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Thread: Some direction please : )

  1. #1
    *QuilterWannabee*'s Avatar
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    Okay this is my puckery sewing job. I'm fooling with the tension but still don't have it right. Also, I got a clear plastic square that I use as a template to cut squares...but plenty are still a little "off" in size compared to others. How do I make more uniform cuts? I thought this template would help me avoid that?? Also, from the second photo, which maybe is not clear enough, not sure, but when I sewed the two rows together the intersections aren't right, was I supposed to make little cuts or something so they lay open flat? Can I just cut this into circles at the intersections so it has four different patch alternations and make a hotpad or something? I don't know what to do with this thing now. I know this is awful but I'm clueless about this stuff right now. Thanks for looking...
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  2. #2
    *QuilterWannabee*'s Avatar
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    Sorry, I just saw I put this in the wrong area of the board!

  3. #3
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Have you tried lengthening your stitch? The stitches look a little small to me.

    When you fiddle with the tension (I am assuming upper tension, right?), do you see a difference? For example, when you make the upper tension very loose you should see loops on the underside (top thread being pulled under the fabric because upper tension is too loose). If you don't see a difference in the stitch when you change the tension, chances are the tension assembly isn't right. This is an older machine, isn't it? If someone tried to dis-assemble and re-assemble the upper tension and didn't put the parts back in the correct order, the tension assembly won't work right.

    The differences you are seeing in the cut size of your squares is probably due to you changing the angle of your blade in relation to the edge of the template. This is a common problem with newbies. If you experiment, you will see that how you hold the cutter affects how close the blade is to the template edge.

    In the picture, it appears that one of the blocks has seam allowances open while the other piece has both seam allowances turned to the side. The typical way to match seam allowances is to press them (just finger pressing is enough) in opposite directions so they "nestle" together. You sew with the upper seam allowances facing away from you so that the presser foot "pushes" the bulk into the other seam allowance.

  4. #4
    Super Member Darlene's Avatar
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    It looks like your top tension is too tight. Do you have an automatic setting. I was told once to use mine but set it a little tighter I tried that but it was too tight too. So I keep my setting on automatic tension and it works great. Your colors look great together.

  5. #5
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    ok, this is what i would do to tackle the problem.

    first off don't press the seams open - 90% of the time seams are pressed to one side in quilting.

    we typically press the seams to the dark fabric.

    this way when you join opposite color rows the seams will nest with each other allowing for near perfect matching of seam lines - sometimes you have to ease the seams and thats why i say near perfect.

    the next thing i would do is length your stitch. the pics aren't wonderful but it doesn't look like your bobbin thread is being pulled to the top and causing the puckering.

    i think the shorter stitch length is whats causing the puckering.


  6. #6
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    also make sure you're cutting on the grain... and be careful not to pull on either fabric when it's being stitched.. just let the feed dogs do their job.. otherwise the upper fabric especially will pucker, as you tend to pull it through faster than the feed dogs feed the bottom fabric through slower.
    Does any of this make sense to you?

  7. #7
    *QuilterWannabee*'s Avatar
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    Prism...would never have thought of that re "angles" I am cutting on, will try to pay attention and be more consistent about that. Klue...thanks for the info. re nesting, will press to one side and to darker, as you said. Also make longer stitch length...
    Darlene, I don't have an automatic tension setting and the machine is older, yes. And tippy, I know this will absolutely confirm my lack of knowledge here, lol...but what does cutting on the grain mean? Thank you all so much for advice, I'm sure this will make great improvements for me.

  8. #8
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    grain is the way the fibers are woven to make the fabric

    here's a link to help you understand

    http://sewing.about.com/od/beginner1/p/fabricgrain.htm

  9. #9
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    you might want to check out a beginner quilting book from the library.

    everyone here is happy to help you with whatever problems you have but a book might help you from having the problems in the first place.


  10. #10
    Power Poster Ninnie's Avatar
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    press your seams to the dark side, and pin the seams together when you get ready to sew. I also think the tension is to tight. Don't give up, you are doing great for a beginner!!! measure your squares to each other before sewing together and trim if need to so they are the same size.

    Now just breath deep and relax! LOL We have all been there where we are so upset with what we are doing, it's just a part of learning!

    You have chosen beautiful fabrics and they compliment each other well! So, you do have an eye for color and that is important!

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