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Thread: Another sewing question

  1. #1

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    I have had such good luck getting sewing questions answered here....everyone on this site is so helpful.....i have another one. I am stitching my top, batting and back together on my quilt, doing stitch in the ditch...and my concern is that I haven't got my quilt pulled quite tight enough and I am using just a regular sewing machine, no long arm....it kinda gets all bunched up and I'm worried that I will end up sewing parts of the quilt together that do not belong together and I'll spend hours sewing and removing thread...! Can I use a large embroidery hoop to keep my quilt tight..and will it make it easier to work with...thanks so much in advance

  2. #2
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    did you baste the 3 layers together? either with thread, spray, or pins?

  3. #3

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    Yes. I laid it out on my ping pong table, taped it so it stayed tight, and pinned it together. My problem is that I don't have a long arm, and I'm new to sewing a quilt together like this (stitch n the ditch). I thought using the embroider loop and doing a small section at a time might help me keep it from getting bunched up while trying to sew it.

  4. #4
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    you might want to invest in a walking foot. its basically feed dogs on the top too.

    it helps to pull all 3 layers thru the machine at the same time.

    i think they cost about $15.

  5. #5
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    I use a regular sewing machine to sew/quilt stitch-in-the-ditch. If you taped the backing then you should be OK. I check for wrinkles along the way and smooth them out and even repin if necessary. Mine have turned out fine, but they are not show quality.

  6. #6
    Super Member MollieSue's Avatar
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    Hi Sewingnewbie, check out the post I made awhile back. I had the same issue. Still do a bit. I've not got the walking foot yet, but hopefully soon.

    http://www.quiltingboard.com/posts/list/16754.page I hope you find some ideas here that will help!

    The last two I just quilted, my husband got me two pieces of trim board, which Sharon Schram...? demonstrated using in her video, about hand basting. And I hand basted both! I think it was mentioned in my link above, if not someone will know it, or search on utube for quilting.

    Neither was still quite tight enough, but they were much better than my previous two! I had made a few before and don't remember having this problem before! lol!!!!
    Diana :-)

  7. #7
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    I like to starch my backing fabric heavily before layering. Starch keeps the backing from puckering during machine quilting.

    How far apart are your pins? They should be no more than 4 inches or so from each other.

    If you are stitching in the ditch on long lines, I don't think the hoop will help you at all and might even make things worse. This is because you would have to re-hoop every 10 inches or so (depending on how big a hoop fits your sewing machine harp), and the re-hooping would have to be done with the presser foot in the middle. So much handling of the quilt sandwich is likely to introduce more distortion than if you didn't hoop.

    A walking foot would likely help a lot, especially if you have no starched the backing fabric. I think the generic ones cost around $25.

  8. #8
    Super Member omak's Avatar
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    The place on the back, where little tucks happen during the quilting process are called kisses, so they serve a purpose?
    I am not sure how you are working with your quilt in the sewing machine, but I have done fancy machine quilting on a portable sewing machine, and my sister in law, using a walking foot, does queen sized quilts, stitch in the ditch - quite handily with her sewing machine.
    No quilting machine and frame? No problem .. quilters have been doing it this way for DECADES! so, you will be fine.
    One of the things I do is roll the edges of the quilt that is on the inside of the quilt, work from the middle out, what is in the throat area gets smaller.
    I was watching Simply QUilts one day, and the lady that did machine quilting on her portable much better than I have ever gotten, said ... keep it fluffed up ... she didn't necessarily fold it or roll it, nor, did she have the quilt laid out flat and neatly ... she just made sure that the quilt was as loosely laid out as possible, so that the weight of the quilt was not dragging on the machine.
    Following her lead, I keep the quilt sort of laying in my lap, over my shoulder, I lift it often to make sure that some fold hasn't gotten caught under the table, or in the leaves of the table ... and breathe!
    I make sure that my sewing table is as close to a wall as possible so that the quilt can't escape away from me on the other side of my sewing machine. And, if I have to, I bring an ironing board off to my left side to help me support the quilt. The ironing board is cool because it can be level with whichever table I am using.
    You will be fine ... the secret to having few kisses on the back is to make sure you have pin basted enough (four to six inches) as others have mentioned. Let us know how it worked out for you, and any tips you picked up to succeed at your quilting!

  9. #9
    Super Member katier825's Avatar
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    Definitely invest in the walking foot! I can't believe I sewed for so many years without it. Now that I have it, I could never quilt without it! I also use it on other projects, such as purses and wallets. It makes all the difference in the world to me!

    I spray baste mine too. It helps a lot. I still end up with a few "kisses" as someone called them, but very few. I also find it easier to "scrunch" up my quilt, rather than roll it. I seem to be able to maneuver it better to where I want it to go.

    :)

  10. #10
    Super Member omak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by katier825
    Definitely invest in the walking foot! I can't believe I sewed for so many years without it. Now that I have it, I could never quilt without it! I also find it easier to "scrunch" up my quilt, rather than roll it. I seem to be able to maneuver it better to where I want it to go.
    :)
    "Scrunching! That was what I was trying to say! Thank you ... good team work! And, I will encourage the walking foot as others have spoken about. The first one I ever bought cost $35 .... now, they are less than twenty dollars in any sewing machine repair shop or even your local quilting store. The key thing you have to know about your sewing machine when selecting sewing machine feet is your shank (the place the foot is attached) ... it is a high or low shank ... Basically, if you want to machine quilt, a walking foot for straight lines, the hopping foot (or embroidery foot, or it might be called a darning foot) ... those two feet will allow you a great deal of freedom to develop your style. And, as a gentle reminder for anyone using the hopping foot - - BE CERTAIN that you have lowered your foot when beginning to quilt, or you will get loops and rats' nests on the back of your quilt like nobody's business! Ask me how I know on second thought, trust me like your mother! :lol:

  11. #11
    Junior Member fabuchicki's Avatar
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    I clamp my fabric to the table (I got the clamps at Home Depot or Lowes) and then I pin every 2 inches or so. I pin around the ditches with just enough room to move the walking foot through and then I can remove the pins from each section to do the decorative quilting after I've stitched in the ditch to stabilize it.
    Attached Images Attached Images


  12. #12
    Super Member omak's Avatar
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    fabi chicki ... how very clever!
    and, pictures to boot! That technique should ensure a smooth backing, and to do that alley thing with your pins ... that is really clever!
    (Can you tell that when I pin, I don't pin that closely? )
    The pictures are really helpful to people like me who can spell all the words, but sometimes can't quite get the mental picture to fine tune up into the frontal lobes. Thank you!

  13. #13
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    I have a cheap cutting table from Joanns that is less than an inch thick.
    You can buy slip on plastic clips to hold the quilt tight. I got mine at Quilt in a Day online.
    It has made a big difference.
    You can also use the black office clips but they are bulkey. But really cheap at the dollar store. I use the plastic clips for the backing then use the black clips for the top.
    No more folds or kisses.
    I also move my larger quilts and do the middle first then move to each side and clip and pin. The table is only 36 inchs wide so have to move the quilt to get it all pinned.
    I also have a machine with a 10 inch throat and that makes all the difference in the world when quilting.

  14. #14
    Super Member shaverg's Avatar
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    If you can purchase a walking foot, it will make a world of difference.

  15. #15
    Power Poster littlehud's Avatar
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    The walking foot would help alot. I don't have a longarm either. I used to pin my quilts til I found basting spray. I'll never go back to pinning. Basting spray is so much easier for me to use and seems to hold the quilt better. I keep checking to make sure the quilt isn't bunching up and I am not catching something I shouldn't.

  16. #16
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    Don't be discouraged...most all of us have had a "kiss" or two on the back of our quilts. I do what fabuchiki does, only I use the biggest black binder clips I can get from the office supply (never thought of looking at the dollar store. Note to self...look there next time! LOL). I have a big 6-foot folding table that I use and do it in sections. Then I'm a scruncher when I put it into my machine. I have a Janome with an average-sized throat. I've done LOTS of sofa throws (mine tend to be almost twin size so whoever gets them can share :wink: ), but did an oversized queen quilt for my bed. A walking foot is invaluable...soooooo worth it.

  17. #17
    Member elliemay's Avatar
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    I am going to invest in a walking foot as soon as finances allow... grandkids birthdays!! my quilting friend told me once that your first and even 3rd quilt is never perfect!!! Hmm :roll:

  18. #18
    Super Member omak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elliemay
    I am going to invest in a walking foot as soon as finances allow... grandkids birthdays!! my quilting friend told me once that your first and even 3rd quilt is never perfect!!! Hmm :roll:
    I don't think I have met a quilter who would admit that their fourth quilt was perfect ... or their fifth quilt in the sixth year!
    Because we work so close to our project, we KNOW where every stitch is longer or shorter than its brother/sister. We KNOW where that one point, either missed the connected section, or managed to disappear three threads into the next point, so is therefore, not pointy!
    Many cultures declare that nothing made by man is perfect, therefore, a flaw is PURPOSELY put into a project JUST to say, "I am human ... only God can make something perfect".
    Some of us are so human that we have fifteen flaws in a quilt ... most of which most people never know is there.
    Part of why we keep quilting is because in our souls, we were designed to keep trying because "maybe we can do it a little better".
    Strive to produce a good product. Enjoy the process of learning as you stitch each quilt. And, realize that you will probably ALWAYS say to yourself: "That could have been better."
    Be thankful that you have an opportunity to do another project, make another quilt for someone's warmth and comfort, and that you will always be better with the next project than you were for the previous one. It is part of the craft.
    And, be gentle with yourself. Think of how many stitches it takes to make a quilt ... the majority of which are just exactly where they are supposed to be.
    A mistake is proof that someone tried to accomplish something.

  19. #19
    Super Member Deb watkins's Avatar
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    I agree with purchasing a walking foot. It definatly is worth the investment. As for stretching, I purchased from Bed, Bath and Beyond some heavy duty bag clips. They were red, with a tight spring, and about 5" long. Two in a pack. I purchased 4 packs, should have purchased 6! I have a glass table top that I use for all my cutting. It is just the right length and width to stretch my pieces. I quilt on my Jamone, bunch under the arm, and lay the rest out on the table so there isn't any weight pulling the quilt.

  20. #20
    Super Member Carol W's Avatar
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    Those are great clamps.

  21. #21
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by omak
    The place on the back, where little tucks happen during the quilting process are called kisses,
    if the wrinkles are hugs then I have quilts of love - lol

  22. #22
    Super Member omak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MadQuilter
    Quote Originally Posted by omak
    The place on the back, where little tucks happen during the quilting process are called kisses,
    if the wrinkles are hugs then I have quilts of love - lol
    That's the spirit! :thumbup:

  23. #23
    Senior Member ellenmg's Avatar
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    Oh fabuchicki, that is genius!!! As I say to myself, why didn't I think of that???? Where did you get those pins? Nifty! I like the big safety pins but they leave marks on the fabric....

  24. #24

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    The best way is to baste the quilt together. With my carpal tunnel hands, I can't manage a hoop, so quilt by hand without.

    I have made several quilts with the quilt-as-you-go techniques. The last one I did was to make 5 different panels, pin the top, batting & backing together and then quilt each individual panel on my sewing machine. I then join the panels with seam covering strips and zig zag the strips together.

    I avoid ripping as much as possible!

    Sally

  25. #25
    Super Member omak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sally2c
    The best way is to baste the quilt together. With my carpal tunnel hands, I can't manage a hoop, so quilt by hand without.

    I have made several quilts with the quilt-as-you-go techniques. The last one I did was to make 5 different panels, pin the top, batting & backing together and then quilt each individual panel on my sewing machine. I then join the panels with seam covering strips and zig zag the strips together.

    I avoid ripping as much as possible!

    Sally
    I think a good book to help you work with this system is "Divide and Conquer" ... I think it was written by the team from Piece-o-cake quiltworks. I saw the book demonstrated on Simply QUilts and I thought the seam covering strips you are talking about were a dandy solution. I am glad you thought to mention this system/technique.

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