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Thread: Keeping fabric tight when quilting

  1. #1
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    I have tried used quilting pins (safety type), basting with thread, ironing after doing this and I still am having a problem with when I go to quilt the whole piece, that I have puckers in the back on the fabric. No matter how flat I get the back, smooth out the batting, then iron and smooth out the top, I have a problem. I have spray but haven't used it yet, as you have to have ventalition and it's expensive. I am so frustrated that I spend more time taking out the mess I have made and this in turn makes me unhappy about the whole process. Can anyone give me a hint? thanks.

  2. #2

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    Hi dillysnana
    Are you machine quilting or hand quilting if you are handquilting try using a frame and if you are machine quilting make sure the project is well pinned.
    Hope this helps Wilma

  3. #3

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    Even after you've pinned or basted the layers together sometimes it needs redoing. If you start quilting in the middle and work your way out, then when you come to a point when it starts slipping here and there take your pins out and adjust then repin. Always allow extra batting and backing for just in cases. Hope this helps. Also if your ironing don't iron back and forth, this will stretch the top. Press going up and down.

  4. #4
    Moderator kathy's Avatar
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    i use the spray and pins also, just make sure to open the window and don't just stay there and do the whole thing at one time, do a little, take a break and walk outside for a couple of minutes then go back and do some more. your back will appreciate it too. just use a light spray on the backing then put the batting on top and a lite spray on it then put on the top. it takes a while to get it all done but it's worth it.

  5. #5
    Super Member vicki reno's Avatar
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    I am working on a lap quilt now and part of it was hand quilted and part machine quilted. I agree, the spray is the way to go. It amkes it so much easier, evn if you pin afterwards, helps keep the slipping to a minimum!

  6. #6
    Carla P's Avatar
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    Yup... Spray lightly then pin... Works 99.9% of the time. The good thing about the spray is if you notice slippage after a few days of working on the same projuct, just use your iron to press (not slide) the area where the fabric has turned loose and the spray is re-activated.

    Good luck! Don't let it frustrate you, & PLEASE don't give up. The problem you are having is not uncommon, but easily fixed.

    Hope this helps... If not, come back... We'll just try to make you laugh instead of helping you quilt. Some days, one is just as good as the other!! :D

  7. #7

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    You didn't say how or where you are layering your quilt. I know for sure if you do not fasten the back layer down securely you will get puckers every time. I have unbased a few times my self. I do like the spray baste, just open a window and turn on a fan for a little while.

  8. #8
    BarbC's Avatar
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    I spray baste and the spray I use holds great.. no need for pins.. no slippage.. and it lasts until the quilt is washed! I have sprayed a quilt, rolled it up and let it sit for a week before I was able to start quilting it and it did great!

    I actually baste mine outside. I have done it on my patio. Cleaned it off and covered with a kingsize sheet. Now I use 3 folding tables. Much easier on the back!

    Barb C.

  9. #9
    Carla P's Avatar
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    My way is probably not the most desirable to most people but I will gladly share my methods... I have hardwood floors, so I lay my backing down and use masking tape to keep it secure and taut (not stretched). Then spray the backing, roll out the batting, spray again, then roll out the top. I use a 4 ft. long, 1" wooden dowell to smooth each layer before spraying, which works great & saves the back & knees. (this is a trick I learned while working in a uniform manufacturing company spreading out the fabric for the pieces to be cut from) If it is a quilt larger than a full size, I will pin baste in addition to the spray because it takes me more than a couple of weeks to complete the quilting. On a full or smaller I just use the spray.

  10. #10

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    I have never used the spray baste. Does Joanns carry it. Does it gunk up the needle and can you hand quilt with it?

  11. #11

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    no does not gunk up my needles, i like to spray and pin. but i learned it's so much easier to quilt down if when pinning down use your fist to measure ,as far as how many pins you put down the more pins the better. i usually get my kids to take the pins out i hate to do that . i let them earn a little money that way.

  12. #12
    Super Member Barbm's Avatar
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    I get puckers on the top. I pin every 4 inches and use spray. I lay it on the carpet and work from the middle out. When I quilt I move my sewing machine to the island in the kitchen so I can stand and move the quilt around easily. I start with a line down the middle and through the sides, making it in quarters, then work 1 quarter at a time, working inner to outer corners. The foot pedal works great this way too. But, I still get puckers- on the top. Bottom is fine! Any ideas?

    Barb

  13. #13

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    I use the warm and natural batting. I tape the backing tightly to a large group of tables at our church, spread on the batting and then place the top on. I usually pin it, but do not close the pins......after the whole quilt is pinned, I untape it and flip it over so the backing is up...Gently, run your hands from the center out and see if it is smooth at each pinned point. If not, remove the pin from the front side and smooth the backing and repin. It seems like a lot of work, but I've have great luck with it so I don't have tucks in the back. Ruthie

  14. #14
    Carla P's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barbm
    I get puckers on the top. I pin every 4 inches and use spray. I lay it on the carpet and work from the middle out. When I quilt I move my sewing machine to the island in the kitchen so I can stand and move the quilt around easily. I start with a line down the middle and through the sides, making it in quarters, then work 1 quarter at a time, working inner to outer corners. The foot pedal works great this way too. But, I still get puckers- on the top. Bottom is fine! Any ideas?

    Barb
    Hi Barb,
    Are you using a walking foot for the center lines? If not, your fabric might be shifting a bit. If you are, the top might not be as taut as it should be. When you are creating the sandwich you might want to anchor the top in the same manner as the backing to insure it is not becoming loose when pinning. Ruthie Mann posted a great suggestion on how she checks her backing fabric which might work on your quilt top. (I'd be very careful of those pins though) One other thing. When you are quilting on the kitchen island, do you have the quilt supported enough to prevent it from pulling or dragging? (This can cause top puckers and numerous other problems)

    I hope this helps... Please keep us posted. :D

  15. #15

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    On basting spray, I was wondering which brand is preferred? Thanks. I have used some, sulky brand which seemed to work well. I know there is Sullivan also. What is your experience?

  16. #16

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    Hi Barb,
    What brand of spray do you use? Sounds like what I need to get.

  17. #17
    Carla P's Avatar
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    Sullivans, June Taylor, & 505 are all very effective. For people with breathing problems the 505 might be a better choice, but all have fumes to contend with, so proper ventilation is a must (even if it is an open window or large room). There is no need to over do it on the spray; I have found a finer mist works better than major spraying, which will also reduce the fumes.

    As with any adhesive, if you use too much you will eventually have to deal with stuff on your needle. The great thing about the quilt sprays is they are water soluable and if this is a problem, you can usually wipe your needles off and keep sewing.

    There are many spray adhesives on the market, but I can not comment on them being as I have never used them on quilts. (I am uncertain of their chemical composition and solubility, so I am not taking any chances when I know the quilts I make will most likely be against someone's skin.)

  18. #18

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    505 is very strong as far as adhesiveability and it is very expensive. It is a wonderful product though. Sullivans basting spray is lighter but works well I understand. Its probably more reasonable also. Sprayed lightly it should last a good while. Just be careful what you pick up. I thought I was getting Sullivans basting spray, on sale, but it wound up being fabric stabilizer, which is more like starch I believe. Is that correct?

  19. #19
    Super Member Barbm's Avatar
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    walking foot- hmmm- must get one right away. I have the stools to support the quilt, also grab unsuspecting persons walking by and make them help. I am lucky as they like to watch and will hold the "bulk" for a while as we converse.

    I have 2 tops ready to quilt- both lap size. Am holding off as I don't want puckers. I also have a double bed size that I was going to try "quilt as you go", 2 rows at a time. Will this help my problem?

    Thanks for all your help!

  20. #20

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    Gotta have a walking foot if you're machine quilting no doubt about it for the straight stiching of course like stitch in the ditch. I even used my walking foot for some decorative stitching while machine quilting. I did that on my son's pine needles block borders. Guess I'm a little unconventional.

  21. #21
    Carla P's Avatar
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    Susanhcc,

    You are right... stabalizer is more like a starch, & being as all of the Sullivans cans look alike with the exception of the color coding, it is necessary to pay attention. :D (That stabalizer is great for curved or bias edge piecing.)

    Barbm,

    I have never done QaYG (I love the challenge (torture) of quilting a king size quilt on my home machine), but no matter the quilting process you use a walking foot is an invaluable asset for feeding the multiple layers evenly. It is a purchase that will prove to be worth its' weight in gold! :D

  22. #22

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    I love reading in this quilting forum. I'm getting so excited about almost being ready to try my hand at my first quilt. My oldest son is in the process of moving out, so I will be able to finish setting up my work area. And my coaching season ends this weekend. But I have been reading and gathering supplies. You have all inspired me so much!

  23. #23
    Carla P's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by susanhcc
    Gotta have a walking foot if you're machine quilting no doubt about it for the straight stiching of course like stitch in the ditch. I even used my walking foot for some decorative stitching while machine quilting. I did that on my son's pine needles block borders. Guess I'm a little unconventional.
    Hmmm... Well, I'm always being described as non-traditional by my friends & family, Tim is self admitted "weird", Patrice is a computer designing Guru Goddess, Kathy has a pet croc, Tricia is still dealing with snow, and the list goes on and on. But, we all love it here & each other, and everyone here has their perfect place in our family. I am sure "unconventional" is perfectly acceptable, and there is always room for one more at the dinner table!! :D (Wipe your feet, wash your hands, & have a seat!! :D It's Tim's turn to cook.)

  24. #24

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    Has anyone done one of those t-shirt quilts? You know the ones with where you cut out 12-1/2" blocks from the middle of the shirt and sew them all together? I have a construction question on them. Have seen them done several ways. My stepson wants one of those for his h.s. graduation quilt and I have all the shirts together. I have plenty of time since its for next year.

  25. #25
    BarbC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by susanhcc
    Has anyone done one of those t-shirt quilts? .
    I just finished doing one for a wedding gift. Barb C.

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