101 Sewing Questions with Answers Part 2

Quilting On A Sewing Machine

51. Can you quilt on any sewing machine? You can essentially quilt on any sewing machine, but you will have limitations. The limitations you will have is the size of the open space you will need for the entire quilt to be rolled up to pass through as you quilt with the sewing machine. Also, some basic sewing machines only have a straight stitch or a zig-zag stitch. Sometimes with quilting, you will want to have some decorative style stitches you can use to quilt.

52. Can you do free motion quilting on a regular sewing machine? You can do free motion quilting on a regular sewing machine as long as you can drop the feed dogs, which are the fabric feeding mechanism on the sewing machine and you have a free motion sewing foot you can attach to the sewing machine. With these two things, you can easily free motion quilt on a sewing machine.

53. How do you sew a quilt together? You can sew a quilt together by hand or by sewing machine. You will need the top completely done, then take the batting and the backing and put them together. Making a sandwich by using the batting in the center. Now take quilting safety pins and pin the quilt every 6-8 inches is what I do. The more I pin I have found fewer issues occur with the fabrics slipping or shifting while I am sewing together all three layers.

What To Use For Quilting

54. What do you need to sew a quilt? What you will need to sew a quilt will depend on rather or not you want to sew it by hand or by sewing machine. You will need scissors, needles, thread, quilt pattern to go by, fabric, and batting if you are hand quilting or machine quilting. For sewing machine quilting you will need a walking foot to do the quilting with to help feed the fabric layers through the sewing machine.

55. What is the quilting foot used for with a sewing machine? A quilting foot on a sewing machine has feed dogs that work in sync with the feed dogs on the sewing machine to help feed multiple layers of fabric and batting through the sewing machine without them shifting. This foot is for quilting or when you need to sew multiple layers of fabric together.

56. What is free motion quilting? Free motion quilting is a form of quilting done on a sewing machine. You will drop the feed dogs on the quilting machine and put a special foot on that will help you free motion stitch. Because you are dropping the feed dogs, you will have to move the fabric around yourself instead of having the sewing machine do this for you. You can make freehand or free motion sew a pattern that you have marked onto the fabric.

General Quilting Questions

57. What side of quilt batting goes up? Some quilt batting it does not matter what side goes up and others it will. When you buy the batting off a bolt of fabric, you will have a piece of paper that is rolled up with the batting. This paper will have directions to which side should go up if there are an up and downside to the batting. Also when batting is purchased in a package, it will also have instructions for use on the outside.

58. What are quilts used for? Quilts are used to keep you warm on a bed or as a throw. These quilts can also be used on the ground to sit on to keep from sitting on the bare ground. Quilts can also just be hung up for decorative purposes. I have one very old quilt that was passed down to me that has never been used.

Quilting Supplies

59. What is the best fabric for quilts? The best fabric you can use for quilts is different for different people. I like to use 100% cotton fabric to quilt with and also cotton batting. I have made quilts out of old polyester clothing from my grand and great grandmother’s. The polyester quilts are not really soft, but they are nice and heavy, almost like a weighted quilt.

60. What kind or type of thread do you use for quilting? The thread you will use to quilt with will depend if you are hand quilting or machine quilting. For hand quilting, you can use thread that has a coating on it to help it not tangle up when sewing by hand. For machine quilting, you will never want to use the hand quilting thread because the coating on that thread will come off in the sewing machine and could cause damage.

Learning To Sew

61. How do I get better at sewing? You can get better at sewing by taking classes, online classes, or even private lessons. Go to the library if you don’t have extra money to spend on a class and get some books on sewing. There are free resources you can find online to help you learn more about sewing.

62. What are cutting tools in sewing? The two main cutting tools in sewing are scissors and a rotary cutter. There are different types of scissors for different types of fabric and cutting. For rotary cutters, you will use a cutting mat and an acrylic ruler to cut.

63. What is quilt weight cotton? Quilt weight cotton has to do with the thread count of the fabric. You will want to use a higher thread count of fabric when making a quilt. This weight of the fabric is essential because the quilt will be subjected to a necessary amount of wear and tear and it will as well as be thrown in the washing machine numerous times. Just like cheap bed sheets, if the thread count is below 200, the sheets seem to wear out much faster. Sewing fabric doesn’t come in a thread count per se, but some fabrics are for use with quilting.

Forms Of Quilting

64. Can you quilt by hand? Yes, you can quilt by hand. You will want to practice before quilting on your actual quilt. You will need hand quilting thread, a good thimble, and sharp quilting needles. It will take more time to quilt a quilt by hand as it would quilt by a sewing machine.

65. What is quilt as you go? The quilt as you go is a technique you sew and quilt the actual quilt as you piece it together. By quilting this way you sew the batting, back, and top pieces of the quilt together all at one time instead of piecing the quilt top, then putting the batting in the center and placing the backing on the pieced part, then have to sew all three together to keep it from shifting.

66. Can I use hand quilting thread in my sewing machine? No, you can NOT use hand quilting thread in a sewing machine. Only use thread that is for a sewing machine in a sewing machine. There is a reason for this. If you use threads that are not for a sewing machine in the sewing machine, it could do damage to the machine, and you would have to take it in to be repaired.

Quilt Bindings

67. What is double fold quilt binding? Double fold quilt binding is a precut and as it says double fold binding that has been cut on the bias to finish off the edge of a quilt. You can buy this ready to use in the store, or you can make your own. If you make your own from the quilting fabric, you will have more choices to what color you want to use than the prepackaged ones.

68. Is bias binding a must for quilts? No, you do not necessarily need to use bias binding on a quilt that is a rectangle in shape. If your quilt has rounded shape to its corners or curves on the sides, then you will want to use a bias binding. Cutting the fabric for the binding on a bias which is a 45-degree angle from the grain line will help the fabric to curve around the edges without puckering.

Sewing As A Hobby

69. Is sewing a good hobby? I would personally say yes, sewing is a good hobby but sewing isn’t for everyone. It will take patience and learning to be good at sewing, just like it does with any type of hobby you pick up. Sewing can be an expensive hobby.

70. Is it hard to learn how to sew with a machine? No, it isn’t hard to learn to sew with a sewing machine. It does take some time and practice as it does with anything new you are learning. My best advice is to take classes to learn the most and make things easier for you.

71. What is the best sewing machine? The actual best sewing machine really isn’t one specific manufacturer and sewing machine. Just like everyone has their own preference to manufacture of car you drive, it’s the same with a sewing machine. My best recommendation for you to go with a sewing machine that you know people teach on already, or there’s a dealer in your area to help you with learning and to take lessons from every so often.

72. Is sewing a craft? Sure, sewing is a craft, but it can also be a hobby and a job you do for a living. Sewing can be a little bit a part of your life or a large everyday part of your life. You can make sewing be whatever you want it to be, a craft hobby you do once in a while.

73. Does thread sew in darker or lighter? On a darker piece of fabric, the thread will usually sew in a bit lighter or better for me to explain it will show up a little more even if the thread matches exactly. I always try to buy thread just a tad bit darker than the fabric I’m using. This way it will disappear better with topstitching. When using the thread just for the seams, I don’t worry as much as to have the exact match. Once again, I will usually air on the little bit darker side of the color thread.

Sewing Speciality Needles

74. What are tapestry needles used for in sewing? Tapestry needles are for needlepoint like cross stitching. These tapestry needles have a blunt endpoint and a larger sized long eye for larger threads. The blunt end of the needle helps not to pierce the fabric but go into the hole it is intended.

75. What is a milliner needle? A milliner needle is a longer needle with a very sharp point and an eye that is the same diameter as the needle itself. With most over needles, the eye of the needle gets a little larger than the circumference of the needle. These needles are for tying french knots, billion know, and cast-on stitching.

76. What are curved sewing needles? Curved sewing needles are for use when you want to sew embroideries by hand with tight fabrics that are already finished, upholstery, and reupholster furniture mainly. These needles have a curve to them since you can not sew from the underside of the fabric. Having this curve, it allows you to sew from the top side only.

Serger Questions

77. What do sergers do? Sergers sew in a seam and finish off the raw edge of the fabric all at once. Sergers can also edge fabrics without sewing in a seam at the same time. There are other stitches you can do with a serger like a chain stitch. Check out my article on serger stitches.

78. Is there a serger attachment for a sewing machine? I think there is one sewing machine manufacture out there that has an attachment that will turn your sewing machine into a basic serger or will do a basic serging stitch. With that said, I would not use my serger as a sewing machine. I think it is best to have both a sewing machine and a serger.

79. Can I use serger thread in my sewing machine? You could use serger thread in your sewing machine, but I would not use it. Yes, it is cheaper to buy, but the thread is not as strong as regular sewing thread. The use of serger thread is with multiple spools of serger thread which gives it strength. If you spend all that time making something always be sure to use good thread so it will hold up and last a long time.

More Serger Questions

80. Can I use sewing machine thread in my serger? Yes, you can use regular sewing thread in a serger. Sometimes I can’t find the right color to match what I am sewing with my serger so I will buy regular sewing thread for it. Because it is more expensive for sewing thread, I will usually buy two spools of thread and wind two bobbins for my needle threads when using a 4 thread overlock.

81. What is an overlock seam? You will use a serger to sew in an overlock seam on a serger, but you can create one like it on a sewing machine. This stitch is where you overcast the raw edge of the fabric to keep it from unraveling. While putting an edge on the fabric, it also creates a seam at the same time. The inside seam of most store-bought garments will have an overlock seam.

82. What is a coverstitch? A coverstitch is a stitch that is done by using a serger. It is seen the most with knits, on hemlines at the bottom of t-shirts and the sleeves. It is a double row of stitching that is seen on the right side of the fabric and on the backside it will encompass the raw end of the folded over shirt.

Pressing Questions

83. What are pressing tools in sewing? There are many different pressing tools you can use in sewing. The obvious ones would be iron or a steamer. Then there are the not so obvious ones as a pressing stick, which you can use a popsicle stick. I often will use my fingernail to help press open seams as I am using an iron.

84. Why is pressing important in sewing?  Pressing is always important in any sewing project to help keep your seams and all nice and neat.

85. What is a seam gauge? A seam gauge is a tool you can use to help measure where you need to put a seam in. This helps when you are hemming a dress or even a pair of pants. This allows you to pin up the correct amount each time. It has a little slider gauge on the side to move to help as a guide, making it easier and faster to find where you want to use each time.

Machine Embroidery

86. What is an embroidery machine?  An embroidery machine is a type of sewing machine that will stitch decorative items out one color at a time from a preprogrammed design that is uploaded into the embroidery machine. For home use embroidery machines they usually only come with one sewing head so you can only sew with one color at a time. Industrial embroidery machines multiple sewing heads and you can set up all the thread colors for one design into the machine and not have to change the thread with every color change.

87. Can an embroidery machine sew? Some embroidery machines are also sewing machines. They are a combination unit where the embroidery arm will come off the machine, and it will then be a regular sewing machine. Some machines are only sewing or just embroidery machines. It depends on the model and type of machine you buy.

88. What is the difference between embroidery and sewing? An embroidery machine is a machine you stitch decorative designs onto fabric or fabric based items. Where a sewing machine is a machine, you use to stitch something together.

89. Can you use embroidery thread on a regular sewing machine? You can use embroidery thread on a regular sewing machine but with only the purpose of using it for decorative stitches. Never ever use embroidery thread as the th=read you want to sew in a seam with. Embroidery thread isn’t as strong as regular sewing thread.

Sewing Tools

90. Do you use safety pins in sewing? You can use safety pins in sewing but I usually just use sewing pins when I sew on the sewing machine. Sometimes I will use safety pins when I am cutting pieces out to pin similar pieces together. If I use straight pins sometimes, they will come unpinned, or I will pick it up and prick myself with the pin. Another time I will actually use safety pins is when I am quilting. They make special safety pins that have a bend in them for quilting. It makes it easier to pin with the bent pins than the straight ones since you can’t really reach around the middle of the quilt to the other side to pin.

91. How do I know if my sewing machine is a high shank or low shank? Generally speaking a low shank machine will measure from the screw to the throat plate around 1/2 an inch. A high shank sewing machine will measure about 1 inch from screw to throat plate. With these determinations between sewing machine types of a low and high shank, there are still snap on presser feet. Just make sure if you are buying new presser feet for your sewing machine that you buy the right kind. Some brands don’t really have a non-branded cheap replacement for a certain foot.

92. What is a walking foot for use on a sewing machine? A walking foot is for use on a sewing machine when you are sewing multiple layers of fabric together. It has feed dogs (teeth) on it just like the sewing machine does and it works in sync with the ones on the sewing machine to help feed the fabric through the sewing machine at the same rate.

Sewing machines and Threads

93. What is a treadle sewing machine? A treadle sewing machine is a manual sewing machine. You have to work your foot back and forth on a pedal to power the sewing machine. It does not have to be plugged into the wall for power, you are its power. With a treadle sewing machine the faster you rock your foot on the pedal the faster the sewing machine will sew.

94. Why is my bottom thread showing on top? If your thread from the bobbin is showing on the top side of your fabric, then you tension on the top thread is probably too tight. Just lower the tension on the top thread, and it should help to make the bobbin, and top threads will meet in the middle of the fabric and not really show on the top side.

Sewing Machine Tensions

95. How do you increase bobbin tension? You can increase or decrease your bobbin tension. This increase is done by either tightening the screw in the bobbin case on the side loading bobbin sewing machine. For the top loading bobbin sewing machines, you will want to check out your sewing machine manual to see how to increase or decrease the bobbin tension properly. A word of caution though, make sure you have tried to adjust your top tensions on the sewing machine first and foremost. The bobbin tension usually doesn’t need adjusting.

96. What is the tension setting on a sewing machine? The tension setting on a sewing machine is where you can control how tight the thread is pulled against the bobbin thread. You may need to adjust this tension if your fabric is starting to pucker from it being too tight or if you start seeing the bobbin thread on the top side of the fabric. Some sewing machines have automatic tension controls, and others have manual ones. You can override the automatic tensions when you need.

Oiling A Sewing Machine

97. How do you oil a sewing machine? There are some sewing machines you have to oil on a regular basis and others that don’t need oiling at all. Be sure to check inside your sewing machine manual to see which type of sewing machine you have. Your manual will show you all the specific steps you will need to oil and usually will come with a small bottle of sewing machine oil. If your sewing machine does need oiling, be sure to purchase the correct sewing machine oil for your machine. Only use sewing machine oil to oil your sewing machine.

Sewing Thread Questions

98. Is it better to sewing with cotton or polyester thread? It depends on what you are sewing rather it is better to use cotton thread or polyester thread.

99. What is the strongest sewing thread? The strongest thread out on the market I believe is kevlar thread. The use of this thread is in military gear and for sailboat sails. Kevlar thread is great because of its durability and for it’s

100. Can you use any thread on a sewing machine? No, you can not use any thread on a sewing machine. Certain threads are not for use in the sewing machine, and you should only use threads made specifically for use in the sewing machine. Check out this article I wrote all about sewing threads. *

101. Does polyester thread shrink? No, the polyester thread usually does not shrink. It will retain its length and not stretch out or shrink, unlike cotton thread that can shrink.