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Thread: NEED HELP PLEASE

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    could someone please tell me how they make a rag quilt easier to sew i am making one out of old jeans and it is so hard to sew i have broken or bent so many needles and i have to kinda pull the quilt through when it gets to the sems any help please thanks dorothy from tenn

  2. #2
    Boo
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    Senior Member Boo's Avatar
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    Dorothy, first of all are you using a jeans needle? These are slightly larger and made for the heavier fabric. Secondly, you are probably breaking and bending needles because you are pulling the fabric and not allowing the machine to do it. This will cause the needle to hit the metal of the machine and break. I would suggest you not use any existing jean seams in your quilt. If you have a walking foot, use that to help feed the fabric.

    Do you know anyone who sews? They may be able to help you set up your machine for sewing on the four thicknesses of denim. If not try these tips.
    1. Denim or Jeans needle.
    2. Increase or decrease the foot pressure. You need to allow the machine to feed the fabric for you. Find the pressure that will allow this to happen. Check this with the needle out of the machine.
    3. Look into a walking foot if you do not have one. This is also called an even feed foot and will feed the top of the fabric at the same rate the feed dogs are moving the bottom fabric.

    Try these tips and let us know how you are doing.

  3. #3
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boo
    Dorothy, first of all are you using a jeans needle? These are slightly larger and made for the heavier fabric. Secondly, you are probably breaking and bending needles because you are pulling the fabric and not allowing the machine to do it. This will cause the needle to hit the metal of the machine and break. I would suggest you not use any existing jean seams in your quilt. If you have a walking foot, use that to help feed the fabric.

    Do you know anyone who sews? They may be able to help you set up your machine for sewing on the four thicknesses of denim. If not try these tips.
    1. Denim or Jeans needle.
    2. Increase or decrease the foot pressure. You need to allow the machine to feed the fabric for you. Find the pressure that will allow this to happen. Check this with the needle out of the machine.
    3. Look into a walking foot if you do not have one. This is also called an even feed foot and will feed the top of the fabric at the same rate the feed dogs are moving the bottom fabric.

    Try these tips and let us know how you are doing.
    Ruth shared this link to a source for specialty machine needles: http://www.shiboridragon.com/Notions.htm
    They don't just list the needles they sell. They tell you clearly what they're good for and why. They sell needles for working on denim. A bit pricey - especially after shipping - but if i can't find these sizes locally, i will consider it well worth the expense to know i finally have the right needles for the right job.

    if your machine doesn't permit you to adjust the pressure of the presser foot, see if you can lower your feed dogs just a little. that might help.

    there's a reason most jeans are made in factories. there are many home-use machines on the market that promise you can sew easily using heavy denim. HAH!!! it's the most typical overstatement of machine capabilities out there.

    if your machine won't go over the seams easily, then don't go over the seams at all. sew until you get as far as you can, then backstich a few times. lift the needle and foot, then start again at the nearest possible point, topstitching again at the starting point. if you have gaps when you're done, close them up with a few hand stitches.
    if that sounds like a lot of extra work and fiddling, remember that you will end up with a sturdy, attractive project AND a machine that still works. it's worth it.


  4. #4
    community benefactor Knot Sew's Avatar
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    Yes, I used a walking foot and released some of the pressure, my needles came from walmart 2 dollars, You need to support but not pull, Its not easy to assemble.........take your time do not try to do it all at once.............My machine is a 1970 kenmore

  5. #5
    ButtercreamCakeArtist's Avatar
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    I started a project like this once for a pillow BEFORE i HAD A SEWING MACHINE. I've been wanting to start on it again and make it larger for a throw/quilt. BUT, I didn't even use the seams of the jeans. I just cut out around the seams and used that material. I got the jeans at a second-hand store for 50 cents each....
    Good luck!!!

  6. #6

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    I've made several rag jean quilts. I've never cut the seams as part of the block, And if I wanted to use the back pocket of the jeans , I bought larger jeans, so I could include the pocket. I always get my jeans at yardsales or thrift stores, watch the color of the jeans, the demin sometimes varys alot. When I'm through cutting my sqs out of my jeans, I usually only have the sideseam, inseam, front-pockets and zipper left. I also use needles for sewing demin.

  7. #7

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    I am not sure how much help I can be, but here goes. I drop the feed dogs on my machine, then feed through WITHOUT PULLING. Jeans needles are usually strong enough for this. My other option may not be open to you, I have an old machine which is worked by hand and this is strong enough to go over the several thicknesses/again Jeans needles MUST be used.
    I hope you get your quilt finished.
    Sandra (from Ayr,in Scotland)

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