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Thread: Problem with quilt sandwich bunching HELP HELP HELP

  1. #1
    Super Member callen's Avatar
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    Unhappy Problem with quilt sandwich bunching HELP HELP HELP

    After 2 attempts to stitch in the ditch my top fabric seems ok but my backing fabric ends up in bunches as I finish a line of sewing. I have removed the sewing - re pinned twice and it is still happening. As I near the bottom of my quilt it ends up looking like a swag curtain (hopefully you will get my drift). Could it be a problem with my machine tension or is the backing fabric perhaps not up to snuff. It does not quite feel the same quality as the top but when I bought it the bolt said it was quilting fabric. Please I need some help!!!!!!!

    callen
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  2. #2
    Super Member LivelyLady's Avatar
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    Are you using a walking foot and lengthened the stitch?
    When you sleep under a quilt, you sleep under a blanket of love.

  3. #3
    Super Member woody's Avatar
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    Are you using a walking foot?? How closely have you pinned? I spray baste and find that that works for me. The walking foot also makes a huge difference. I also try and keep my quilt sandwich nice and straight as I am stitching.
    I hope you can solve your problem, it's so frustrating when it just doesn't work
    The biggest risk is the one not taken

  4. #4
    Super Member callen's Avatar
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    Tks so much for your quick response. I am using a stitch regulator & I have changed the size of stitch to a 3 but still no success. My pins are about every 3-4 inches apart. I never thought about spray basting, that just might do the trick. I still think there might be a problem with the backing fabric but am not sure. Has anyone else run into this problem with the backing?? I took some scraps (of the same fabric, batting & backing) & they were fine when I sewed them so this really has me stumped. I have only been quilting for 1 1/2 years so I don't have a lot of experience so I would appreciate any help available.
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  5. #5
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    If you take the sandwich apart, I would also heavily starch the backing fabric before layering. I use a 1:1 solution of Sta-Flo and water. This will stabilize the backing fabric so it doesn't stretch and distort as you quilt. I would also spray starch the top as heavily as possible.

    Also, if your machine has a means of regulating the presser foot pressure, you may want to try lightening up on that. Your machine's pressure is probably set for sewing two layers of fabric together; with a batting in there, it may be heavier than you need. That would also create "drag" on the quilt layers and perhaps stretch the fabrics.

    Oh, and spray basting is a good idea too. I have never had a problem using 505 with a starched backing fabric.

  6. #6
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    What kind of batting are you using?
    Are you quilting on a domestic or a long arm? (I'm guessing domestic)
    Are your feed dogs up or down? If your using a walking foot on the top and your feed dogs are down - this could be your problem.
    May your stitches always be straight, your seams always lie flat, and your grain never be biased against you.

    Sue

  7. #7
    Senior Member It'sJustMe's Avatar
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    As a relative newbie too, I can totally agree with what's been said already. Walking foot, heavily starch quilt top and back, 505 spray baste have made me a very happy quilter.

  8. #8
    Super Member Dina's Avatar
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    I may be breaking a quilt rule, but I use a 4 or 4.5 when I stitch in the ditch. I am quite happy with my results.

  9. #9
    Super Member Dina's Avatar
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    Is a walking foot the same thing as a stitch regulator? I really don't know.

  10. #10
    Junior Member Quiltgirl26's Avatar
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    This used to happen to me too. Now I use basting glue/spray and make sure both the front and back are smooth. If you don't want to use spray I tape the backing down to my tile floor and then heavily pin....
    Quilting...it's not my hobby it's my PASSION!

  11. #11
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    i suspect that it is the stitch regulator. Best to use the walking foot. The stitch regulator is basicaly for free motion quilting. I don't believe it is helping any for straight line in the ditch quilting. You don't need the regulator for that. Feed Dogs give you a regular stitch.

  12. #12
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    What is your backing fabric? Is it the same as the front? I use a lot of flannel so it has happened to me. But not so much since I started using the basting spray. And if it is the minky (sp) fabric, my friend had a horrible problem with it, she won't use it at all now.

  13. #13
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dina View Post
    Is a walking foot the same thing as a stitch regulator? I really don't know.
    No. A walking foot feeds both top and bottom layers of fabric evenly. You can think of it as adding feed dogs to the top of the fabric. Without it, the bottom layer tends to get moved by the feed dogs while the top layer tends to get pushed by the pressure foot instead of fed.

    Are you trying to free-motion quilt? I don't think you want to be using a stitch regulator unless you are free-motion quilting. Stitch-in-the-ditch is never done with free-motion quilting. It is typically done with the feed dogs up and just a longer-than-normal stitch. If the feed dogs are up and stitch length is not zero, then why would you use a stitch regulator? (I am not up on the newer machines, so maybe I am wrong about this; if so, someone please explain!)

  14. #14
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    I had limited success with FMQ until I started using Hobbs 80/20 fusible batt. I always got puckers in the back no matter how carefully I pinned and sewed. I think that the spray basting would work well too but due allergies that is not an option for me. Fusible batt does take some special care but I won't use anything else now. I have old carpet in the basement and I lay my backing down first. I then spread out the batt and then my top. I iron the top side first smoothing the fabric before me as I go. I then flip the sandwich over and iron the back. I put a few pins around the edge and then go to my machine and start quilting from the middle out. After the middle is quilted, I sometimes re-iron if needed. It does take some extra time but no more than putting in all the pins. Try it on your next quilt, you may like it.

  15. #15
    Senior Member AndiR's Avatar
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    Dina, no a stitch regulator and a walking foot are two different things.

    A walking foot works like feed dogs on the top layer of fabric to be sure it is feeding through at the same rate as the bottom layer.

    A stitch regulator is usually used when your feed dogs are NOT engaged - when doing free motion work. Then it helps keep the stitch length even. So no matter how fast or slow you move the fabric, you will always get the same size stitch.

  16. #16
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    A walking foot and a stich regulator are not the same. I use my walking foot for stich in the ditch and BSR for free motion quilting. Are you using a walking foot? How close are you pins? Are you starting in the middle and working your way out? If no is your answere to those questions, that may be your problem instead of the type of material.

  17. #17
    Super Member callen's Avatar
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    I am over whelmed by your responses & tks so much for your help. I am going to our fabric store today to get some 505 basting spray & I think if I use some of these other suggestions that it will work. My stitch regulator is one that works similar to a walking foot but I will use my walking foot today & starch both top & bottom & increase my stitch length even higher as long as no one reports me to the quilting police LOL. Again, many tks & I will report back as to how I make out with this quilt. Tks to everyone.
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  18. #18
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    The last quilt I quilted didn't bunch up but the backing "moved" so it wasn't lined up correctly. I spray basted and pinned it. Used walking foot on my BabyLock. ?????
    Good luck to you. I'm going to be quilting another one soon. I'll be sure to starch and iron along the way. Perhaps that will help.

  19. #19
    Senior Member GemState's Avatar
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    Be sure your backing is very smooth and not stretched, but tight, before layering the batting and quilt top on it.

  20. #20
    Super Member callen's Avatar
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    I referred to the foot I was using as a stitch regulator BUT it is in fact a DUAL FEED FOOT. It works like a walking foot but you can see better because the foot is open in the front. I have a Bernina 820 machine that I have had for only a few months so I am still getting familiar with all of its features. I also just read in the manual that I can adjust the feed, either top or bottom by turning a knob. I also will trying this along with the suggestions that you wonderful folks have sent me.
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  21. #21
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    I seem to also have a problem with creases in backing when I either SID or FMQ. I was told by LQS that it is hard to get very smooth backing when quilting on domestic machine since you have to bunch fabric and therefore it will loose some of its tauntness. It also seems to happen no matter how tight/smooth my backing is when sandwiching. Yes I use a walking foot on longest stitch lengthing

  22. #22
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Heavily starching the backing fabric before layering should help. (You never want to stretch the backing fabric tight when layering. Smooth is good; tight is not.) Spray basting also helps because it keeps the layers together at many more points than either pin basting or thread basting do. To prevent the slippage someone else mentioned, it's a good idea to add pins along the edges (just to ensure everything stays in place).

    Quote Originally Posted by bigsister63 View Post
    I seem to also have a problem with creases in backing when I either SID or FMQ. I was told by LQS that it is hard to get very smooth backing when quilting on domestic machine since you have to bunch fabric and therefore it will loose some of its tauntness. It also seems to happen no matter how tight/smooth my backing is when sandwiching. Yes I use a walking foot on longest stitch lengthing

  23. #23
    Super Member Dina's Avatar
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    Thanks for the explanation of the difference between a walking foot and a stitch regulator. I learn so many new things from this board!! Thanks again.
    Dina

  24. #24
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    Well, this is what I did when I was in your situation. Unorthodox! Turned sandwich over and pinned from
    The back,sliding my hand underneath! Checked top and all was smooth. Sigh

  25. #25
    Senior Member MarthaT's Avatar
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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhwNylePFAA

    I'm a hand quilter and use a full-sized floor frame, so I don't do any basting of my quilt sandwich. I've tried pin basting small quilts so I can quilt in a hoop and I am never satisfied and often put them in the frame anyway. If I ever baste a quilt again I will use the method in this tute. I wonder if you hand basted together this way if you would have less shifting? (Besides some adjustment in your sewing equipment.)
    Thimble and Thread

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