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Old 02-21-2012, 02:12 PM
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Hi! I am VERY new to quilting. I started off purchasing 2 small charm packs so I could practice piecing them together. The ones I purchased had pinked (is that right?) edges. I noticed that they all didn't match up that well, some were really uneven when I pieced them together. My seams were straight, but.....were they not all the same size?! I THINK I am ready to start my first real quilt top. I am starting small, with a small lap quilt for my little boy. I purchased fat quarters and cut the squares using my Go Baby (DH got it for me for Valentine's Day). As I began piecing them together, I was really pleased because they were going together and matching up so much better! However, I am now having trouble as the ends seem to be fraying more, and the material is getting caught up in the feed dogs. I am trying to be gentle when I remove the material; but it frayes even more. Is it something I am doing wrong, or a problem with machine, or ??? So far, my best friend has been the seam ripper
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Old 02-21-2012, 02:22 PM
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Welcome to the group! Unfortunately Mr. Ripper is a best friend to most of us!
If the edge of the fabric is getting caught in the feed dogs, you may be making your seams too "scant 1/4"...something I did as a beginning hand piecer/quilter.
Try making them just an oooch (is that how you spell that???) wider and this may take care of your problem.
You do need to be sure your pieces are cut straight to the grain of the fabric for best results...straight edge of cut lining up with a thread of the fabric.
You can always use Fray Check, but that could get kind of pricey pretty quick if you used it on all your pieces.
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Old 02-21-2012, 02:54 PM
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did you starch?
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Old 02-21-2012, 02:58 PM
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Sometimes when using a zigzag foot and throat plate with a wide hole, too much fabric wants to catch or go down with the needle. A foot with a smaller opening for the needle than the zigzag foot and a throat plate with a small hole might help. Also, if your fabric isn't very thick, maybe a smaller/finer sewing machine needle would help.

Congratulations on your accurate cutting and sewing!

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Old 02-21-2012, 03:04 PM
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Another thing that helps is to use a small piece of folded-up fabric to start the sewing, then feed your pieces after that. In a pinch I've even used an empty package of SweetNLow to start the stitching. Good luck - you'll get the hang of it in no time.
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Old 02-21-2012, 03:44 PM
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Use the folded piece of fabric like ArtsyOne said above. That works the best. You can also check you machine to see if you have the pressure on the foot at the highest. I find that if it is in the middle, it feeds better because cotton mostly is not a thick fabric. On mine #1 is for thin fabric like sheers, #2 is for cottons, thinner polys, etc. #3 is for denim, upholstery, thick polys, etc. Also, hold the ends of the thread from bobbin and top threads while stitching the first few stitches so that the machine will not pull the fabric in the hole. The fabric I am using now seems to like being eaten. Sometimes it is just the fabric and not what you are doing wrong. You just have to figure out how to outwit it.
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Old 02-21-2012, 04:07 PM
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Thank you all so much for your tips! I am using straight 1/4 foot, so no zigzag. I did not starch (should I?) I will look at my manual to see about the pressure on my foot (because I have no clue lol). I will also try the folded piece of material to start. You're all so helpful and I thank you so much! I haven't been piecing much lately, because I found this forum and all I do is read read read but I've learned alot. Now let's just hope I can put what I've read into action and make a beautiful quilt someday! Thank you again!

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Old 02-21-2012, 04:20 PM
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Krysti sounds like everyone has given you some good advice. Sometimes even the best fabric will fray and starching will help that. Also if it's really bad you could pink the seams after sewing. Good luck!
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Old 02-21-2012, 04:31 PM
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And also, FYI...some charm packs are NOT cut all the same size! I have several packs of 5" charms by Moda...and they range from 45/8" to 51/4"...so even the good manufacturers are off sometimes. Be careful and good luck!
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Old 02-21-2012, 04:43 PM
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Yes the folded piece of fabric is the way to go.
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