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Thread: Please help me. I have a mess.

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Hi. I need some advice on what I am doing wrong. I am trying to quilt a lap quilt with simple straight lines across it. I have had to rip out three times because of gathers on the underside (pic of mess is attached). I am using a walking foot and I have basted thoroughly. When I start sewing, it seems like the underside of the quilt is moving faster than the top. I tried lowering the tension because the stitching on top seems too tight. However, when I am ripping out stitches, the thread on the back is so easy to pull out. I can pull out one or two inches by pulling on the thread. I really don't know what else to try.

    I'd appreciate any advice on how I can fix this. Thanks so much.

    Karol
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  2. #2
    Super Member jemma's Avatar
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    the back is not stretched enough but sounds like the tension on the machine is not right------2 suggestions 1] make a practice piece and adjust tension etc 2]]basting spray has made my life so much easier--hope i have been some help --- wait for the experts to come in they'l fix it

  3. #3
    Super Member earthwalker's Avatar
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    Hello - I'm no super expert, when it comes to machine quilting, however, this is how I would proceed - unpick what you have done and put your quilt aside for a little. From what I can see, it looks like your stitch length is really small, from what you describe, your tension is in need of adjustment. Make up a "play" sandwich using similar thickness fabrics and battings to your quilt...then mess about with that and get it spot on before putting that quilt near the machine (this will save much hair tearing and unpicking). You may wish to check your walking foot is fitted/engaged properly and that your machine is lint free, threaded correctly and good to go. Walking feet are not designed for speed, so maybe that could be an issue, and let the machine do the work, don't pull the fabric through, just guide with your hands. Work from the middle out and smooth and check the underside as you go (sorry, I'm not very good with describing sometimes!).

    I am sure other board members will be able to help, so persevere...and happy quilting.

  4. #4
    Super Member carolaug's Avatar
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    I agree with using the basting spray. that will help.

  5. #5
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    Is the back fabric basted tight?

  6. #6
    Super Member
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    What's basting spray and how's it different from thread basting ?

  7. #7
    Senior Member mosquitosewgirl's Avatar
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    Recently I made a baby quilt that I wanted to quilt on the diagonal. The first two diagonal lines I had the same problem you are having. Then I pinned the sewing lines I drew on instead of basting. When I began sewing, I simply held the three layers very taut and stitched away. Voila! No gathering on the back. Hope this helps.

  8. #8
    Senior Member CompulsiveQuilter's Avatar
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    It's not basted tight enough; has puckers in it already, even before the quilting. Tape your back down taut before you baste. And spray basting is a sure-fire way to keep it un-puckered. It's a spray adhesive that I, and so many people, LOVE. You can buy a brand at Joann's/Hobby Lobby/Hancock's that will do. Follow the can instructions. It's also easier on your back.

  9. #9
    Super Member karenpatrick's Avatar
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    It doesn't look to me like you achored your back good enough when you basted it all together. Did you pin or tape your back down first before you added the batting and the quilt top? I haven't found a basting spray that I like yet so I pin baste. I doesen't look like you basting is close together enough. I pin my backing to the carpet with t-pins to anchor it taut before I add the batting and backing and then pin about every 4 inches. Hope this helps.

  10. #10
    Super Member greenini's Avatar
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    You might also try starching your back before you rebaste. I just did a lap size on my machine using a kind of stiff material that was also starched. Not a wrinkle in sight! Good luck
    And I also like the basting spray.

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