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Thread: Complaint About Me

  1. #26
    Super Member Edie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Holice
    put some painters tape down the front of the foot onto the arm of the machine and table (if necessry) to help you guide. This helps keep it straight going under the foot.
    I have painter's tape in my sewing drawer for that exact purpose. It works also. I run it all the way across the machine in case I have a rectangle square (got that one?) or a strip and then I am better able to keep track of my fabric. Like I am going to lose a piece of fabric on the sewing machine. I have been known to do that too! Edie

  2. #27
    Super Member applique's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mar_ie
    I find it hard when sewing along the diagonal line of a square to keep the sewing line straight to the end. I tend to end with a curve ! The end of the corner is delicate so ripping out sometimes takes fabric as well as thread..
    I use painter's tape on the diagonal line of the square to line up my stitches. Same thing for quilting lines. Follow that tape!

  3. #28
    Super Member alleyoop1's Avatar
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    Keep your eye on the foot not the needle. That has helped me. I always used to sew crooked too.

  4. #29
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    Thank you all so much. These are all great suggestions and easy to do. I like the idea of making sure I'm sitting straight at the machine. The painter's tape is a good idea, plus marking the line. I have a Sewline marker, which is fabulous for things like this. In fact, all of the suggestions are useful. I could try every single one of them, and then I can see which one works best for me. Thank you again.

  5. #30
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    A couple of things helped me new glasses with antiglare and a 1/4 in foot

  6. #31
    Super Member MaggieLou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by watterstide
    Quote Originally Posted by quilt addict
    I have a 1/4" foot that helps but still weave off at the beginning and end. These are all great ideas.
    Sometimes the fabric is up to tight against the blade when we start, then as we finish, we tend to relax,and the fabric comes away from the blade. measure the seam allowance at the start and finish, and see if it is smaller at the start and bigger at the end. this is what was happening to me when i first started.

    there are alot of aids out there you can use to help keep the fabric straight. free ones,(like mole skin and post it notes) and ones you pay for..(ther is a magnetic guide,a screw in guide, a plactic one too) use what works for you.
    i also painted the front ot the blade tip white when i first started..so i could see it easier..(i used white out..lol)

    i watch the guide or the edge of the foot/fabric, never the needle.
    Love the idea of using WhiteOut. I'll have to try it.

  7. #32
    wishiwerequilting's Avatar
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    I would like to add just a few suggestions to the advice given so far (all excellent suggestions!)
    1. Before you cut, spray starch your fabrics. I like MaryEllen's Best Press, but you may use any spray starch you like, even if you make your own solution. Just use it.
    Try to make your fabrics feel like the weight of construction paper, and then cut them. That's how stiff they should be. I know it sounds like a lot, but I learned that suggestion from Debra Wagner, who is an award winning quilter, and she is right. So much easier to cut the fabrics, and to stack them together and piece.
    2. If you feel like you need to draw a seam line (probably not necessary, but if you need "training wheels" until you get the feel of things, ok), place your fabric on a sandpaper covered mat, cardboard, whatever, and then draw lightly with a fine mechanical pencil so as not to stretch the fabrics out of shape.
    3. I have used this technique when teaching kids to sew, and some adults can benefit from it as well....
    when you are getting ready to place your fabric pieces Right Sides Together (RST), put a tiny drop of elmers school glue (or applique glue...whatever you have) in the seam allowance.
    When i say tiny, i mean tiny...like the size of a quilt pin head, or bead.
    Do it in a few places along the seam allowance of the right side of one of the fabrics. Then put your next piece of fabric on top to make your little fabric sandwich that needs to be sewn RST. Heat set the glue by pressing the fabrics with your iron. This eliminates the need for any pins.
    You can assembly line sew these pieces - just stand at your ironing mat for a bit and glue and heat set a whole bunch, then feed them into the machine and cut threads after they come out the other side of your needle - typical "chain piecing".
    You should have accurate 1/4" seams, and the pieces should be exactly one on top of the other with edges aligned.
    4. Lastly, it's my opinion...(i'm not a machine tech, so i could be wrong, but i swear this is the case) that some machines "kick" the fabrics out of alignment. It's as if the feed dogs are mis-aligned. I can sew on some of my students machines and i can't sew straight either, then sit down at my machine and i am fine. sometimes it is not the sewer but the machine. if all else fails, get yours checked out, and/or try sewing on some other machines to see if there is a difference.
    Hope this helps. Love all the suggestions here!!

  8. #33
    wishiwerequilting's Avatar
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    Oh, i forgot the last one...
    5. use a stilletto - or whatever object you have to keep your fabrics feeding through the machine right until the end of the patch you are sewing...
    I like to use a bamboo skewer from the kitchen supply store or supermarket most of the time. This helps to keep your fabrics sewing on that 1/4" seam line right until the last stitch, rather than getting a "bowed" appearance to the seam line. If you always have quilt tops which are "hourglass shaped" (fatter on the outside edges than in the middle) this technique should solve that problem, or at least help to manage it.

  9. #34
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    You may want to try a sewing aid called "The Angler" which you place on your machine that has lines you look at while you're sewing that will keep your work nice & straight.

  10. #35
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    winia

    I had that problem also when I first started. Someone asked me if I was sitting directly in front of the needle, meaning sitting in my chair was I straight on with the needle? I was not, and since I pay attention now I hardly look, just butt the fabric up to the foot and it sews straight on.

    Good Luck

    Suzy

  11. #36
    Senior Member flikkem's Avatar
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    I watched a tutorial recently and he stressed sitting straight in your chair and center your body with the work you are doing.

  12. #37
    Senior Member flikkem's Avatar
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    I watched a tutorial recently and he stressed sitting straight in your chair and center your body with the work you are doing.

  13. #38
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    I like the painters tape because if you line it up right and inch or two before you get to the needle it just follows through to the needle like it should. Take it from someone who had to do the same thing. Gail

  14. #39
    Super Member Rosyhf's Avatar
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    To keep the ends from wandering and curving, use the purple thang or any pointed stick..an orange stick a wooden screwer to hold the fabric in place.

  15. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by debbieumphress
    JOin the party. Maybe better glasses? If you find the mark you want to sew on, I will put some blue painters tape down so it is straight, then another on top of it and maybe a third. It makes it thicker so you can pratically line the fabric up with the tape and feel the border. Might help you too.
    I like this idea. I always get wavy so this might help me.

  16. #41
    Super Member patdesign's Avatar
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    Just get in the zone and look at the overall area, the closer you stare at the needle the easier it is to OVERSTEER, just like driving. Focus on a spot in front of the needle where you feed the fabric in and let the fabric SLIDE under your fingers, and the presser foot do the work of pulling in the fabric. Try to not let the fabric pull your hands towards the back of the machine, you will then be in control and able to guide the fabric straight with very minute adjustments. Been sewing over 60 years and it just gets to be second nature.

  17. #42
    Senior Member FQ Stash Queen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ktbb
    staring at the needle or even at a foot close to the needle tends to result in crooked lines.....try marking the base of the machine a couple of inches ahead of your needle and use that as your guide for the edge of your fabric and see if it helps...If us use that as your primary check, you can spot check periodically to see that the edge of the fabric hear the needle is where you want it to be.

    Think of driving down the road and focusing on a spot just ahead of your hood...you end up (usually) over compensating and the car moves back and forth a lot, even tho it may be small moves. If you focus on the road several yards ahead of the car, your turns are less jerky, the ride is smoother, and the path of the car is a straighter line.
    Absolutely agree. Use the mark on the machine not the needle as your guide. If you are doing quarter inch seems, the 1/4" foot is invaluable.

  18. #43
    Senior Member FQ Stash Queen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wishiwerequilting
    I would like to add just a few suggestions to the advice given so far (all excellent suggestions!)
    1. Before you cut, spray starch your fabrics. I like MaryEllen's Best Press, but you may use any spray starch you like, even if you make your own solution. Just use it.
    Try to make your fabrics feel like the weight of construction paper, and then cut them. That's how stiff they should be. I know it sounds like a lot, but I learned that suggestion from Debra Wagner, who is an award winning quilter, and she is right. So much easier to cut the fabrics, and to stack them together and piece.
    2. If you feel like you need to draw a seam line (probably not necessary, but if you need "training wheels" until you get the feel of things, ok), place your fabric on a sandpaper covered mat, cardboard, whatever, and then draw lightly with a fine mechanical pencil so as not to stretch the fabrics out of shape.
    3. I have used this technique when teaching kids to sew, and some adults can benefit from it as well....
    when you are getting ready to place your fabric pieces Right Sides Together (RST), put a tiny drop of elmers school glue (or applique glue...whatever you have) in the seam allowance.
    When i say tiny, i mean tiny...like the size of a quilt pin head, or bead.
    Do it in a few places along the seam allowance of the right side of one of the fabrics. Then put your next piece of fabric on top to make your little fabric sandwich that needs to be sewn RST. Heat set the glue by pressing the fabrics with your iron. This eliminates the need for any pins.
    You can assembly line sew these pieces - just stand at your ironing mat for a bit and glue and heat set a whole bunch, then feed them into the machine and cut threads after they come out the other side of your needle - typical "chain piecing".
    You should have accurate 1/4" seams, and the pieces should be exactly one on top of the other with edges aligned.
    4. Lastly, it's my opinion...(i'm not a machine tech, so i could be wrong, but i swear this is the case) that some machines "kick" the fabrics out of alignment. It's as if the feed dogs are mis-aligned. I can sew on some of my students machines and i can't sew straight either, then sit down at my machine and i am fine. sometimes it is not the sewer but the machine. if all else fails, get yours checked out, and/or try sewing on some other machines to see if there is a difference.
    Hope this helps. Love all the suggestions here!!
    Learn something new here everyday. I've always been told to press and press again, but never to starch it that stiff. I use Mary Ellen's (and swear by it - nothing else works as well), but might need to press it with the stiffener a second time, especially when cutting more than one layer at a time. Since I am starting a project which requires cutting 4 fat squares simultaneously, this should come in very handy. Thank you.

  19. #44
    Super Member desertrose's Avatar
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    Painter's tape set right up tight to the presser foot and slowing my speed helped me to keep on the straight and narrow. Hope it helps you too.

    Andie

  20. #45
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    I put a strip of double sided scotch mounting tape - t's about 1/2 wide and probably 1/8 inch or bit more high. I think it's the height that helps me keep that fabric in a straight line.

    t's a great guide for the fabric BEFORE it hits the presser foot, and you can cut it however length you want it, and it removes with no residue on your machine. And it's cheap.
    Karen

  21. #46
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    Hello winia, my friend of many years -- I knew for sure it was you when I saw the Sewline reference.

    You've gotten some good tips here which we'll be using too. ("wishiwerequilting" is right; sometimes the machine will slightly move the fabric as you start sewing) I know I don't sit straight at my machine but I will from now on. And don't be too hard on yourself!!!

    See you soon!!!

  22. #47
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    I use that thick magnetic tape beside my presser foot

  23. #48
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    my dear grandmother was a seamstress, and my first lesson from her was on dish towels.... right? we always sewed our own ... now the gals love to get hold of a feedsack towel.....but anyway, never watch your neeedle. set you sights on the proper width for your scant 1/4 inch seam, and dont' drive fast like you hate the job....LOL

    Jacie

  24. #49
    Power Poster twinkie's Avatar
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    At our quilt guild, they taught us to use the blue painters masking tape as it stands out better. Also to use several layers on top of each other so the material cannot go past the 1/4" measurement. It has really helped me.

  25. #50

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    I use to work at a garment factory and to keep the seams straight we used a guide next to the pressure foot or 1/4' away for seam, this was usally a piece of cardboard or tape, some machines even have a metal guide that you can screw in to use.

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