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  • Machine quilting not turning out neatly

    Old 09-25-2016, 05:09 PM
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    Default Machine quilting not turning out neatly

    I've machine quilted a lot in the past, and it always worked beautifully, but lately I'm spending more time unpicking it. None of my stitches are even or neat. I don't know how to fix it. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! I'm under a lot of stress at the moment, so I'm think that I'm too tense. I've been piecing a new quilt top instead, but that's only causing me to have another UFO. Has anyone else experienced the same, and what did you do to fix it? Thank you!
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    Old 09-25-2016, 05:38 PM
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    Maybe your machine needs a tune up. If you did it well before, you obviously know what you are doing so it may not be you. Maybe it is time to try new quilting patterns. Are you doing test pieces to warm up and to test the quilting?
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    Old 09-25-2016, 06:53 PM
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    Stress certainly affects the quality of my quilting! So I would suspect stress as the culprit, especially if you are doing FMQ or SITD.

    Do you have a walking foot? What I would suggest is pulling one of your UFO's to sandwich, then use your walking foot to create gently wavy lines across the quilt. This is a very easy technique and there is no "wrong" way to do it. Here is a link to some images of the possibilities:
    https://images.search.yahoo.com/yhs/...ppfocus1_ma_cr

    And a link to a tutorial (there are more online):
    http://www.bijoulovelydesigns.com/20...-tutorial.html
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    Old 09-25-2016, 07:16 PM
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    Sometimes different fabrics react differently to the same settings. I usually quilt with a Microtex needle, but with repro & vintage fabrics I find I do better with a Quilting needle for FMQ. Also, different battings may need special treatment. For high loft cotton, I have to adjust the pressure on my presser foot.
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    Old 09-25-2016, 07:21 PM
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    diff thread? how about batik? I seem to have more troubles quilting with batiks. Also does your bobbin area need cleaning /oiling? Last time I had tension issues, I found a huge glob of oily lint wrapped around the bobbin race. try a larger needle...even if the one you have now seems huge. I have even used an 18...
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    Old 09-25-2016, 07:52 PM
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    It might help to watch some YouTube videos of others doing FMQ. Take a close look at their samples and you will see their stitches are not perfect. Relax a bit and maybe that will help.
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    Old 09-26-2016, 12:46 PM
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    what size needle are you using? I ask because recently while Fmq on a quilt I began having stitch formation issues that couldn't be resolved by any of my usual means. I had decided to try out a new kind of batting and was also using a batik for the backing fabric. What finally solved the problem for me was going up to a size 100/18needle. I usually use a 90/14 top stitch or the 90/14 hlx needles in my Pq1500s, don't know if it was the new kind of batting, or the batik backing, or the combo, but the larger needle solved the problem.

    Rob
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    Old 09-26-2016, 04:13 PM
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    Originally Posted by rryder
    what size needle are you using? I ask because recently while Fmq on a quilt I began having stitch formation issues that couldn't be resolved by any of my usual means. I had decided to try out a new kind of batting and was also using a batik for the backing fabric. What finally solved the problem for me was going up to a size 100/18needle. I usually use a 90/14 top stitch or the 90/14 hlx needles in my Pq1500s, don't know if it was the new kind of batting, or the batik backing, or the combo, but the larger needle solved the problem.

    Rob
    Thanks Rob! I'll try a size 100/16 then. I'm currently using a 90/14. I cleaned and oiled up my machine and even took it apart to check and ajust the timing, but I'm not really seeing much improvement yet. I'll post if the larger size needle fixes my issues, thank you!

    Last edited by NZquilter; 09-26-2016 at 04:17 PM.
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    Old 09-27-2016, 06:26 AM
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    Thank you all for your advice, everyone! My stitches seem better right now. So I changed the needle to a 100/16, then I raised my feed dogs (I'm FMQ here), but I dropped my stitch length down to 0. So far so good! I'm guessing its because I'm using some new batting that I found on sale at joanns.com... 10 yds for $14.00 and free shipping! I'm hoping its the new batting and not my machine! Thank you all for your advice, it did make me feel less like I was out on a stranded island☺
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