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Thread: help please

  1. #1
    Member newbie1001's Avatar
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    Hi, I've wanted to learn how to quilt for a while and finally got started. My first project is a 9 block baby quilt with applique in each block, the blocks separated with sashing. The piecing and applique all went well. Now I've been trying to quilt the individual blocks, with the quilting in the ditch method, just the 4 sides of each of the blocks. The problem is that two of the seams look good in the back, the other two (the ones running parallel to the selvage) are puckered. I am sewing on a Janome DC2010, using a walking foot, the fabric is JoAnn's calico, the batting Warm & Natural. What puzzles me so much is that the puckering happens only sewing in one direction. Does anyone have an idea what the problem could be? I don't have a digital camera right now, so I can't attach a picture.

    Help would be much appreciated!

  2. #2
    Super Member Prism99's Avatar
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    Most likely the backing fabric is stretching when you sew. I usually starch my backing fabric heavily to prevent this kind of problem. Since you have already sandwiched your quilt, you might want to try spray starching the backing several times. Starching stabilizes fabric so it doesn't stretch when you sew.

    If your machine has a presser foot adjustment, you might also try reducing the amount of pressure exerted on the walking foot. (This is usually a knob at the top of the machine, but not all machines have this adjustment.)

    Fabric stretches more along the crossgrain (grain running from selvedge to selvedge) than along the straight-of-grain (parallel to the selvedge). Not sure why yours is stretching opposite. Just wondering -- how do you know that the grainline that is stretching is parallel to the selvedge? Is it a directional fabric?

  3. #3
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    also try stitching over some paper. tracing paper or the goldenthreads paper used for paper piecing. paper helps the foot along easier. doens't push the fabric. also lengthen your stitch length a bit too.

  4. #4
    Moderator Jim's Gem's Avatar
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    Welcome to the board from Southern California.
    Did you spray baste or did you pin all your layers together. Maybe you to add more pins closer together as well.

  5. #5
    Super Member Oklahoma Suzie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim's Gem
    Welcome to the board from Southern California.
    Did you spray baste or did you pin all your layers together. Maybe you to add more pins closer together as well.
    that's what I was going to ask.

  6. #6
    Member newbie1001's Avatar
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    Thanks for the tips so far. No, I have not starched my fabric at all. I know it is the selvage because on the backing layer the selvage hasn't been cut off yet. I did use paper when I did the applique, and that helped a lot. Didn't even occur to me you could do that with seams as well. I pinned the layers together with safety pins. I'm going to try out all your suggestions, and hopefully that'll solve the problem. Thank you!

  7. #7
    Super Member belmer's Avatar
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    Also... try checking your tention on your machine, and checking your stitch length. Hope all this advise from all of us helps.

  8. #8
    Super Member deranged_damsel's Avatar
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    make sure you are using a walking foot or a free motion foot

  9. #9
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I never starch my backing and have even quit ironing it unless it has sharp creases in it. I clamp it to my glass topped dining table and lay batting on top, clamp it and put my top on and clamp it. I pin W/safety pins about every 3-4". I do this way until all is pinned and I don't have the problems you are having, I FMQ. This works for me. I don't use the spray, I have a bird and for his safety I don't use anything that I think might hurt or kill him.

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