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Thread: A quilting problem.

  1. #1
    Member Judy Smith's Avatar
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    Unhappy A quilting problem.

    Can someone give me some advice. I started quilting late and am an advanced beginner, I guess. I still stretch my fabric when I piece. What can I do or is it just a matter of practice?

  2. #2
    Super Member EasyPeezy's Avatar
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    Use lots of starch and press your seams (lift your iron up and down) instead of ironing.
    Hope this helps.

  3. #3
    Super Member Mamaskeeto's Avatar
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    Sew slowly and use pins. That might help.

  4. #4
    Super Member crafterrn1's Avatar
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    Okay here is the question I need to ask you Judy. Do you put your left hand behind the foot on the machine? If you do then stop. It will stretch the fabric. The other things to do: 1 Use a stiletto to guide the fabric through the foot. 2 gently guide the fabric through the foot. 3 Mark the sewing machine bed with a stack of small post-it notes. Measure 1/4 inch from the needle. Place the post-it notes at the 1/4 inch mark and secure with tape. Make sure to leave the bobbin lid accessible. 5. Slow down. The faster you go the more chance you have to stretch the fabric. yes pinning helps since you have to sew slowly to remove the pins. I hope this helps! Luann
    Live Love and Laugh Enough!

  5. #5
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    Your feed dogs are supposed to "feed" the fabric through the machine. You should be just guiding the fabric to keep it straight as it goes under the needle. If you have to pull or push your fabric through the machine, it is time to get your machine checked out.

  6. #6
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    Since you know that you might be stretching, take time to check the blocks in increments. If the smaller segments are off, you can square them up and move on to the next segment. Plus, if you know where/how you stretch, you can work on improving. Hang in there, you'll get it.

  7. #7
    Super Member AliKat's Avatar
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    I now Best Press my fabric before I even cut it. That helps keep it crisp and firm. I do use a 1/4" flange guide foot when I do my piecing. I have a Pfaff with the IDT and that keeps the fabric evenly fed through the machine. As crafterrn1 wrote: do NOT hold the fabric at the back of the machine. You might want to use a spider/leader/a small extra piece of material, 2 ply, when you start sewing.
    Have fun quilting! If it isn't fun, you will miss a lot.
    ali

  8. #8
    Super Member TexasSunshine's Avatar
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    Very good tips.
    Texas Sunshine, piney woods of NE Texas

  9. #9
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    You might also try a walking foot.

  10. #10
    Senior Member amelia0607's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aria View Post
    You might also try a walking foot.
    Walking foot has helped me tremendously!

  11. #11
    Senior Member Elise1's Avatar
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    Sometimes steam in your iron can stretch the fabric. I don't use steam once the pieces are cut.
    "Be brave enough to be who you really are.

  12. #12
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    Starch your fabric until it is about like a manila folder. You can't stretch it then. Starch makes just about everything better.

  13. #13
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    starch, and accurate cutting really make the difference
    Brother (XL-3500i, CV3550, SQ-9050, Dreamweaver XE6200D), Juki MO-2000QVP, Handiquilter Avante

  14. #14
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Starch helps a *lot*. Starching before cutting is best.

    However, sometimes it's your machine. On some machines the presser foot pressure can be too strong; some machines have an adjustment for that.

  15. #15
    Super Member jitkaau's Avatar
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    Let the machine do the work. Allow the feed dogs to take the material under the foot and don't be tempted to pull it through from the other side. I never have this problem and I think it is because I don't play with the material too much. I don't iron or starch it before or during piecing and it all turns out OK. I think you can overwork a lot of stuff. All the best with your piecing.

  16. #16
    Super Member
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    I agree that using a walking foot helps to keep from stretching the fabric.

  17. #17
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    When sewing, I lay my left hand to the seam I am sewing. Makes it much easier to not stretch.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

  18. #18
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    Here's my exercise when I teach grandkids. Long strips, place together, use only the very tip of the index fingers to guide under the foot. Stop and adjust if fabrics slide away. Its surprising how fast they learn to piece accurately.
    Vic Tori Ann Work Shop

  19. #19
    Power Poster twinkie's Avatar
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    Using a lot of starch is the answer for me.

  20. #20
    Super Member QandE2010's Avatar
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    Starch, starch, and more starch. It's amazing what a difference starch makes.
    Alma
    Nami to 6

  21. #21
    Super Member IBQUILTIN's Avatar
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    Starch first, then starch again. Especially if you have bias edges in your block. Keep at it, you will get it

  22. #22
    Senior Member
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    All of these suggestions are great!

    I was wondering if Washable Elmer's Glue could be used in some way since it does such a good job with other quilting steps?


    Linda

    Sew little time and sew many ideas

  23. #23
    Senior Member skothing's Avatar
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    Good suggestions all. Wash your fabric and dry it . I then mix a liquid starch 50 % starch and water. I spray the washed fabric and place in a zip locked bag over night. I iron it then and only then cut it . This process allows the fabric to remain stiff and not stretch.

  24. #24
    Super Member jeanharville's Avatar
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    I have learned this past week the truth in every hint listed above. I came to quilting from sewing clothes and slipcovers, so I didn't know how to be as precise as you must be to quilt successfully. It amazes me how our mothers and grandmothers were able to do this with scissors as their cutting tool.
    jean

  25. #25
    Junior Member yorkie luv's Avatar
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    What makes you think that you are stretching the fabric? I've been quilting for about 5 or 6 years, and making the same mistakes over and over, with the same poor results. (What is the definition of insanity?) This past year I have learned more than all the rest of the years put together. I was measuring wrong, cutting wrong, pinning wrong, stitching wrong, ironing wrong. I did nothing right. This year I leaned how to cut, how to measure, how to pin, how to sew, how to iron, and guess what, the results are amazing. Watch videos on measuring and cutting, get yourself fa presser foot with a seam guide on it, get a perfect square ruler by June Tailor. don't push your iron, just press it down, use a sharp blade in your rotary cutter, and a sharp needled in your machine. Get some fine pins that don't distort your fabric, and press those seams in the opposite directions.

    Squaring your square or block is very important, it is not enough to just make the block square, you have to make sure it is squared to the center also. the June Tailor perfect half square triangle ruler, will help with that. Good luck to you.

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