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Thread: I'm learning a lesson, but what is it?

  1. #1
    Power Poster sandpat's Avatar
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    OK..I'm trying to put on a narrow border and the fabric is almost ruffling up on me. It isn't puckering, it is just really full and lays pretty wavy when I try to lay the quilt on the floor. I thought..well, I probably cut it wrong...I folded the fabric selvage edge to selvedge, then cut..is that wrong or right for a border.

    I'm taking it off now..I'll have to resew it tomorrow, I hate to mess up the whole quilt when I'm this close to being finished. I'm sure there is something to learn here..I just haven't figured out exactly what I did wrong..yet...

  2. #2
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    your fabrics may have stretched a little as you stitched. it doesn't take much, and this has happened to just about all of us at least once.

    after you take it off, press it flat again. starch the bejeezers out of it.

    find the middle of the border strip and match it up to the middle of that side of the quilt. pin from the middle to the right end, and then again from the middle to the left end. space your pins about an inch apart.

    if you have a walking foot, use that when you re-stitch on the machine. if you don't have one, just sew slowly and keep a careful eye on things as you stitch down the seam. that way, you'll notice if the border strip starts to puff, ruffle, or do anything except stay flat against the quilt. if you see it, stop. leave the needle down, but raise the presser foot. smooth it back into shape and then start sewing again. you may have to do this a few times.

    take your time, and you'll see it goes much better this time. :wink:

  3. #3
    Member Lynda in TN's Avatar
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    What a very good reply, Patrice...easy to understand. When I started, I couldn't see why I needed to pin down a border. I thought it was a waste of time and energy...afterall, you are just sewing one to another, right? But I learned the hard way that pinning is usually a very good idea!

  4. #4
    Power Poster sandpat's Avatar
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    Thanks Patrice. I will use the walking foot and starch on the fabric. How on earth did I stretch it??? I cut it, then pressed it---just up and down with the iron, then laid it on top of the quilt laying on the floor and pinned it. Would it have happened as I was sewing and smoothing it? GRRRR... but thanks!

  5. #5
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    There is some give (stretch) in fabric cut selvage to selvage, bias cut has lots of stretch. If you cut your border pieces on the length of the fabric (along selvage side) it doesn't stretch. Hope this will help with your next quilt. :D

  6. #6
    Super Member gcathie's Avatar
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    I don't know it this will help or not.....I was taught to always measure from the center of the quilt....side to side.....don't stretch any just leave it as it lays.....that is the true length or wideth.....I always mark my centers on my strip and on my quilt on both sides with a little nip in the fabric....as Patrice said....I pin top and bottom and center....and what I call fudging the matieral in or pull......this is how I was taught.....It is suppuse to square your quilt......so both sides should be the same length and both ends need to be remeasured from the center and both of them should be the same......I also iron everything to get an exact measurement.....Good luck...

  7. #7
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sandpat
    How on earth did I stretch it???
    i don't know how it happed in your case, but i know i have a very bad habit of pulling the two layers out in front to keep them lined up as they feed under the foot. NOT a good idea. much better to pin and use your hands only to keep the fabrics feeding straight. let the machine do the "pulling".

    as long as i'm confessing ... i'll admit i almost never try to measure my border and binding strips precisely. i purposely cut them at least 4" too long, and then hack 'em back to square after i've sewn them on. i'd rather feed the scrap drawer than pull my hair out in frustration. :wink:

  8. #8
    farscapegal
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    Quote Originally Posted by PatriceJ

    as long as i'm confessing ... i'll admit i almost never try to measure my border and binding strips precisely. i purposely cut them at least 4" too long, and then hack 'em back to square after i've sewn them on. i'd rather feed the scrap drawer than pull my hair out in frustration. :wink:
    I do the same thing. Rather have scraps than deal with measuring.

    I only pin my border if I am matching seams on the body of the quilt. I have never noticed wavy or puffiness on my borders.

    Sybil

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by sandpat
    OK..I'm trying to put on a narrow border and the fabric is almost ruffling up on me. It isn't puckering, it is just really full and lays pretty wavy when I try to lay the quilt on the floor. I thought..well, I probably cut it wrong...I folded the fabric selvage edge to selvedge, then cut..is that wrong or right for a border.

    I'm taking it off now..I'll have to resew it tomorrow, I hate to mess up the whole quilt when I'm this close to being finished. I'm sure there is something to learn here..I just haven't figured out exactly what I did wrong..yet...
    The first few quilts I made had wavy borders because I didn't use a walking foot and I didn't measure the quilt and cut the borders to that measurement. I now measure down the center of the quilt to get the measurement for the side borders and measure across the center of the quilt to get the measurements for the top and bottom borders.
    gcathie gave some good advice about marking and matching the centers of your quilt with the centers of your borders. I put a pin at the quarter sections and match them too.
    Let us know how things turn out for you.
    How smart you are to take the borders off and redo them...I wasn't smart enough to do that....but at the time I was new to quilting and didn't have a walking foot either....but we learn as we go.

  10. #10
    Power Poster sandpat's Avatar
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    Thanks all. I haven't had this happen to me before and I did it like I always have...make a strip a little longer...lay right side to quilt and feed them through the machine, trim to square after. I'm thinking that there just happens to be more "give" in the particular piece (afterall, it was Christmas day :lol: ) and it ruffled - just on the outside, the sewn seam looked perfect..duh...I guess I've been lucky in the past with my borders.

    I did not cut it running with the selvage and I think that is the problem. I'm gonna try to "fix" it though before I cut a new border.

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