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Thread: Just a Question on Puckers

  1. #1
    Junior Member RitaFaye's Avatar
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    Just a Question on Puckers

    Ok I am sewing blocks down after batting and backing
    so I start getting puckers after a few rows like the material is too big.
    All blocks are the same size and I am using a pretty zig zag stitch instead of
    stitch in the ditch........did I not pin it tight enough? or is there a certain rule in
    sewing the rows in a certain order I pinned every 5 inchs or so......thanks Rita
    What we "Make" "Makes" Us.

  2. #2
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RitaFaye View Post
    Ok I am sewing blocks down after batting and backing
    so I start getting puckers after a few rows like the material is too big.
    All blocks are the same size and I am using a pretty zig zag stitch instead of
    stitch in the ditch........did I not pin it tight enough? or is there a certain rule in
    sewing the rows in a certain order I pinned every 5 inchs or so......thanks Rita
    Are you using a walking foot?

  3. #3
    Super Member Prism99's Avatar
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    Puckering usually occurs because the fabric gets stretched. A walking foot helps because it feeds the top and bottom layers more evenly. However, for me, it's not enough to prevent puckers. Here's what I do.

    Before layering, I *heavily* starch the backing fabric. I use a 1:1 solution of Sta-Flo liquid laundry starch, "paint" this on with a large wall painting brush until the fabric is saturated, toss in the dryer, then iron with steam. This stabilizes the backing so it doesn't stretch and get puckers sewn in when I quilt. I spray starch the top before layering.

    For layering, I spray baste. Spray basting holds the layers together everywhere (instead of a joining point every 5" with pins), which helps prevent fabric from stretching.

    Be careful how you handle the quilt, especially when crossing quilting lines. The tendency is to push and pull the quilt, especially to prevent a pucker when crossing a quilting line, but this only makes everything worse. You want to be sure that there is no drag around the area being quilted. This includes making sure the rest of the quilt isn't hung up on an edge and also making sure that you are not stretching the fabric with your hands as you quilt. *Smoothing* the quilt around the needle is okay; *stretching the fabric around the needle ultimately creates puckers.

    Edit: Even now you may be able to reduce puckers by spray starching the top and backing. Lay out the quilt on the floor, spray with starch, allow the layer to dry (a fan on the quilt helps), mist again with spray starch. Do both sides maybe 3 times. This will help stabilize the fabric so it has less of a tendency to stretch while machine quilting.

  4. #4
    Super Member Neesie's Avatar
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    If you're using a regular presser foot, you might also need to check your presser foot pressure; it may need reducing, to help move the sandwich more evenly. A walking or dual-feed foot makes a world of difference!
    Neesie


    By all means let's be open-minded, but not so open-minded that our brains drop out.
    ~Richard Dawkins

  5. #5
    Junior Member RitaFaye's Avatar
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    Wow great tips everyone, thanks so very much........
    What we "Make" "Makes" Us.

  6. #6
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    Prism's suggestions right on the mark. Would add that the hand position is different when quilting than when sewing - even if just sewing straight lines with a walking foot.

    When quilting, position each hand on either side of the needle. Palms down, with fingers splayed to get maximum "coverage". Keep slight pressure (not pulling exactly, just keeping taut) on the quilt top. At first you may need to stop frequently to reposition your hands, but with time you'll be able to "walk" your hands down as the quilt moves through the machine.

    The purpose is to keep the quilt top taut (but not stretched) in a large area - ie the width and breadth of your splayed palms, as opposed to keeping it taut by placing your hands in the usual "sewing" position (one at the bottom feeding the fabric, and the other at the back - usually working with fingers alone).

    If I see a small pucker start to develop near a quilted line - I'll lift my presser foot (with needle down) and "relax" the fabric away from the pucker with both of my splayed palms, then continue sewing.
    May your stitches always be straight, your seams always lie flat, and your grain never be biased against you.

    Sue

  7. #7
    Super Member Prism99's Avatar
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    In case you decide to do the spray starching now, I forgot to mention that you lay the quilt out on a *large* flat sheet first to catch overspray! Toss the sheet in the laundry when done.

  8. #8
    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
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    As soon as I read "tight enough" I thought that was your problem. Glad others addressed it, too.

    Jan in VA
    Jan in VA
    Living in the foothills
    peacefully colors my world.

  9. #9
    Junior Member RitaFaye's Avatar
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    I think I've got it now, thanks all --your such a wonderful bunch of ladies and guys.........and I appreciate you.
    What we "Make" "Makes" Us.

  10. #10
    Junior Member coffeebreak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neesie View Post
    If you're using a regular presser foot, you might also need to check your presser foot pressure; it may need reducing, to help move the sandwich more evenly. A walking or dual-feed foot makes a world of difference!
    I tried the walking foot this week and it didn't seem to do any different..but was more cumbersome. How do you reduce the pressure on the regular foot? Have not tried that!

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