Like Quilting? Use Your Serger
Anyone who’s constructed a quilt knows the process can often be involved and time-consuming – even with high-end sewing machines. Yet the thought of using your serger to piece together a quilt may have never occurred to you. In addition to being great time savers when stitching together blocks, rectangles and strips of fabric, a serger can provide you with some wonderful decorative effects using certain stitches and specialty threads. The stitching a serger provides is fast and precise – something any quilter can appreciate. Here are a few tips and ideas for using your serger to create a stunning quilt, table runner or placemats out of all those great fabric scraps you simply cannot part with.
There’s a world of great step-by-step videos and online classes related to using a serger on a quilt. Most include some valuable tips from those experienced in this skill. Here are a few that may help a beginner:
- When designing your quilt, choose a simple design that includes simple lines and minus the need for matching seams. It’s not easy to match up intersecting seams using a serger.
- Disengaging the cutting knife is the best idea when using pre-cut quilting squared, but if you do use the knife, make sure to remove the least amount of raw edges as possible. Using a 3-thread overlock stitch is another option, as it automatically creates s small seam allowance.
- To create very durable seams that will hold up to a child’s often rough use and repeated washings, try using a 4-thread overlock stitch. The parallel lines of stitching will guarantee years of use.
- The 2-thread flatlock stitch is one of the most useful features to access when making a quilt. In addition to perfectly joining fabric strips or blocks, the ladder-like stitch adds great visual interest to the piece, especially when using specialty threads.
- A rolled hem stitch can be used to produce perfectly symmetrical Prairie Points on your serger. This stitch quickly joins each set of triangles together while adding an attractive textural feature on the right side of the fabric squares.
- Serge the edges of your quilt before adding the binding. This will trim away any irregular edges, secure all quilt layers and add extra strength to the piece.
While there are limitations to the types and designs of quilts and other quilted projects you can make using a serger, they’re still a fun and thoughtful way to expand your serging skills. Here are a couple of simple ideas to get you started:
Denim, cotton or flannel rag quilts are soft, comfortable and very easy to construct. Using a serger to make one of these attractive, rustic pieces using your serger is just as easy as using a sewing machine, but almost twice as fast. If your serger includes a chain stitch option, simply disengage your cutting blade before starting. The strength of the chain stitch will add durability to your quilt while still allowing the attractive fraying to occur. If you prefer a cleaner look, simply choose the stitch you prefer, set the stitch width and go for it!
This is one of the easiest and fun quilts to make with a serger and a great practice piece for beginners. Because the piece contains only strips of fabric, you can use any width or combination to make your quilt. Joining the strips using a flatlock or an overlock stitch is up to you, but adding the binding might be the most time-consuming part of this project. These quilts might be easy to construct, but they’re just as warm and comforting as more intricate pieces.
If you enjoy making all types of quilts, especially for charities – a serger is a worthwhile investment. It’s a versatile addition to anyone’s sewing room and it can help speed up any number of sewing projects. So next time you’re planning a quilting project, try to incorporate your serger into the process — you might get hooked!