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Thread: help,design uneven after quilting

  1. #1
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    help,design uneven after quilting

    even thoughIhave been quilting for about3-4 yrs, I still feel like a beginner. I finally can cut the right sizes & can sew a good 1/4in. seam allowance(have a foot). |BUT, after I have done the quilting, my seams are uneven, so my whole quilt is uneven( |I square up the quilt before I start quilting|). What am I doing wrong?
    ps: I don't know if this is the right place to post this question. Let me know if I should have done different.

    peggy

  2. #2
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    how are you quilting? free motion or stitch in the ditch, etc? perhaps you are pulling on your quilt as you stitch. i can't think why it becomes uneven. i wouldn't square it up before quilting myself. usually squaring up isn't cutting off more than about 1/8 an inch. perhaps 1/4 in the border edge. not more.
    there are many tutorials online showing how to machine quilt. and maybe your library has quilt books you can borrow. visuals help.
    "From hence only infer that an Englishman, of all men, ought not to despise foreigners as such and I think the inference is just, since what they are today, we were yesterday, and tomorrow they will be like us"
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  3. #3
    Senior Member lfletcher's Avatar
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    I square up my quilt after quilting. This may help some.

  4. #4
    Super Member grammy Dwynn's Avatar
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    You say your seams become uneven after quilting - sounds like you are pulling/stretching while quilting. Also if while quilting, you should try and have your quilt piled/bunched on the table, because the weight pulling down can affect the quilt/quilting. A table or ironing board on you left side can take up some of the weight.

    I also do not square up my quilt, until AFTER I have quilted.
    "I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand." -Confucius

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  5. #5
    Senior Member Sew Krazy Girl's Avatar
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    Are you using a walking foot? It helps to keep the 3 layers even. Also, don't pull or stretch while sewing.
    I'm too blest to be stressed. Amen to that!

  6. #6
    Super Member mpspeedy's Avatar
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    The main thing I have learned after more than 40 years of quilting is that fabric is not a "stable" medium. It stretches, shrinks and is often not straight to begin with. I tear all of my fabric and also prewash it and it is still not straight. In the manufacturing process they wrap it on the bolt crooked and it seems to stay that way. The only thing you can do is "press" it firmly and starch it if necessary and then take your chances. It does help to support the item you are quilting as much as possible. That is one reason I am not interested in machine quilting something any bigger than lap size. Physically dragging it around under my machine is more than I can handle because of health issues. If I have to work on anything bigger I surround my sewing setup with tables that will support the quilt or whatever I am working on.
    If it helps to make you feel better, my husband is a macninist who spends his working hours cutting up metal. It also stretchs and shrinks from changes in tempature. He actually carries some items from one end of the shop to the other in a cooler with dry ice to maintain their size until he can cut them accurately. If metal isn't stable how could fabric be?
    Finish your project and be happy with the color and design you have accomplished. No one is perfect.
    Trying to sew, quilt or read everyday.

  7. #7
    Senior Member omaluvs2quilt's Avatar
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    I know not all people like to use these, but I sandwich with the 505 basting spray and find that it totally stabilizes the quilt sandwich. I have done several queen size quilts on my Janome 6600P with no problems and they have all washed up nice & soft. I do use my walking foot to stitch in the ditch, but much prefer to free motion. I have tried and tried the pinning process and have not been successful, even on a lap size or smaller. Once quilted I square up prior to applying the binding.

  8. #8
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    Are you quilting from the center out? That might help keep your quilt even.

  9. #9
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    If you are going to STD on the sashing or around the blocks, it is best to do those first before any FMQ. If you FMQ without the straight lines already stitched you are going to get some movement of the quilt top. This is especially important if there are long vertical straight lines because as you look up them from the bottom they can really wander. It's not as noticable for the horizontal staight lines. If I have vertical lines I'm going to do, I pick one in the middle of the quilt and do it first, then I quilt the horizontal lines out from it. I then do my FMQ in the first row on either sides of the center straight line and proceed outward. This is what I do but if any one else has a better method please share it.

  10. #10
    Senior Member RUSewing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by omaluvs2quilt View Post
    I know not all people like to use these, but I sandwich with the 505 basting spray and find that it totally stabilizes the quilt sandwich. I have done several queen size quilts on my Janome 6600P with no problems and they have all washed up nice & soft. I do use my walking foot to stitch in the ditch, but much prefer to free motion. I have tried and tried the pinning process and have not been successful, even on a lap size or smaller. Once quilted I square up prior to applying the binding.
    I also am fan of 505 Spray.
    ~~ Butterflies can't see their wings.
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  11. #11
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    Even if I am not doing SID I still like to start from the center of the quilt and baste in stitches. These help to stabilize the quilt sandwich, especially if you are wrangling around a larger quilt. The more quilting I plan on doing, the more basting stitches I like to use.
    I have had a little traveling even when using the spray, and a little basting seems to help hold the whole project together nicely.

    Any amount of quilting can draw in the quilt, distorting the final shape and seam lines. The heavier you quilt, the greater the chance. Keeping the quilting evenly distributed, and working from the center out, may help you too.

    If you are straight line quilting, a walking foot really helps to feed the sandwich through easier, with less distortion. Try using a little longer stitches too.
    You shouldn't have to really tug and pull on the quilt to get it going under the needle. If you have to tug too much, you run a greater risk of distortion.
    The suggestions for supporting the quilt are great ones, and will be very helpful to you
    “The simplest toy, one which even the youngest child can operate, is called a grandparent.” Sam Levenson

  12. #12
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    I free-motion quilt usually. I always start from the center & am very careful about pulling or stretching the fabric. That is why I am so frustrated. Does the amount of quilting affect the shape in anyway? Thanks forall the input.

  13. #13
    Super Member mcdaniel023's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by omaluvs2quilt View Post
    I know not all people like to use these, but I sandwich with the 505 basting spray and find that it totally stabilizes the quilt sandwich. I have done several queen size quilts on my Janome 6600P with no problems and they have all washed up nice & soft. I do use my walking foot to stitch in the ditch, but much prefer to free motion. I have tried and tried the pinning process and have not been successful, even on a lap size or smaller. Once quilted I square up prior to applying the binding.
    I second everything she said. (Even have the same machine)
    Happy Quilting.

  14. #14
    Super Member hperttula123's Avatar
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    quilting will stretch your fabric out slightly. It's never perfectly square after it is quilted. You have to square it up after it is done. They have videos on youtube to show you how to do that.
    enjoy your life...it's the only one you have!!!
    Heather

  15. #15
    Member kpelletier83's Avatar
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    I bet mine is worse than yours. I just did straight line quilting outlining blocks on my quilt but I did it without a walking foot (since I don't have one for my Bernina yet). I thought I was doing great until I hung it up on my design board and saw how wonky it make my border. I have a one inch border and then a 3 inch one. Then inside of the 1 inch border is crooked now. I make two mistakes. Not using a walking foot and quilting on the across the bias of my half square triangle. I am so bummed. I am hoping if I wash and block it I may get it to straighten out. I am still very new to domestic machine quilting. I just can't seem to get the hang of free motion yet. I bet it would have been better than this though.
    so I feel your frustration.

  16. #16
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    i've always (evened) the edges before quilting- but i square the quilt after it is quilted- before the binding- the quilting process draws up the fabrics--due to the thickness of the quilt sandwich- much like fabric is (drawn up) when appliqued or embroidered- so it is normal for it to get a little---uneven when it is quilted- after the quilting is the time to square up- and block if needed.
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

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