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Quilting Uncategorized

My Favorite Tip for Piecing in the Hoop

Piecing blocks in the hoop is fun, easy and accurate. The first color of a piece in the hoop quilt block is a numbered outline. The outline tells you where to place the individual fabric patches and frankly, I’d be lost without it.
I learned early on to use a thread color that blends with the fabrics to avoid thread bleed-through. The outline above was stitched in black so you can see it more clearly.

I’ve tried two different stabilizers for this process. The first was fusible poly mesh, a permanent addition to the blocks. Then I tried Piece & Stitch, tear away wash away stabilizer. I liked the idea of removing it after piecing but I noticed the stitched numbered outline hindered the removal of the stabilizer. I couldn’t quite remove all of it from the seam allowance areas. Ugh.

Then a light went off – what if I stitched the outline without thread? I removed the thread from the needle and turned off the thread sensor on my machine. Then I stitched the outline sans thread. I could see the numbers and the outline and it was easy to add the fabrics in the proper order.
Now, removing the Piece & Stitch stabilizer was easy. Those small remaining fibers will dissolve once the finished quilt is laundered.

Now all my blocks are flat and the seams are crisp. Love that!




  • Jolanda

    This is very clever! Why didn’t any body thought of this before. Stitching the outlines without thread makes it so much easier to place the correct fabric. Thank for this – really clever!

  • Heather

    Hi from South Africa! A simple and effective tip. However I have the Brother XV (Dream Machine in the US!) and I don’t think I can turn off the thread sensor, so it wont sew without the needle threaded.

    • eileenroche

      Hello Heather, On the Dream machine’s main screen, touch the Notes icon. Advance through the pages and you’ll find the option to turn off the thread sensor. Take your time as you scroll through the pages and you’ll find it. I’m traveling today so I’m not near my machine or I would tell you exactly what page.

    • Nancy

      Look on page 4 of the notes, 4 items down.

  • Cathy Hayden

    What program do you use for this type of quilting

  • Clem

    Love this idea! This seems like a “duh” moment. Why didn’t I think of it? Because I am not Eileen. Thanks Eileen.

  • Kim

    If you can’t turn off your thread sensor, you could use “Wash-a-Way” thread. The thread and any stabilizer you can’t remove because of it will both wash away when the quilt is washed.