way. Are you worried about how to secure the stitches at both ends? You will find out later about it in this article. Keep reading! 

Do you need to backstitch when sewing? 

Yes, it would help if you backstitched when sewing to help you secure the seam and prevent them from unraveling. If you think this old or common style is not for you, though, or you feel like trying something new, alternatively, you can tie a double knot at the beginning and end of your stitches, or you can sew short stitches or sew them in place. 

When should you use backstitch? 

It would be best if you used back stitching when sewing clothes because you will be joining 2 large pieces together. This will ensure that the intersection of these two pieces is secured at the borders at the beginning and end of the seam. 

What is the point of backstitching

The main point of backstitching is to lock your stitches in place. Failure to do this or its alternative will cause your garment to untangle at the seam. 

How to start quilting stitches

  1. Bring your sewing machine bobbin thread to your quilt top so that it doesn’t get stitched into the quilting line. 
  2. Engage the tension disc of your sewing machine by lowering the foot presser. This will make it easy to make a stitch. 
  3. Hold the top thread and then make a complete stitch. While doing this, raise your foot presser to reveal the small loop surrounding the top thread — bobbin thread. 
  4. Tug your top thread a little bit to set the top thread at the top. You can make use of curved tip scissors to bring up the bobbin thread. 
  5. Bring your needle to the same level and start to stitch. Your stitches should be between 25 to 30 per inch to make the perfect micro stitches. In the first quarter of stitching, start your quilting line with about 6 to 8 stitches. 
  6. Hold the thread tails with your left hand, so they don’t create what you are trying to avoid — thread buildup by getting pulled back into the quilt. 
  7. Continue stitching with the micro stitches. Once you complete stitching, cut the tail of the thread close to the quilting surface to avoid cutting the top of the quilt. 

How to stop quilting stitches 

  1. When you are ending the line of your writing stitches, sew in micro stitches of about a quarter inch further apart from where your quilting stitches are expected to stop. 
  2. Cut the tail of the thread near the top of the quilt. 
  3. After sewing the micro stitches, leave the bobbin thread as it is, then cut it at the tail near the back of the quilt. 

What happens if you don’t backstitch? 

The purpose of backstitching is to ensure that the stitches are locked to prevent the seams from untangling at the end or beginning of the seam. Therefore, if you fail to backstitch or use any of the other alternatives, your stitches will fall apart. 

What to do if you forget to backstitch? 

If you forgot to backstitch, you could fix this error by manually tying a double knot at the end of the seam. Some people call this technique backstitching by hand. 

How long should a backstitch be? 

When working on a sewing project, you have to make sure that your back stitch is neither too long nor short, hence the reason why you must balance between the two. To do this, make sure the length of your backstitch stays between 15 to 20 inches. 

Can you backstitch when using a walking foot? 

No, you cannot backstitch with a walking foot. Walking foot is designed to propel fabrics forward, and their movement is restricted to that: walking foot cannot move backward. Hence the reason why they are not suitable for backstitching. 

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