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Thread: Newbie problem

  1. #1
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    Newbie problem

    Hi, I'm a newbie here and to quilting, but already need help. I have a Baby Lock Quest Plus which my DH gave me a few years ago for my BD---sweet man! I have sewn for 40+ years but never tried quilting before this year so am a total newbie at this. My problem is that when I start a 1/4" seam, my machine is feeding the fabric down into the needle hole on the plate, I am using the 1/4" quilting foot and the machine's PDQ system which should help with even feeding of the fabric. Any ideas on how to prevent this would be great and so appreciated. I don't want to get frustrated before I really get started, I'm sure there will be many better reasons to get frustrated down the road with this new undertaking! Thank you in advance for any help anyone can give me.

  2. #2
    Super Member Wanabee Quiltin's Avatar
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    Yes, I had this too. I read somewhere to take a small scrape of fabric and start sewing in the middle of the fabric and then keep on piecing your quilting fabric. It works everytime. I have a nice little basket on my desk and when I trim my blocks, whatever, I take those small pieces of fabric and put them in the basket for my start fabric. I know that Bonnie Hunter uses hers for making quilts, called Leaders and Enders. Look for her on the Internet on her blog.

  3. #3
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    Thank you for the help, like most people, I should have no problem finding small pieces of fabric in my sewing room! I'll give it a try this afternoon. I'll check the Bonnie Hunter blog too, I'm always looking for quilting info/pictures/tutorials, especially tutorials!

  4. #4
    Member jeemmerling621's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wanabee Quiltin View Post
    Yes, I had this too. I read somewhere to take a small scrape of fabric and start sewing in the middle of the fabric and then keep on piecing your quilting fabric. It works everytime. I have a nice little basket on my desk and when I trim my blocks, whatever, I take those small pieces of fabric and put them in the basket for my start fabric. I know that Bonnie Hunter uses hers for making quilts, called Leaders and Enders. Look for her on the Internet on her blog.
    You are totally right. The leader scrap or fabric will pull back the fabric as you sew and prevent your machine from getting hungry and eating your fabric!

  5. #5
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    Sorry, I have never had this problem.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

  6. #6
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    Also, check out Bonnie Hunter's website regarding leaders and enders. She sews two blocks together instead of using a scrap of fabric.

    mltquilt

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeemmerling621 View Post
    You are totally right. The leader scrap or fabric will pull back the fabric as you sew and prevent your machine from getting hungry and eating your fabric!
    I'll chime in here too. This is the best and an easy fix to the problem.
    Judy

  8. #8
    Super Member Crqltr's Avatar
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    Leader fabric should work...and welcome to the board and the wonderful world of quilting from Michigan

  9. #9
    Super Member crafty pat's Avatar
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    Welcome from SC Texas. So happy you joined us, as you have found out with the good help you got here there is always someone ready to help.

  10. #10
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    I think your problem has been solved so I just want to welcome you to the Board.

  11. #11
    Super Member thimblebug6000's Avatar
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    Try holding both the threads in your left hand as you take the first few stitches.

  12. #12
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    I want to welcome you too from Dallas Tx.

  13. #13
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    How long has it been since you changed your needle? And what needle do you have in the machine? When needles get dull they don't go thru the fabric as well and will push it instead of going thru it.

  14. #14
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    Try holding the threads (don't pull on them) back as the fabric starts to feed through.

  15. #15
    Super Member Kitsie's Avatar
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    If you can find a straight stitch plate for your machine they are wonderful!! Instead of a zig-zag type slot it has a single little hole and also my machine has a straight stitch 1/4" foot that has just a narrow slot with a hole. These accessories are the "bomb" for doing small pieces, etc. (And I still use my "heads & tails" - scraps)


    Quote Originally Posted by auntiem View Post
    Hi, I'm a newbie here and to quilting, but already need help. I have a Baby Lock Quest Plus which my DH gave me a few years ago for my BD---sweet man! I have sewn for 40+ years but never tried quilting before this year so am a total newbie at this. My problem is that when I start a 1/4" seam, my machine is feeding the fabric down into the needle hole on the plate, I am using the 1/4" quilting foot and the machine's PDQ system which should help with even feeding of the fabric. Any ideas on how to prevent this would be great and so appreciated. I don't want to get frustrated before I really get started, I'm sure there will be many better reasons to get frustrated down the road with this new undertaking! Thank you in advance for any help anyone can give me.
    http://s1248.photobucket.com/albums/hh485/KitsieH/
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jingle View Post
    Sorry, I have never had this problem.
    Neater do I...

  17. #17
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    I agree with Kitsie, that's what I was going to suggest. Check your needle plate to see how big the hole is. The needle plate is the metal piece between your needle and the bobbin, the needle will dip down into the hole as your machine sews. It sounds as if the needle is dragging your fabric down with it. Holding thread tails, using leaders & enders will work, but I found using a needle plate with a small round hole instead of a wide oval hole was the simplest fix. Also, make sure you're using a sharp needle such as a topstitch needle and not a ball point (which is for knits).

    Hope these tips work for you! Good luck!

  18. #18
    Senior Member CarrieC's Avatar
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    I can see that you got the same hint I would have given - so this is just to welcome you to the board and the addiction of quilting! Don't forget to share a picture when you're done so we can all ooh and ahh over the quilt!!!
    Carrie, Queen of the Seam Rippers!

  19. #19
    Super Member virtualbernie's Avatar
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    And unless you're chain piecing sew onto another scrap piece of fabric (your ender) at the end of that block so you'll be ready for the next series of blocks.
    Bernie

  20. #20
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    Even people who have been sewing for decades can learn new things. I recently started using leaders and enders to start and stop my stitching and love them. They keep the stitches from coming undone at the end of the seam and save a whole lot of thread.

    Amazing that I did not know this already.

  21. #21
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    I agree about the leaders and enders but I also found that if I use a single hole metal plate instead of the regular one on the machine it helps stop this problem. This is the plate that is on your machine that covers the area ariund the feed dogs and where the needle goes down into the bobbin.

  22. #22
    Super Member GrannieAnnie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by auntiem View Post
    Hi, I'm a newbie here and to quilting, but already need help. I have a Baby Lock Quest Plus which my DH gave me a few years ago for my BD---sweet man! I have sewn for 40+ years but never tried quilting before this year so am a total newbie at this. My problem is that when I start a 1/4" seam, my machine is feeding the fabric down into the needle hole on the plate, I am using the 1/4" quilting foot and the machine's PDQ system which should help with even feeding of the fabric. Any ideas on how to prevent this would be great and so appreciated. I don't want to get frustrated before I really get started, I'm sure there will be many better reasons to get frustrated down the road with this new undertaking! Thank you in advance for any help anyone can give me.
    I use a piece of paper for a lead on seams----and tuck maybe a stitch or two of the envelope under the fabric. The paper tears away easily when completed.

    While you're stitching, "assembly line" as many sets of pieces as you can to say the paper aggravation.
    Bad Spellers of the World
    U N T I E

  23. #23
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    Leaders, or if you have one a straight stitch plate that came with your machine

  24. #24
    Super Member virtualbernie's Avatar
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    GrannieAnnie, that's a great idea using paper! I never thought of that!
    Bernie

  25. #25
    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
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    Most quilters use a 75/11 or an 80/12 Universal needle for piecing cotton quilting fabrics. Change it often, at least with every project. All your other answers are wonderful, too.

    Jan in VA
    Jan in VA
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