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bkay 11-03-2017 02:21 PM

What am I doing wrong? Need help with a class
I'm a fairly novice quiter. I've pieced 5 or 6 simple quilts, but had all quilting done by a longarmer.

I'm volunteering to teach quilting to 5th graders. It's a small class, just 6 or 7 kids. I did this last year, but the teacher (my sister) was persuaded to do something "that shows" by either her principal or her TAG supervisor.

So, this year, each is making a wheelchair lapquilt to donate, in addition to what we did last year. I simplified it, as we are not piecing the lapquilt. We're just cutting a top, bottom and batting, spray basting and quilting it with a walking foot. (Wonder who will end up binding all those lapquilts?)

We just had our first class last week and I was going to make a prototype. My plan was flannel backing and polyester batting. I'm not sure which is not working easily. I taped the flannel to the table, not stretching it but smoothing it carefully. I spray basted it and then put on the low loft polyester batting. I smoothed it out. Then I sprayed it and put the top on. I removed the blue tape and folded up the sandwich. It was all goofy this morning with the backing no longer smooth and the top was only a hair better. So, I ironed it from the center out and re-positioned both the top and the backing. It might make it through the sewing machine without puckers, but somehow, I doubt it. I left it laying flat.

What am I doing wrong? Would Warm and Natural solve some of this problem? If we don't use flannel for the backing, we have to put some kind of ties on it to keep it from sliding.

Any help would be appreciated. I really need to get most of the kinks worked out this weekend.


PatriceJ 11-03-2017 02:35 PM

i'm sure we'll hear from others who don't have the problem, but i have always ended up with tucks, puckers, and all manner of hideousness when i try to quilt on polyester with a walking foot.
polyester is well suited to free motion and long-arming, but it does not work with a walking foot.
i don't think spray basting does much good on it, either.

bkay 11-03-2017 03:37 PM

Well, I have some warm and natural, so can change it if need be. I also don't have that much invested in the polyester if that is the problem.

I really need this to be EASY for these kids. They need to succeed. They will get to know about Mr. Seam ripper anyway, even with everything simplified.


Watson 11-03-2017 03:42 PM

The sales lady at my LQS told me that basting spray wasn't meant for polyester when I mistakenly used a cotton poly blend backing. Maybe it won't stick to the polyester batting?


Tartan 11-03-2017 03:47 PM

Polyester moves too much for me when quilting. I do better with 80/20 batt. If your machine has a way to reduce pressure on the foot, that sometimes helps.

bearisgray 11-03-2017 03:52 PM

My Mom made hundreds (really!) lap quilts for nursing homes.

She layered them with the top, backing, and an old sheet or flannel in the middle. Then she did the "birthing" method - then top stitched about 1/4 to 1/2 inch from the edge, and then tied them.

The turning is important - and is probably the slowest part of the whole process.

Prism99 11-03-2017 04:23 PM

It depends on the brand of basting spray and the batting. You are safer using warm and natural as all brands of basting spray work with it. For polyester batting, 505 basting spray usually works fine but other brands can be problematic.

edit - I meant to say that basting spray works best with cotton batting. Warm and natural is one of those cotton battings.

QuiltE 11-03-2017 04:28 PM

How good of you to work with these children and help them learn to sew!

I agree with the others that poly batting is more "shifty" for quilting.

I don't use polyester batting very often, but when I do, and am using spray baste,
I spray the fabric, not the batting.

For the kids, spray basting may not be a good idea because of the smell,
and potential breathing issues it may cause them.
Besides, some parents may be less-than-happy that you would expose them to the chemicals!

To avoid the binding issue, the birthing method, would be realistic for the kids.
Then turn and have them put a few ties in, to stabilize things.

One word of caution ... with your intention of giving these to a nursing home (or wherever?),
you might want to check with them first, as to any guidelines.
Some have very specific requirements as to the fabrics, battings, etc. that can be used.

Jingle 11-03-2017 07:10 PM

I mainly use polyester batting and it never shifts.

I sandwich my quilts and always have with large safety pins. I never use spray basting for anything.

Good luck teaching the kids to sew.

illinois 11-04-2017 03:13 AM

Originally Posted by Jingle (Post 7937362)
I mainly use polyester batting and it never shifts.

I sandwich my quilts and always have with large safety pins. I never use spray basting for anything.

Good luck teaching the kids to sew.

Me, too. I love the puff of poly batting. I pin, not spray baste. And I use the walking foot when machine quilting. I'm reluctant to use the spray because of fumes and the situation of over-spraying/clean up. I'd suggest the birthing method and teach the kids about how to turn that edge seam, then top-stitch just that however far from the edge you choose and tie the rest. If using a zigzag machine, help the kids mark where those "ties" should be and machine stitch with a zigzag in place. It may be more serviceable that the traditional tying, especially if going into industrial laundry of care facilities.

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