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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.

bkay

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.

bkay

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?

Watson

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.

GingerK 11-04-2017 03:39 AM

You have been given lots of good advice about the batting. My concern is the flannel. If you decide to use the poly batting, the flannel must be shrunk first and then squared up again. Poly does not shrink and flannel does--a lot!!!

Personally, I would cut 12 1/2 inch squares of a few different fabrics and teach the kids simple piecing, including matching seams and pressing, and then go on to very simple quilting or tying.

bkay 11-04-2017 06:22 AM


Originally Posted by GingerK (Post 7937450)
Personally, I would cut 12 1/2 inch squares of a few different fabrics and teach the kids simple piecing, including matching seams and pressing, and then go on to very simple quilting or tying.

When they do their class quilt, they will learn piecing. Each will do a 9 patch square with squares that tell about their time at the school. They will sign one of their squares. We'll make photographic squares of their previous years, plus their particular interests. I have tons of "I spy" charms they can use on their square.

These lapquilts have to be finished before Christmas vacation so they can be donated. We don't have time to learn piecing in addition to sewing machine and cutting, etc. before then.

A church in the area is arranging the donation. I'm guessing they will go to the Methodist home for the aged, given this is a Methodist church.

Thanks for all your help.

I will just switch the batting.

I did wash and dry the flannel. It's my first use of flannel, though you guys have already taught me about shrinkage.

I don't mind binding them. (I just won't hand sew them.)

Thanks again for the help.

bkay

Onebyone 11-04-2017 06:37 AM

I quit buying polyester batting long ago. Not worth the problems.

littlebitoheaven 11-04-2017 09:10 AM


Originally Posted by bkay (Post 7937261)
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.

bkay

Bkay! I would go with the 80/20.

GammaLou 11-04-2017 09:57 AM

I read somewhere that you should spray baste the batting as opposed to the top or backing. It seems to work better that way for me.

MarleneC 11-04-2017 10:25 AM

This is probably too late but if this just involves one piece of fabric for the top and one for the back and the batting I would have done the birthing technique that Eleanor Burns has shown. With the top fabric face down on top of the batting and the backing--that is face up and sewn all around leaving a hole to turn. Then turn and topstitch around the edge to close the opening and using a walking foot or even an open toed foot to stitch top to bottom and even side to side or --possibly even tying the quilt.

Jo Anne B. 11-04-2017 11:04 AM

When I took the Learning to quilt basics classes we used 100% poly batting as the quilts were to be donated and poly was deemed; more economical to purchase for donation quilts. lighter, easier/cheaper to maintain(less time in the dryer) and more durable to wear and tear. With this being said, I am so glad I am in a position to never have to work with the stuff again.

Elise1 11-04-2017 12:48 PM

I learned a lot here, thank you. I just bought my first poly batting yesterday, I may return it.

madamekelly 11-04-2017 02:58 PM


Originally Posted by bkay (Post 7937219)
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.

bkay

Your problem with spray basting was also my experience with it. I have had no problems since I learned to baste using white school glue. I am impatient for it to dry, so I iron mine dry using a towel under it, and a pressing cloth on top. I use the glue straight from a picnic squeeze bottle in very thin swirles about 3-4 inches apart. The only thing to remember is you must wash the quilt before it is really done. I use cold water on a delicate cycle with no detergent and cool dry them. They come out fine, (and if there are any booboos, I can fix them before the giftee knows.)

klswift 11-05-2017 07:02 AM

For wheelchair lapquilts I would not use a batting. Either just have the flannel backing or, if you want a bit of extra thickness, use a flannel for batting and backing. It would be easier for the kids and quite a bit cheaper. Might I suggest you do a 'self-binding'? Keep the backing 1" bigger and double fold it over to the front and then topstitch (I like to use a decorative stitch) to hold the binding down. This would be easy for the kids and it eliminates the possibility of binding coming loose. As wheelchair quilts or nursing home quilts, they will get some hard use and lots of laundering.

Mary Rita T 11-05-2017 07:25 AM

You are an inspiration. A potential simple solution is to have the students hand baste the batting to the top before layering the quilt sandwich. I have good results keeping the layers together with a little basting around the sides when using the birthing method for small quilts.

quiltingshorttimer 11-05-2017 06:59 PM


Originally Posted by klswift (Post 7938226)
For wheelchair lapquilts I would not use a batting. Either just have the flannel backing or, if you want a bit of extra thickness, use a flannel for batting and backing. It would be easier for the kids and quite a bit cheaper. Might I suggest you do a 'self-binding'? Keep the backing 1" bigger and double fold it over to the front and then topstitch (I like to use a decorative stitch) to hold the binding down. This would be easy for the kids and it eliminates the possibility of binding coming loose. As wheelchair quilts or nursing home quilts, they will get some hard use and lots of laundering.

I'd do it this way too--my guild mentored high school kids making large lap quilts and most opted for the type of batting klswitft suggests. WE did not use poly bat for these reasons stated, a cotton blend is best. But I'd think about just a 2nd layer of flannel actually. Have them stitch a seam down the center vertically, then one horizontally in the center and then work out from there with their quilting. Due to the spray hazards in a classroom (with some kids being super allergic or sensitive) we opted for pinning the sandwich.

Rose_P 11-05-2017 11:10 PM

I agree with others who are recommending W&N type batting.

I learned about pin basting with straight pins and foam ear plugs on this site a number of years ago and never looked back. I strongly agree with what others have said about using basting spray around kids. It's supposedly non-toxic, but still gives me headaches and makes me cough if I use it indoors. Occasionally I will take something small, such as an applique, into the walk-in attic off my sewing room to spray, but there I have to be sure I'm well away from the furnace and water heater because the propellant is flammable.

Earplugs can be bought in large quantities from pharmacies and Walmart or Amazon. They're a one-time investment. I've used mine over and over. Look for the ones in bright colors so they will show up well.

Washable school glue sticks are a big help for basting the binding. I don't think it would be practical for basting the sandwich because of the fuzz on batting. I learned to use it on bindings from a Sharon Schamber video on youtube, and it has been a godsend for that. You glue your binding exactly where you want it and hit it with an iron to set the glue immediately as you go around, and it stays until you wash the quilt. Actually, I just looked up the video ("Binding the Angel") and realized that Ms. Schamber uses school glue from a bottle, but the stick works fine for me and speeds up the sewing process a lot because I don't have to keep shifting the binding back into position. (Ms. Schamber uses the glue stick for other things in other videos, so that's what I was remembering.) Gluing is much more stable than either pins or clips.

bkay 11-06-2017 05:50 AM

They yellow rose of Texas, wow, what a great avatar.

Thanks, Rose. I'll look at her videos.

I did switch to the W&N batting and quilted the prototype yesterday. Would you believe? No puckers at all on my first attempt at machine quilting.

bkay

Rose_P 11-06-2017 09:14 PM


Originally Posted by bkay (Post 7938874)
They yellow rose of Texas, wow, what a great avatar.

Thanks, Rose. I'll look at her videos.

I did switch to the W&N batting and quilted the prototype yesterday. Would you believe? No puckers at all on my first attempt at machine quilting.

bkay

Congrats on getting that quilting done so fast and without puckers!

The yellow rose bush died of a plant virus that was rampant in north Texas last year, so all we have left is the picture.

gmcsewer 11-07-2017 05:42 PM

After I get the quilt pin basted, I roll it up loosely till I can quilt it. This seems to avoid getting the batting imprinted with folds. I use polyester batting with fmq and it works good for me doing that.

Rose_P 11-08-2017 09:56 PM

I have some pool noodles from the dollar store that I connect end to end with pieces of dowel. They can then be cut to whatever length you need and a top or the basted sandwich can be rolled up and then stand in a corner without getting folds or wrinkles (sometimes for years, in my case). Pipe insulation is a similar option.


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