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Thread: Puckers?? How do you prevent them??

  1. #1
    Super Member CajunQuilter2's Avatar
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    No matter how hard I try I keep getting puckers on the backside of my quilts when I quilt them. It there a magic solution I have yet to find?? Please help!!!!

  2. #2
    mrsdralshhadeh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CajunQuilter2
    No matter how hard I try I keep getting puckers on the backside of my quilts when I quilt them. It there a magic solution I have yet to find?? Please help!!!!
    I would love to see the answeres you get!!! Im with you,, I pin the crap out of it,, making sure,(in my mind,,lol) that it will not pucker,, yet I still end up with some,,, :(

  3. #3
    Super Member thequilteddove's Avatar
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    Are you hand quilting, quilting using your everyday sewing machine or using a shortarm/longarm frame setup?

  4. #4
    Super Member grammyp's Avatar
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    I over stretch the back a bit if I am pin basting. So far that has seemed to work. Now that I have the mid-arm and frame it has gotten easier to prevent them.

  5. #5
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    Assumption: This is not for LAQ quilting?

    1) Did you press your backing before laying it out?

    2) Did you anchor the backing to the table or floor so it didn't bunch up? (My table isn't wide enough to accommodate all the fabric at one time - so I "weight" the edges of the backing with long rulers or curtain rods - I make a temporary "pocket" for the items by just folding up a side to hold the ruler and pinning it - it provides just enough tension to help keep the backing smooth.

    3) Did you smooth the batting so it didn't have any lumps or bumps

    4) Did you smooth the top and make sure it was nice and squared up before basting/pinning?

    5) Did you use enough pins/basting to keep the layers from sliding/moving around? (I pin at least every four inches) I think it helps to start pinning from the center and work out to the edges.

    6) Did you check the back to make sure the backing is wrinkle free before starting to quilt? (I've had to redo the whole thing because somehow or other I got a big wrinkle in - Growl) I think that's why I like pins better than basting

    A lot of prevention starts with the preparation.

    I don't have many suggestions for the actual quilting. My machine quilting is stitch-in-the-ditch and straight lines (as straight as I can sew them, anyway)

  6. #6
    Super Member CajunQuilter2's Avatar
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    I am machine quilting and I do pin, maybe I should pin more?? I just don't know????

  7. #7
    LadybugPam's Avatar
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    I use cotton blend batting - the backing and quilt top virtually adhere to each other

  8. #8
    Super Member pollyjvan9's Avatar
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    I FMQ and use spray baste.

    I hang my backing, pin it to the design wall, smooth real good

    then pin down the sides, spray with baste, then

    pin batting to top of design wall, spray about 1/3 of back side, smooth over backing, moving hands from middle of fabric out to the sides (like hanging wallpaper), the pin down side of design board, repeat to bottom of quilt,

    pin top to design wall start out by spraying back side about 1/3 of the way down, smooth over batting, spray another 1/3, smooth over batting, etc. pin sides

    take out side straight pins and put in a few safety pins down each side, about every 18" or so, take down from design wall and put a few safety pins in top and bottom.

    The weight of the fabric and batting helps pull out wrinkles etc., and I don't have to bend over a table or get on the floor.

    If you use this method be sure you put up some newspaper or something for the spray bast over spray.

    Finally, when FMQ I always start in the middle and work out kind of in a circle, and check the back pretty often to make sure everything is staying in place.

  9. #9
    Super Member sewcrafty's Avatar
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    When I sandwich and I know that it'll sound funny to some I layout by batting, then spray baste it then put the backing on and smooth and flatten it out and pin the edges. Then I'll turn it over spray the batting again and put on my top, smooth everything out really well and pin at the borders. Seems to work well.

  10. #10
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    What kind of pins are you using and how do you pin them.
    Are you using the 1" safety pins.
    Do you pin but not close them until you have an area pinned?
    If you close when you insert the pins there is a tendency to pinch the fabric and the back won't lay flat.
    Wait until you have an area done then close. Use one of the "Kwick Klips" or spoons to help close them.
    Also, as I an free motion quilting I will often put a few long straight pins just in front of the walking foot to help keep the layers flat.

  11. #11
    Super Member mrspete's Avatar
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    Here is a confession of what caused my puckers. A group of us ladies were starting a quilting group. We had no clue what we were doing and they put me in charge.UGHHHHHH so I researched and read and found thins to start with. Most of us worked and we met at night and truthfully, I'm not worth spit after 4PM. So, we decided to do reat bit quilt. To save time, we folded the material and cut strips. Let me tell you, those strips were as crooked as a dog's hind leg. For sure. We almost had chevrons and zig zags. So, make sure you fabric is steamed flat befoe cutting. This is my contribution......sorry if it sounds lame, but I'm not the sharpest pencil in the box.

    Blessings,
    Ruth

  12. #12
    QuiltingIdaho's Avatar
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    I hear that spray basting is a good technique to use. I think that if you find a solid surface, tape your backing down taunt to your solid surface, lightly spray your batting down, and then lightly spray your top in place... pin and sew.

    I am a "long-arm-er" but I have learned this technique and have been successful with it in the past. Good luck!

  13. #13
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CajunQuilter2
    No matter how hard I try I keep getting puckers on the backside of my quilts when I quilt them. It there a magic solution I have yet to find?? Please help!!!!
    3 words: starch, starch, starch! Starching the backing fabric stabilizes it. Heavy starching makes it almost impossible for the backing fabric to form a pucker.

    Here's my method for heavily starching backing fabric (for machine quilting). Mix a 1:1 solution of Sta-Flo liquid laundry starch and water. "Paint" the solution on the fabric with a large wall-painting brush until fabric is saturated. Throw fabric in dryer. Iron with steam. The fabric comes out with about the stiffness of a piece of thin cardstock.

    I use the same method when cutting bias strips.

    Works great for me!

  14. #14
    k3n
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    I was going to say starch but Prism already said it once or twice! LOL :lol:

  15. #15
    MNQuilter's Avatar
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    I use warm and natural batting and then when I wash it, the puckers don't show cuz the whole thing has that nice wrinkley look to it! :mrgreen: :twisted:

  16. #16
    Google Goddess craftybear's Avatar
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    I will follow this thread and read all of the comments

  17. #17
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    I stretch the backing nice and taut and then I tape it down with blue painter's tape. I smooth the batting (warm and natural) down over the backing. Then I lay the top down and I pat it from tbe center outward to get a nice, smooth sandwich. Generally, I pin about hand=width apart. My last quilt did not have a single pucker and I did SID in both directions.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrspete
    Here is a confession of what caused my puckers. A group of us ladies were starting a quilting group. We had no clue what we were doing and they put me in charge.UGHHHHHH so I researched and read and found thins to start with. Most of us worked and we met at night and truthfully, I'm not worth spit after 4PM. So, we decided to do reat bit quilt. To save time, we folded the material and cut strips. Let me tell you, those strips were as crooked as a dog's hind leg. For sure. We almost had chevrons and zig zags. So, make sure you fabric is steamed flat befoe cutting. This is my contribution......sorry if it sounds lame, but I'm not the sharpest pencil in the box.

    Blessings,
    Ruth
    You aren't the only one that has ended up with zig-zag strips. Hope the next ones go better.

  19. #19
    ginnyk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prism99
    Quote Originally Posted by CajunQuilter2
    No matter how hard I try I keep getting puckers on the backside of my quilts when I quilt them. It there a magic solution I have yet to find?? Please help!!!!
    3 words: starch, starch, starch! Starching the backing fabric stabilizes it. Heavy starching makes it almost impossible for the backing fabric to form a pucker.

    Here's my method for heavily starching backing fabric (for machine quilting). Mix a 1:1 solution of Sta-Flo liquid laundry starch and water. "Paint" the solution on the fabric with a large wall-painting brush until fabric is saturated. Throw fabric in dryer. Iron with steam. The fabric comes out with about the stiffness of a piece of thin cardstock.

    I use the same method when cutting bias strips.

    Works great for me!
    Thanks for the starch suggestion. I was just thinking about asking the same question. I will certainly try the Sta-Flo painting technique. That sounds like the skirts we used to wear in the 50's.

  20. #20
    Power Poster ann clare's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CajunQuilter2
    No matter how hard I try I keep getting puckers on the backside of my quilts when I quilt them. It there a magic solution I have yet to find?? Please help!!!!
    I spent the past 3 days doing reversible sewing ie. ripping. I had my tension too tight on the machine. I knew it but did nothing. My first attempt at machine quilting. I am now hand quilting. When this quilt is quilted my next project is 4 place mats and they will be machine quilted. I will do it.

  21. #21
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    My best find to prevent puckers was basting spray. It made everything much easier.

  22. #22
    Super Member GailG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bearisgray
    Assumption: This is not for LAQ quilting?

    1) Did you press your backing before laying it out?

    2) Did you anchor the backing to the table or floor so it didn't bunch up? (My table isn't wide enough to accommodate all the fabric at one time - so I "weight" the edges of the backing with long rulers or curtain rods - I make a temporary "pocket" for the items by just folding up a side to hold the ruler and pinning it - it provides just enough tension to help keep the backing smooth.

    3) Did you smooth the batting so it didn't have any lumps or bumps

    4) Did you smooth the top and make sure it was nice and squared up before basting/pinning?

    5) Did you use enough pins/basting to keep the layers from sliding/moving around? (I pin at least every four inches) I think it helps to start pinning from the center and work out to the edges.

    6) Did you check the back to make sure the backing is wrinkle free before starting to quilt? (I've had to redo the whole thing because somehow or other I got a big wrinkle in - Growl) I think that's why I like pins better than basting

    A lot of prevention starts with the preparation.

    I don't have many suggestions for the actual quilting. My machine quilting is stitch-in-the-ditch and straight lines (as straight as I can sew them, anyway)
    Wow! I love that #2. I will surely try it. All I can add is that since I began basting (needle and thread) instead of just the pins or " baster-gun" basting, my puckers are less frequent. Also, as I sew, I use my hands to form a little tension on the fabric (stretching a little).

  23. #23

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    Although I am new to quilting I found that using cotton batting works WONDERFUL. Everytime I used a med fluff poly batting, it always puckered (believe me hundreds of pins). Now I only use cotton batting, it works for me.
    Good thoughs

  24. #24

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    Often puckers on the back of a quilt are the result of over tensioning the back. I was advised by the longarm teachers I have had to allow the back to be rather "soft" so that you can poke your finger up from the back and grab it from the top. I also stitch my sides with every roll of the quilt before using my side tensioners. I think I have had only two back puckers in over 100 quilts.
    julia

  25. #25
    Senior Member MoMoSews's Avatar
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    Use a walking foot.

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