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Thread: Sewing in one direction causes bows?

  1. #1
    Super Member mpeters1200's Avatar
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    So somebody posted this great link to tube style quilting at the Missouri Star company. I think it's awesome and bookmarked the link. The gal said something in it I sure didn't understand.

    She said when using just a couple strips it wouldn't happen, but when strip piecing a lot of long strips, and you sew all in one direction, it creates a bow.

    I have no idea what this means. Can someone explain? How can you strip piece in different directions?

  2. #2
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    Sew two strips of fabric together. Sew the third strip on starting from the end you just finished with.

    It is said that sewing multiple strips in one direction will bow the fabric.

  3. #3
    Super Member Just Me...'s Avatar
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    I guess the easiest way to explain it is that your fabric will start to get wavy....

  4. #4
    Super Member dakotamaid's Avatar
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    When you go to add that 3rd strip turn your work around and sew the 3rd strip from where you ended the first 2. Alternate this way whenever doing more than 2 strips. Has something to do with the stretch of the fabrics.:)

    Oops, we were all typing at the same time.:)

  5. #5

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    I think after cutting the thread, pressing, going downstairs to get coffee, answering the phone, picking up scraps off the floor . . . . . I will SURELY forget which direction I was sewing when sewing a whole bunch of strips.

    Does anyone have an easy method for remembering which direction you sewed each strip?

    Should I just use a perm. marker to mark an arrow in the seam allowance at the start of each strip? Or maybe there's an even easier solution . . . . please post any ideas.

    Thanks!

  6. #6
    Super Member dakotamaid's Avatar
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    I use a pin.

  7. #7
    Super Member amyjo's Avatar
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    When I sew like that I take the 1st strip and sew a straight stitch across the corner on the outside. Then I always alternate sewing the strips on. No problems then. You can always pulll that stitch out when you are done.

  8. #8
    Super Member Rose L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dakotamaid
    I use a pin.
    That's what I was going to say too! Just stick a pin in the next to the seam you last sewed and know that you must start sewing the next strip on right next to the pin. Don't forget to let the dog back in. ;)

  9. #9
    Super Member greenini's Avatar
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    Fons and Porter sell arrow pins and I've found them for cheap at Tues Am, but still cheaper is the yellow flat flower pins, take a magic marker and draw an arrow on them...or leave your strip set in the machine at the end of the seam you just sewed. Then when you come back, you will always know you need to start that new seam at the end that is under the foot.

    BTW, I think it does make a difference. Before I knew to do this I made some really bowed sets!

  10. #10
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    It is really important when sewing Alot of strips together. I once sewed 30 strips togther with out changing direction... oh what a mess, it curved soooo badly.... !

  11. #11
    Super Member mpeters1200's Avatar
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    That is so weird. Are there any ideas about why this happens?

    I have a project going where I'll only need 3 strips, but it's something I can practice on since I have to make 13 sets of the 3 strips. I have never heard of that before.

    I'm hoping with 13 strip sets I can hammer out a way to try and keep all that together. I've always sewn them in one direction so they are all even on one side.

    That just seems so weird to me.

  12. #12
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mpeters1200
    That is so weird. Are there any ideas about why this happens?

    I have a project going where I'll only need 3 strips, but it's something I can practice on since I have to make 13 sets of the 3 strips. I have never heard of that before.

    I'm hoping with 13 strip sets I can hammer out a way to try and keep all that together. I've always sewn them in one direction so they are all even on one side.

    That just seems so weird to me.
    It is very weird !! It had me just scratching my head for a long long time. I think it for the same reason that if you put a fabric on the bottom the feed dogs just very slightly gather the bottom fabric, but thats just a guess.
    I did notice it is not as likely to happen if you are sewing on all lenghtwise grain( both fabrics). it also does not happen if I starch well , and press after each strip. After the few major mishaps I've had with this issue , I do not chance it ... seeing how I just hate to unsew alot of strips.

  13. #13
    Super Member mpeters1200's Avatar
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    I usually use strips that are WOF, but I starch the dickens out of everything.

  14. #14
    saf
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    Yep! some of us just have to learn the hard way. :lol: :lol: :lol: And sometimes I still need to be reminded!

  15. #15
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    Leave it (or put it back) under the presser foot as if you have just finished the seam, or that you are going to start sewing again. Use whatever method that is easiest for you to keep straight.

  16. #16
    Super Member Maride's Avatar
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    I heard once that this only happens if the machine has a little bit of a tension issue, it would happen. Of course, I didn't believe it and sewed my strips on the same direction. I ended up with a curved quilt top. Will not get caught doing that again.

  17. #17
    MTS
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    Torque.

    That's the technical term.

    The dreaded "J" curve is what I call it.

  18. #18
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    I learned this the hard way. I had even seen the video where she talked about it.

    I just didn't think it applied to my little bit of strips..it did. I had some serious wavy strip sets-which turned out ok because I was doing crumb type blocks so it added character.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Kat Sews's Avatar
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    I think the reason a curve develops has to do with the feed dogs pulling the bottom layer thru while the foot doesn't pull. The more strips the more it shows up.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Bluphrog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by woohoowendy
    I think after cutting the thread, pressing, going downstairs to get coffee, answering the phone, picking up scraps off the floor . . . . . I will SURELY forget which direction I was sewing when sewing a whole bunch of strips.

    Does anyone have an easy method for remembering which direction you sewed each strip?

    Should I just use a perm. marker to mark an arrow in the seam allowance at the start of each strip? Or maybe there's an even easier solution . . . . please post any ideas.

    Thanks!

    If I'm sewing multiple strips together, I sew my strips in sets of 2, aligning the starting edge. Then I sew the sets together going in the opposite direction making sets of 4.

  21. #21
    Senior Member AnnieF's Avatar
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    I was reading a blog and the woman was talking about making scrappy strip quilts....her specialty....you know the ones where you cut all the fabrics by width of fabric and just arrange them in rows. She said the way she conquers the bowing of the strips is by sewing the strips by twos....and then sewing the 2-strip sections together...and then the 8-strip sections. Apparently she says that by having 2 strips sewn, it stabilizes the fabric and you don't have to do that right to left and left to right sewing. It's worth a shot.

  22. #22
    Super Member luvstitches's Avatar
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    This has happened to me as well when I first starting quilting. It was a patriotic quilt and the red and white strips were a mess. I did not know this method at the time so I could not figure out what I did wrong. It's good that you learned this now and beat the frustration.

  23. #23
    Super Member mpeters1200's Avatar
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    I guess I've not come across it before out of sheer luck. Definitely making a mental note on this one.

  24. #24
    Super Member TonnieLoree's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by woohoowendy
    I think after cutting the thread, pressing, going downstairs to get coffee, answering the phone, picking up scraps off the floor . . . . . I will SURELY forget which direction I was sewing when sewing a whole bunch of strips.

    Does anyone have an easy method for remembering which direction you sewed each strip?

    Should I just use a perm. marker to mark an arrow in the seam allowance at the start of each strip? Or maybe there's an even easier solution . . . . please post any ideas.

    Thanks!
    Use different colored threads in the top and bobbin. That way you know what direction you were sewing when you left off. :thumbup:

  25. #25
    Super Member TonnieLoree's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mpeters1200
    That is so weird. Are there any ideas about why this happens?

    I have a project going where I'll only need 3 strips, but it's something I can practice on since I have to make 13 sets of the 3 strips. I have never heard of that before.

    I'm hoping with 13 strip sets I can hammer out a way to try and keep all that together. I've always sewn them in one direction so they are all even on one side.

    That just seems so weird to me.
    Your bottom fabric is always being pulled in by the feed dogs, and the pressure foot is always pushing towards you. See the position of my hand in the picture? Curl the palm of your hand towards to. Don't set your hands flat and expect it to feed in right. You can take that one to the bank. :thumbup:

    Proper handling for straight stitching
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