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Thread: I need help!

  1. #1
    callmemolly's Avatar
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    I'm really not a quilter, but I just finished assembling the blocks for my fifth quilt. When I went to press it, many of the fabrics puckered. :( How do I get it to lay flat again? I am sooo frustrated and ready to give up.

  2. #2
    Super Member thimblebug6000's Avatar
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    Wondering if you used a cotton/poly blend fabric and maybe the iron was too hot? Not sure that there's a way to undo that.

  3. #3
    Power Poster Ninnie's Avatar
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    I would have to know what kind of fabric is in it and see a picture!

  4. #4
    callmemolly's Avatar
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    No, I used all cotton and only cotton thread. I wondered if I got it wet if that would shink the fabric back again when I re-pressed it. Or would I make a bigger mess?? I also wondered if it would "quilt out" as my niece would say? Thanks so much for responding!

  5. #5
    Power Poster Lacelady's Avatar
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    You can certainly shring a fair bit by quilting it to death, so to speak. Were there a lot of bias seams in your orignal patches?

  6. #6
    Power Poster Ninnie's Avatar
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    You might trying putting it in the dryer on low with a wet towel.

  7. #7
    callmemolly's Avatar
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    Yes, it is a 12 patch sampler. It came out pretty well until I went to press it after I assembled the blocks. Do you think I could spray it with water and see if it shinks a bit? Otherwise, I will tell the gal who does the quilting for me to quilt it to death! :D

    I will try to take a picture and see if I can figure out how to post it on here....

    This is my first time on this forum, and I am so impressed (and grateful for!) the responses. I need so much encouragement to make a quilt happen! :?

  8. #8
    Super Member Shemjo's Avatar
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    I hope you can wet it and repress with a cooler iron to flatten it. It is truly discouraging to have that happen at the end. It is bad enough to discover a "bad" fabric in the middle before everything is together. :lol:

  9. #9
    Power Poster Lacelady's Avatar
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    Good luck with posting a picture, it would certainly help.

  10. #10
    quiltluvr's Avatar
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    Hope you'll be able to post a pic. The ladies and men here are very knowledgeable. Don't give up. It's ALL a learning curve, so it's all good. :D

  11. #11
    callmemolly's Avatar
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    Ok - I am going to TRY to attach three pictures... I tried once already but I don't think they went through. Please forgive me if this comes through twice.

    the rpoblem!
    Name:  Attachment-37653.jpe
Views: 8
Size:  67.2 KB

    Close up of one block
    Name:  Attachment-37654.jpe
Views: 7
Size:  58.0 KB

    Quilt laying on top of a smaller one (trying to figure out border color)
    Name:  Attachment-37655.jpe
Views: 7
Size:  55.1 KB

  12. #12
    Power Poster Lacelady's Avatar
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    Well done with getting the photos up. I think that by the time you have quilted in the ditch, a lot of that will have disappeared, as the seams will be pushed down, and the batting will push up the centre of each patch. Why not try it with a few hand stitches around one or two patches, (not even the whole block) to see if you get the desired effect. If that works, then machine quilting it should do the same thing. Using a walking foot would be preferable, so as to avoid pushing the fullness along.

  13. #13
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    really pretty fabrics and blocks

    did you wash your fabric before cutting and sewing it?

    compared to a couple of quilts I've seen, it's laying quite flat -

    I think it could be "quilted out"

    do you remember if your sewing machine was acting up during part of the sewing? it seems like a lot of the blocks are laying nice and flat

    it looks to me that the seams are puckering more than the fabric

  14. #14
    callmemolly's Avatar
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    Thank you! I will try a bit of handquilting and see what happens before I spend my life's fortune on having someone machine quilt it. :) I feel so encouraged by all of you!

  15. #15
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    I did not pre wash my fabrics. I've been told to do so and not to do so by various quilters. So what do you recommend? (I always prewash if I am sewing a garment, etc.) My sewing machine is as old as the hills (not quite as old as me :), so your thoughts about seaming could be right on. My husband helps me with fabric choices and cutting. I could never piece a quilt if not for him (first of all, I would give up right away :D and I have absolutely no puzzlemaking abilities. I have a whole new appreciation for quilt makers!!

  16. #16
    Super Member sewjoyce's Avatar
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    Hi and Welcome from southern Indiana!!

    There is always a big debate about whether to prewash fabrics or not. I usually do prewash mine -- especially if there are any dark colors or reds -- just to be on the safe side when it's finished! If you use one of the color grabber sheets in your wash (which I always do when prewashing), you'll be amazed at how much color there is in some of this stuff.


  17. #17
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    The washers and do not washers are both quite vehement in their opinions.

    I am VERY VERY VERY pro-washing. I know the quilts I make will have to visit the washing machine at some time, and I really don't want an unpleasant surprise after it's all put together.

    I also don't know how finicky/careful the new owners will be when they do the laundry, either.

    Some old machines still sew beautifully. Maybe a visit to the "machine doctor" might be worth the money.

    Most piecing - as far as I know - is done either by hand with a very short running stitch - or with a straight machine stitch.

    If you are sewing with a short stitch and stretching your fabric, that might cause puckers.

    When I took a class ages ago to learn how to sew T-shirts, we were told to LENGTHEN the stitch and stretch the fabric - when relaxed it would lay flat and have some give.

    When stretched and sewn with a short stitch, the fabric would just ripple. (And it would be very hard to unsew)


  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by callmemolly
    I'm really not a quilter, but I just finished assembling the blocks for my fifth quilt. When I went to press it, many of the fabrics puckered. :( How do I get it to lay flat again? I am sooo frustrated and ready to give up.


    Molly, I'm not quite sure how to break this too you. Sit down dear. Take a deep breath. OK, here's the truth. I'm afraid that you're going to have to admit that if you've made five quilts you really are, a quilter.

  19. #19
    quiltluvr's Avatar
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    You did a beautiful job with your fabrics and piecing. Will be looking forward to seeing it when it's all done. Keep up the good work!

    As for prewashing VS not, try it both ways yourself. That's the best way to decide what works for you. There's pros and cons to both sides.

    For what it's worth, I'm a pre-washer, not only for getting off the sizing (starching is the backup when needed) and color bleeds that aren't anticipated, but it's been my experience too, with quilt shop quality fabrics as much as other shop fabrics, the hot wash and mild dry pre shrinks the material, which helps me and my confidence level that it won't do anything "weird" once a project is done and ready to wash for the first time. Those are the reasons I have chosen to prewash. It may not work for everybody.

  20. #20
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I didn't really see any puckering that was that bad to me. That would have not fazed me one bit to see that in a block I made. I starch and iron my fabric before cutting. Not much can distort it after that. If the fabric is bad to work with I'll know before cutting. I don't use laundry detergent on my fabric in the pre wash. I use only warm water, if the water has fabric die in it then I don't use that fabric at all if the rinse water is discolored too.

  21. #21
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    I was taught not to prewash anything, unless you think it will really bleed. And since I have four cats, everything gets washed and dried in the machines. I wash in cold water and have never had problems with bleeding. Plus, I prefer the "old fashioned" look to quilted products, with some wrinkling.

    Make sure when you iron that you are "Pressing" and not "Scrubbing". Put your iron down on the fabric, press firmly for a few seconds without moving and lift. When you move your iron back and forth as you go, you can stretch the fabric. You can give it a burst of steam if needed.

    I think your wrinkles will quilt out, but it's the wrinkles that give a quilt that homey, well-loved old fashioned look. (In my never to be humble opinion. LOL)

    Your quilt top is beautiful, by the way!!! Great Job. But if you are that unhappy with it, better just discard it. TO ME!!!!!!

  22. #22
    Power Poster Ninnie's Avatar
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    It doesn't look that puckered to me, it should quilt up fine!

  23. #23
    Power Poster Ninnie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gaigai
    Quote Originally Posted by callmemolly
    I'm really not a quilter, but I just finished assembling the blocks for my fifth quilt. When I went to press it, many of the fabrics puckered. :( How do I get it to lay flat again? I am sooo frustrated and ready to give up.


    Molly, I'm not quite sure how to break this too you. Sit down dear. Take a deep breath. OK, here's the truth. I'm afraid that you're going to have to admit that if you've made five quilts you really are, a quilter.

    Sorry, Molly, but it's true you are indeed a quilter. welcome to the dark side. :lol: :lol: :lol: There is no going back and there is no cure! :D

  24. #24
    Super Member Shemjo's Avatar
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    That sure does not look bad to me! We get some pretty wrinked quilts to work on at church where we take in quilting for others. What you have shown can be quilted out! :lol:

    I was taught to prewash when I stated quilting. But I seldom prewash now. When I prewash the fabrics for the top, I try to remember to prewash the fabric for the back as well! But I never prewash the batting, so everything will shrink or distort at a different rate, so it will look like the old fashioned quilts after a wash or two anyway!

    My older fabrics in my stash are prewashed, but the newer ones are not. I tend to mix them and enjoy! A girls got to take a chance now and then. :?

  25. #25
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    She's a quilter alright! And all 5 of her quilts are beautiful!

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