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Bulge in Quilt Center

Bulge in Quilt Center

Old 11-26-2019, 11:39 PM
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Question Bulge in Quilt Center

I recently longarmed a lone-star quilt for a customer. It was pieced in a light fabric and she wanted it puffy so I used a polyester loft batting. She also wanted stitch-in-the-ditch. I ended up crossing over the center point of the star several times in the course of stitching in all the ditches surrounding the center. Now the center of the quilt bulges. I think the problem was caused by a combination of heavy stitching in one area and a really light fabric and batting that were prone to stretch. Now I'm trying to figure out the best way to get it to lie flat.

If you have any expertise or experience with this, please post your suggestions. Here are a few of my ideas--if any of you have tried any of them, please let me know how it went.
  • Mist the center and then put the quilt in the dryer on medium heat until dry. Lay the quilt flat on a table while still warm and place a large, flat thing over the center as it cools.
  • Hold a steam iron about an inch over the top and steam the center of the quilt Place something flat over the center and leave it there until the quilt is dry.
  • Pick out my stitching, mist the center with a light starch or best press, dry in dryer on medium heat, then requilt (making sure to not cross the center point more than absolutely necessary).
  • Pick out my stitching and figure out how to take tucks in the center area, then requilt.
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Old 11-27-2019, 03:11 AM
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I would try the iron held above the center with steam first. Any of the other suggestions I think may create more problems.
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Old 11-27-2019, 05:34 AM
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Block the quilt.

Lots of tutorials out on the web.

Here is one to get you started. https://leahday.com/pages/how-to-block-a-quilt

I would be very hesitant to take steam to it with a poly batting.

Edited to add, it is very common for lone star quilts to volcano up in the middle. It is the nature of the beast. Some volcano as much as a "b" cup bra. I strongly suspect the quilt was problematic before you did any quilting.

Last edited by feline fanatic; 11-27-2019 at 05:36 AM.
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Old 11-27-2019, 06:40 AM
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I was once sent a Lone Star top for hand quilting, and when I laid it out flat on the floor, you could have put a basketball under the center. I sent it back and it was re-sewn by someone more expert. (It was for a shop).
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Old 11-27-2019, 09:16 AM
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I had that happen with a quilt but it was due to my piecing. It was the most difficult quilt have ever made! I used w&n batting. I laid the damp quilt on the floor, blocked it and put heavy books in the center. It was ok. It was for my grandson and wife. I don't know how it was after being washed. Btw it was a David and Goliath biblical pattern. Can't remember the actual name and author of the book. I think it was for a much more advanced quilter than I. Lots of y seams.
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Old 11-27-2019, 09:16 AM
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One reason I like FMQ in a large stipple no more than two - three inches apart. I start in the center and make an x than quilt in quarters until done. I don't straight stitch often.
I also don't quilt for others. I give away my quilts and donate to foster kids in my county.
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Old 11-28-2019, 06:23 AM
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My concern with someone else's project fabric, is would the misting or steam make the colors run?
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Old 11-28-2019, 08:59 AM
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I wouldn't steam poly bat or do any tucks--think that would be obvious with a lone star. I'd go for misting the entire quilt (be careful if you think there will be bleeding of dark into light) and then do as Feline says--block it. I'd probably set something heavy on the middle until it dries.

When I get a quilt with lots of bias cut edges (like a lone star) I will go through first and baste the entire quilt before I do any other quilting on it. Have found it helps to keep things stable. I like Jamie Wallen's basting method of doing a long stitch in a big stipple (I use a noxious neon pink thread so easy to see to pick out!).
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Old 11-28-2019, 06:21 PM
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I have a feeling the quilt was not flat in the first place. I live in a Native American community so I quilt a lot of Lone Star Quilts and I rarely get one that is actually flat. I don't think it has anything to do with your Quilting.
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Old 11-29-2019, 10:34 PM
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From my experience, I have found that you need to make the four exterior corner pieces separately, then add the top pieces together, same for the bottom pieces and finally attach the bottom pieces to the top pieces - when making lone star quilts.

This quilt came to you with it being sewn all together and not checking it is squared up at the center points, and this was the cause of the bulge - this happened to me, so now I know how to make a lone star, without bulges.
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