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Thread: I'm learning a lesson, but what is it?

  1. #1
    Power Poster sandpat's Avatar
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    OK..I'm trying to put on a narrow border and the fabric is almost ruffling up on me. It isn't puckering, it is just really full and lays pretty wavy when I try to lay the quilt on the floor. I thought..well, I probably cut it wrong...I folded the fabric selvage edge to selvedge, then cut..is that wrong or right for a border.

    I'm taking it off now..I'll have to resew it tomorrow, I hate to mess up the whole quilt when I'm this close to being finished. I'm sure there is something to learn here..I just haven't figured out exactly what I did wrong..yet...

  2. #2
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    your fabrics may have stretched a little as you stitched. it doesn't take much, and this has happened to just about all of us at least once.

    after you take it off, press it flat again. starch the bejeezers out of it.

    find the middle of the border strip and match it up to the middle of that side of the quilt. pin from the middle to the right end, and then again from the middle to the left end. space your pins about an inch apart.

    if you have a walking foot, use that when you re-stitch on the machine. if you don't have one, just sew slowly and keep a careful eye on things as you stitch down the seam. that way, you'll notice if the border strip starts to puff, ruffle, or do anything except stay flat against the quilt. if you see it, stop. leave the needle down, but raise the presser foot. smooth it back into shape and then start sewing again. you may have to do this a few times.

    take your time, and you'll see it goes much better this time. :wink:

  3. #3
    Member Lynda in TN's Avatar
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    What a very good reply, Patrice...easy to understand. When I started, I couldn't see why I needed to pin down a border. I thought it was a waste of time and energy...afterall, you are just sewing one to another, right? But I learned the hard way that pinning is usually a very good idea!

  4. #4
    Power Poster sandpat's Avatar
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    Thanks Patrice. I will use the walking foot and starch on the fabric. How on earth did I stretch it??? I cut it, then pressed it---just up and down with the iron, then laid it on top of the quilt laying on the floor and pinned it. Would it have happened as I was sewing and smoothing it? GRRRR... but thanks!

  5. #5
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    There is some give (stretch) in fabric cut selvage to selvage, bias cut has lots of stretch. If you cut your border pieces on the length of the fabric (along selvage side) it doesn't stretch. Hope this will help with your next quilt. :D

  6. #6
    Super Member gcathie's Avatar
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    I don't know it this will help or not.....I was taught to always measure from the center of the quilt....side to side.....don't stretch any just leave it as it lays.....that is the true length or wideth.....I always mark my centers on my strip and on my quilt on both sides with a little nip in the fabric....as Patrice said....I pin top and bottom and center....and what I call fudging the matieral in or pull......this is how I was taught.....It is suppuse to square your quilt......so both sides should be the same length and both ends need to be remeasured from the center and both of them should be the same......I also iron everything to get an exact measurement.....Good luck...

  7. #7
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sandpat
    How on earth did I stretch it???
    i don't know how it happed in your case, but i know i have a very bad habit of pulling the two layers out in front to keep them lined up as they feed under the foot. NOT a good idea. much better to pin and use your hands only to keep the fabrics feeding straight. let the machine do the "pulling".

    as long as i'm confessing ... i'll admit i almost never try to measure my border and binding strips precisely. i purposely cut them at least 4" too long, and then hack 'em back to square after i've sewn them on. i'd rather feed the scrap drawer than pull my hair out in frustration. :wink:

  8. #8
    farscapegal
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    Quote Originally Posted by PatriceJ

    as long as i'm confessing ... i'll admit i almost never try to measure my border and binding strips precisely. i purposely cut them at least 4" too long, and then hack 'em back to square after i've sewn them on. i'd rather feed the scrap drawer than pull my hair out in frustration. :wink:
    I do the same thing. Rather have scraps than deal with measuring.

    I only pin my border if I am matching seams on the body of the quilt. I have never noticed wavy or puffiness on my borders.

    Sybil

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by sandpat
    OK..I'm trying to put on a narrow border and the fabric is almost ruffling up on me. It isn't puckering, it is just really full and lays pretty wavy when I try to lay the quilt on the floor. I thought..well, I probably cut it wrong...I folded the fabric selvage edge to selvedge, then cut..is that wrong or right for a border.

    I'm taking it off now..I'll have to resew it tomorrow, I hate to mess up the whole quilt when I'm this close to being finished. I'm sure there is something to learn here..I just haven't figured out exactly what I did wrong..yet...
    The first few quilts I made had wavy borders because I didn't use a walking foot and I didn't measure the quilt and cut the borders to that measurement. I now measure down the center of the quilt to get the measurement for the side borders and measure across the center of the quilt to get the measurements for the top and bottom borders.
    gcathie gave some good advice about marking and matching the centers of your quilt with the centers of your borders. I put a pin at the quarter sections and match them too.
    Let us know how things turn out for you.
    How smart you are to take the borders off and redo them...I wasn't smart enough to do that....but at the time I was new to quilting and didn't have a walking foot either....but we learn as we go.

  10. #10
    Power Poster sandpat's Avatar
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    Thanks all. I haven't had this happen to me before and I did it like I always have...make a strip a little longer...lay right side to quilt and feed them through the machine, trim to square after. I'm thinking that there just happens to be more "give" in the particular piece (afterall, it was Christmas day :lol: ) and it ruffled - just on the outside, the sewn seam looked perfect..duh...I guess I've been lucky in the past with my borders.

    I did not cut it running with the selvage and I think that is the problem. I'm gonna try to "fix" it though before I cut a new border.

  11. #11
    Super Member Bill'sBonBon's Avatar
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    Wow!!! Thanks to all of you. A problem I have had several times is now taken care of.
    Bill'sBonBon

  12. #12
    Chef_Beth's Avatar
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    If you can adjust the presser foot as to how hard it presses down on the fabric as it passes under it, it can help too. I usually adjust my presser foot a tad higher when dealing with unco-operative fabrics! Especially flannels, or slippery fabrics that don't grab each other. All sorts of useful remedies here! This is such a neat board!

  13. #13
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    So far have not had that problem but I press my fabric before I cut not after. I am carefull not to pull just lay the border on top and sew. Some fabrics may stretch more than others.
    I do stretch my binding a little as I sew it on per El Burns and it always works out well.

  14. #14
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    I found out the hard way it pays to use a walking foot to put on the binding. My first wall hanging (OK, I just made it a couple months ago LOL) has a wavy, rippled edge because the fabric stretched. I was going to rip it out and redo it but my youngest came in, took one look, and said "That is so cool the way you made the rippled effect. I love it. " I left it the way it was and think of that wonderful girl every time I look at it. But from now on I'm using my walking foot.
    :D :D :D :D :D

  15. #15
    Super Member Carol W's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the tips.

  16. #16
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    Yes do use a walking foot, much needed for the first sewing on of the binding. I dont use it for the second sewing, for that I use my stitch in the ditch foot. It makes a big difference if you are like me and cant seem to sew a straight line.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Shelley's Avatar
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    Measure thrice, cut once.

    If you measure down the middle of the quilt, cut your strips, pin them on, matching the centers and quarter marks (and any others too) you will be much happier when it comes time to quilt.

    If you sew on, then trim, you will end up with what we call "friendly" borders, they "wave" at you.

    This quilt had 4 extra inches on one side, 5 on the other. I had to take several tucks.
    Attached Images Attached Images


  18. #18
    Power Poster sandpat's Avatar
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    See...I did learn something! I had friendly borders! Now I guess they aren't that happy because they don't wave anymore. :lol: :lol:

    Thank you all so much..you can see the top I was working on ..I'm going to post under "Heartsongs"..top finally finished!

  19. #19
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shelley
    Measure thrice, cut once.

    If you measure down the middle of the quilt, cut your strips, pin them on, matching the centers and quarter marks (and any others too) you will be much happier when it comes time to quilt.

    If you sew on, then trim, you will end up with what we call "friendly" borders, they "wave" at you.

    This quilt had 4 extra inches on one side, 5 on the other. I had to take several tucks.
    i promise i'm not being snippy. cross my heart. but when i say i cut extra long strips, i mean that i don't worry about matching the ends to the edges of the quilt. once all four sides are done, i mitre - or otherwise join - the strips at the corners and then trim off the extra once i have it squared.

  20. #20
    Power Poster sandpat's Avatar
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    I know what you mean Patrice. I cut longer when I want to miter. Heck, I cut longer when I was just making a block type corner also. I had never had a problem doing it. This time I did. I think I'll start cutting them to the correct length if I doing it the block style..just to avoid the problem and I'll start pinning more too. Maybe it was because the borders I was doing were pretty narrow. However..I did a set of 3...and only had a problem with 1 color. Funny...the pattern was the exact same, just a different color. :lol:

  21. #21

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    I don't know if this will help or not, I always start stitching my borders in the middle & work to the edge, turn it and then middle to the other edge. I don't do it the way I was taught, didn't make sense to me. try it. and maybe press & trim your border since the stretch out. good luck.

  22. #22
    Super Member Melinda in Tulsa's Avatar
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    To Lynda in TN, I sent you a private message.

    Melinda in Tulsa

  23. #23
    Senior Member Shelley's Avatar
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    For miters, go ahead and cut your borders longer, but measure the length you need, mark the middle of the border, take 1/2 the measurement to one side of the middle to the end of your side, take 1/2 to the other side. You'll still be able to miter the corners, but you'll avoid the wave.

    HTH :wink:

  24. #24
    Power Poster sandpat's Avatar
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    Shelley thanks. I can't believe you have to deal with waves such as the one you showed here. I've never had that happen before. Knowing me, I'd have been tempted to take it apart and fix it for the quilter..although I know you can't do that :cry: You are so good though, I bet when you finish with it...no one can even tell about the wave.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Shelley's Avatar
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    Sandpat,

    That quilt had three borders, each applied separately. The problem compounded with the addition of each border.

    Had there not been applique on it, I probably would have fixed it. It would have taken less time, and less angst. On that quilt, I took about 8 tucks. She was going to blind stitch them closed (I had basted them so my machine wouldn't end up entangled in the tucks). It was one of her first quilts, and all in all, I was happy with it and she was thrilled.

    Many years ago, I worked in a coat factory. No pins allowed. To set sleeves, we'd start the stitch with the sleeve piece on the bottom. We'd lift the foot slightly, and use the feed dogs to distribute the excess, aiming to match marks at the quarter, half and three-quarter. Sometimes, you want that excess in there. Just not on quilts!!!!

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