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quilting batiks

Old 02-17-2009, 05:07 AM
  #11  
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I'm about to go out to buy new needles but I wanted to thank you all for the information, first. I'll try a microtex 12 needle, YLI or Sulky thread, and I also read if you make a solution of two parts water to one part fabric softener and spray it on the batiks it'll help. So off the frame it comes to get it's treatment, then back on with new needles and thread. Wish me luck ladies. I'll definately tell you what happens...good or bad.
bev.
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Old 02-17-2009, 05:31 AM
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Bev--thanks for keeping us posted--we are all interested to see what works for you. Hope you find a solution--and soon, for your sake. :D

By the way--what kind of machine are you quilting this quilt on?
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Old 02-17-2009, 08:20 AM
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Here are some things to try:

Bigger needle, smaller needle

Spritz the fabric with water

Use Sewer's Aid on the thread spool


Some batiks are made on goods that are a really tight weave. Your needle is having a hard time going through the fabric, so it's missing the thread pickup. If you look real close, you may find you are breaking threads instead of going between the weave. It's just how some batiks are.

Something else to check: see if your batting is right side up. If you take a pin or needle, poke at the batting. On some types of batting, it goes easier on one side or the other. You want that easier side on the top where the needle goes in.
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Old 02-17-2009, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Shelley
Here are some things to try:


Something else to check: see if your batting is right side up. If you take a pin or needle, poke at the batting. On some types of batting, it goes easier on one side or the other. You want that easier side on the top where the needle goes in.
never knew that. thanks.
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Old 02-17-2009, 12:54 PM
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When I was in the quilt shop getting new needles I flipped through a book on machine quilting. It said to use Egyptian cotton thread. I bought two small spools. One for the top and the other (a bit darker) for the bobbin. I also read online yesterday that if you mix one part fabric softener with two parts water and spray it on the batik that should help. SO...I have my new needles, new thread and the poor batiks have been doused with the softener solution. Once it's dry it's back onto the frame and......
I have the first generation Inspira frame. It's obvious why they changed the whole thing. Vibration is a problem, even after my boyfriend put more screws and nuts and whatevers everywhere. The pantographs are placed on a shelf above the frame, which I LOVE (don't need my glasses to see) BUT the center of the shelf (which is in two pieces) gets pulled down by gravity until it's so low that it hits the machine. I've braced it with muffin tins, rulers, a long plank of wood, you name it. I purchased it with the Pfaff, and splurged on the stitch regulator. I already had a grace frame (which has been redesigned and will cost over $200.00 to update mine)so I knew the basics.
Sorry about the babble, I'm waiting for the qult to dry.
Again, thank you for all the help. I'll let you all know tomorrow whether it worked or whether I'm going to have to quilt around the batiks. Yikes!
But for now the quilt top smells "April Fresh". Looks like I'll have to wash it once it's quilted.
bev.
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Old 02-17-2009, 03:55 PM
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Bev...you can fix that droopy problem at the hardware or farm store. You need to get a flat brackets or 'L' shaped brackets (and hammer the 'L' ones flat-if you couldn't find the flat ones). Then screw them in from the bottom up. So you don't see them and they will keep the gap closed up for you. Just a helpful thought on that...:)
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Old 02-17-2009, 05:58 PM
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Bev, I'm crazy about batiks and haven't had any problems quilting them on the frame. That said, I can't imagine using a needle smaller than an 18, and I'm careful not to let the quilt get too high off the sewing machine bed.

I'm also discovering the pleasures of (shh!) poly thread. Some of the nicest newer threads are poly, but without that shiny, plastic-y look. The poly is much smoother than cotton, so less friction. And don't worry, it won't tear or hurt the cotton of the quilt.

Also, don't be afraid of the bigger holes left by the bigger needles. They close right up when you wash the quilt.

Hope this helps!

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Old 02-17-2009, 07:53 PM
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When you've tried all the usual stuff (as already suggested by others), don't forget the thing that has helped me the most in the past when all else has failed...de-lint your machine. Take out the bobbin case and clean the area and down inside...mostly has worked for me. I have a MC9000 and I have found I can use almost any kind of thread with it and have no problems. Most of the time it's the needle or lint inside the machine. Good luck.
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Old 02-17-2009, 09:39 PM
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Originally Posted by rabbit2b
Bev, I'm crazy about batiks and haven't had any problems quilting them on the frame. That said, I can't imagine using a needle smaller than an 18, and I'm careful not to let the quilt get too high off the sewing machine bed.

I'm also discovering the pleasures of (shh!) poly thread. Some of the nicest newer threads are poly, but without that shiny, plastic-y look. The poly is much smoother than cotton, so less friction. And don't worry, it won't tear or hurt the cotton of the quilt.

Also, don't be afraid of the bigger holes left by the bigger needles. They close right up when you wash the quilt.

Hope this helps! END QUOTE

first of all i checked your webshots and boy! do i love that lattice quilt!

that said i have heard some very good things on blogs and tv shows concerning good quality poly threads, especially if the fabric has been pre-washed. no need to keep it a secret.

--Heidi

http://community.webshots.com/user/rabbit2b
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Old 02-18-2009, 07:17 AM
  #20  
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The update...good and bad. The quilt top looked fine after drying. I was afraid the fabric softener would leave a residue, but no. I put it back on the frame, changed the top thread, the bobbin thread, the needle AND delinted the machine and bobbin case. The thread broke about 2" in. Okay, try again. Another break. So I put the original thread back in and decided to quilt from left to right. I prefer right to left, but, hey whatever works, right? The first square of batik the skipped stitches were back BUT...from then on...PERFECT!! I'll fix those skipped stitches by hand once it's off the frame. The thread has broken only once more but I'm still going to run out and get some Sewers Aid. I think that's right, I'll have to go back and check. While I'm out I'll get some L braces for the frame top, which has now sunk low enough to once again hit the machine. This is after only two lines of quilting!! DO NOT buy an Inspira frame, at least not the early ones. I've got to splurge and update my Gracie.
Hopefully I can post pictures once everything is done, if I haven't gone insane by then. You all are amazing!!! And I thank each and every one for helping. Quilters rule!!!
keep wishing me luck, the fun has just begun...
bev.
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