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Thread: Shredding seams

  1. #1
    Senior Member susanwilley's Avatar
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    Shredding seams

    Attached is a quilt I just finished for my great niece as awedding present. I thought I couldattach it but I can’t seem to get it to work. Sorry! I washed and dried it as Ialways do with all the quilts I make. This time I have about 4 seams that have come apart and are shredded soat least one of them will not easily reach the other seam so that I can sew ittogether. I am just sick about it anddon’t know what to do to fix it, or can it even be fixed. If any one has any suggestion on how to fixtheses seams I will appreciate it tremendously. I guess I will keep this one for myself and start another for her, whichI hate the thought of as I have been a while with this one and missed thewedding date as it is.

    Thanks so much!

    Susan

  2. #2
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    Try sending your picture to yourself via email as a medium size attachment. Then save the smaller version and try to attach it. That has worked for me before.

    If we knew the pattern it would be easier to make suggestions. My favorite thing is to applique something over it. It could be a large flower, or a paint splat spot. A vase with flowers. A special poem. Or, you can use the same original fabric, wash it, and then cut it with enough to have a 1/4 inch seam to turn under and applique it over the parts that are messed up. Any of this will work. I am sure others will have more suggestions.
    Sew a Little, Love a Lot & Live like you were dying!

  3. #3
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    I'm so sorry this happened, Susan. Maybe you could still give it as a gift if the repair looks good? Appliqueing over the spot is also what occurs to me as a solution.
    Lisa

  4. #4
    Super Member KalamaQuilts's Avatar
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    Heartbreaking for sure, but better with you than when the giftee washed it.

    While you are thinking of repairs, also think about why it happened. Some fabrics shred when you look at them. was this homespun or silky or flannel?

    Did you use poly thread? It melts under a hot iron, but when everything is pressed nice and neat it doesn't show up at a glance . those inadvertently open seam will shred left to their own divices in the washer, or over time with use.

    Are you sure of your 1/4"? by measuring the finished block? If the block isn't square look at the 'behind' seams, where fabric can shift and leave you with an 1/8" seam.

    How did you do the quilting? Just because batt says it can be quilted up to 10" apart, doesn't mean the quilt doesn't need any more than that.

    I'm sure the members here will have some more ideas on how to avoid this happening in the future.

    Each step in making a quilt is the most important step

  5. #5
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    Once in a while a previously unwashed fabric will shrink a lot and pull out of a seam if any of the conditions that KalamaQuilts mentioned.

  6. #6
    Power Poster Homespun's Avatar
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    I had that happen with a 'quillow'. Every time I wash it; another seam shreds....,sorry. hope you find a solution.
    Retired teacher, loving it.
    Love quilting also.

  7. #7
    Senior Member susanwilley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Homespun View Post
    I had that happen with a 'quillow'. Every time I wash it; another seam shreds....,sorry. hope you find a solution.
    Because of the fabric I used I'm afraid that is what will happen with this one too.
    Susan

  8. #8
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KalamaQuilts View Post
    Did you use poly thread? It melts under a hot iron
    Sharyn, what brand of poly thread did you use, and how long ago was it? The reason I ask is because I use Bottom Line (poly) all the time with a very hot iron and have never had a problem.

  9. #9
    Senior Member susanwilley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barb in Louisiana View Post
    Try sending your picture to yourself via email as a medium size attachment. Then save the smaller version and try to attach it. That has worked for me before.

    If we knew the pattern it would be easier to make suggestions. My favorite thing is to applique something over it. It could be a large flower, or a paint splat spot. A vase with flowers. A special poem. Or, you can use the same original fabric, wash it, and then cut it with enough to have a 1/4 inch seam to turn under and applique it over the parts that are messed up. Any of this will work. I am sure others will have more suggestions.
    Applique is an excellent idea! That and maybe trying the same fabric and stitchingin the ditch to cover the original fabric that is shredding. I’ll find something that will work for appliqué.
    I'll try to get my pic attached.
    Susan

  10. #10
    Senior Member susanwilley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bearisgray View Post
    Once in a while a previously unwashed fabric will shrink a lot and pull out of a seam if any of the conditions that KalamaQuilts mentioned.
    I'm thinking that maybe what caused it. If I do use this fabric again I will be sure to wash it first!
    Susan

  11. #11
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    Once you get the shredded seams area replaced or covered, you may want to consider using a very fine netting and quilting it over the top. This will add a bit of see-thru stabilization. This method is used with older quilts that are coming apart. I haven't heard of anyone using this method just to keep the seams from shredding but it could work.

    What is the name of the pattern you used?
    Sew a Little, Love a Lot & Live like you were dying!

  12. #12
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    Is it only one of the fabrics that is shredding?

  13. #13
    Senior Member susanwilley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bearisgray View Post
    Is it only one of the fabrics that is shredding?
    Yes, in about 3 places....so far
    Susan

  14. #14
    Senior Member susanwilley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KalamaQuilts View Post
    Heartbreaking for sure, but better with you than when the giftee washed it.

    While you are thinking of repairs, also think about why it happened. Some fabrics shred when you look at them. was this homespun or silky or flannel?

    Did you use poly thread? It melts under a hot iron, but when everything is pressed nice and neat it doesn't show up at a glance . those inadvertently open seam will shred left to their own divices in the washer, or over time with use.

    Are you sure of your 1/4"? by measuring the finished block? If the block isn't square look at the 'behind' seams, where fabric can shift and leave you with an 1/8" seam.

    How did you do the quilting? Just because batt says it can be quilted up to 10" apart, doesn't mean the quilt doesn't need any more than that.

    I'm sure the members here will have some more ideas on how to avoid this happening in the future.

    Each step in making a quilt is the most important step
    I used cotton thread but I did notice while piecing that thefabric was shredding on the ends, but I thought that the seam line would stopit. I won’t be using this fabric inanymore quilts. I don’t know a lot aboutfabric but it wasn’t silky or flannel so I guess you could say it was homespun. The quilting in those areas was about probably8 to 10 inches apart. I am pretty sureabout my ¼ inch seams and I agree 100% better found by me than my great niece, I would have been even moreheartbroken!
    Susan

  15. #15
    Super Member KalamaQuilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peckish View Post
    Sharyn, what brand of poly thread did you use, and how long ago was it? The reason I ask is because I use Bottom Line (poly) all the time with a very hot iron and have never had a problem.
    I'm using bottom line in the bobbin on the quilt as I go 365 challenge quilt. I'm not worried about it as those blocks will never be pressed.
    The poly thread disasers I know about were all posted here. Cotton poly isn't a problem.

    bottom line is from Superior isn't it? I wonder if they have pretested it in ironed pieced seams?

  16. #16
    Super Member KalamaQuilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by susanwilley View Post
    The quilting in those areas was about probably8 to 10 inches apart.
    Hi Susan, I learned my lessons about minimal quilting from the quilts I inherited from Rob's great grandmother. She was an exceptional piecer, but hated quilting. so her solution was tying at the corners, every 4 or 5 inches. Looks great until the quilts were washed. Because there was so much slack between the ties there is a great deal of shifting around in the wash. I disassembled three of her quilts, saved what I could and made wall quilts. Anyway...tieing or quilting, there has to be enough of it to keep shifting from happening.

    I look forward to a happy solution to your poor quilt. Are there any band-aid fabrics?

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    Homespun is looser weave than quilt cotton....I have never used it, but I'm asking if a smaller piecing stitch would make it less likely to shred? - like 1.8 or 2? Also the 8-10" spread between quilting lines would probably be a stress factor......maybe, if there is no quilting lines in the effected pieces, you could cut another piece, remove the machine stitched ones and hand applique the new ones in their place......just another thought......but then again, who's to say others won't shred with additional washings........sorry it happened......

  18. #18
    Senior Member susanwilley's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Geri B;7846663]Homespun is looser weave than quilt cotton....I have never used it, but I'm asking if a smaller piecing stitch would make it less likely to shred?

    This fabric sounds like that it looks loosed weaved. That’s exactly what I’m afraid mayhappen. So far all the other seams lookreally good but how many washes will they hold up under.


    Susan

  19. #19
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KalamaQuilts View Post
    The poly thread disasers I know about were all posted here. Cotton poly isn't a problem.
    I wonder if they were actually using nylon and just believed it was poly. A lot of people confuse the two. And nylon will melt like crazy.

    Quote Originally Posted by KalamaQuilts View Post
    bottom line is from Superior isn't it? I wonder if they have pretested it in ironed pieced seams?
    Yes, it's a Superior product. I have no idea if they've pretested it. I've been using it almost exclusively for piecing and applique for about the last 5 years.

    Several years ago I made a blouse from a lovely rayon fabric that had beautiful drape. Washed and wore it once, the side seams frayed. Stitched it back up, wore it again, then a shoulder seam frayed. Showed it to a friend's mom who did tailoring, she advised me to sew French seams and then topstitch them. That did the trick, but I was rather flummoxed that the rayon would fray so easily. It was not loosely woven at all.

  20. #20
    Senior Member susanwilley's Avatar
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    They are the 10 minute block Suzanne McNeill that only has 3 seams to each block and turns the middle block on point and the sides can be turned in to give it the Cathedral Window look. Very easy and very quick.
    Susan

  21. #21
    Senior Member susanwilley's Avatar
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    Thanks so much everyone for all the suggestions! I knew you all would be able to help me! Ithink I’m going to try to fix the two seams that will reach the connecting seamby hand sewing them closed and try an appliqué for the other.

    Susan

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    Quote Originally Posted by susanwilley View Post
    They are the 10 minute block Suzanne McNeill that only has 3 seams to each block and turns the middle block on point and the sides can be turned in to give it the Cathedral Window look. Very easy and very quick.
    I looked up the block and after you have fixed these shredded seams, however you do it, I would add a quilting stitch line around each seam on the blocks with a 1/8" seam on each side of the original seams. This should catch your original 1/4" seam and will stabilize the fabric to the batting. If you know someone with a long arm quilting machine, they can do this fairly quickly. If not, just take your time on your home sewing machine. I don't believe that doing a stitch in the ditch will help you with the problem you are having with the shredding. It might just make it worse.

    I had a fabric I was using in a quilt start raveling like crazy. It matched the other fabrics so well, that I was determined to use it. For every seam with that fabric, I sewed the 1/4" seam and then went back and sewed a wavy 1/8" average seam closer to the edge before ironing the block or sewing any other parts to it. My wavy seam stabilized the fabric. The quilt has been washed many times and is fine.
    Last edited by Barb in Louisiana; 06-18-2017 at 06:58 PM.
    Sew a Little, Love a Lot & Live like you were dying!

  23. #23
    Super Member liking quilting's Avatar
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    I don't know the answer to this problem, but just had to comment that this is one of the greatest frustrations I've run into in quilting. My problem in my some of my earlier quilting was not watching my piecing closely enough and having the edges not stay lined up for the whole seam. Getting one piece of fabric off track a little bit can make for much too weak of a finished seam to hold up. Of course, it doesn't pop apart until after the quilt has been finished! Ugh.
    Mavis

  24. #24
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    Barb and Kalamaquilts are spot on regarding the amount of quilting. You will most definitely have to do more quilting on this if you want it to hold up. Once you repair the seams that did come apart, I highly recommend putting it under the needle and double the amount of quilting you have on it, if not more. Quilting no less than 4" apart in all directions or at least on both sides of every single seam.

  25. #25
    Senior Member susanwilley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by feline fanatic View Post
    Barb and Kalamaquilts are spot on regarding the amount of quilting. You will most definitely have to do more quilting on this if you want it to hold up. Once you repair the seams that did come apart, I highly recommend putting it under the needle and double the amount of quilting you have on it, if not more. Quilting no less than 4" apart in all directions or at least on both sides of every single seam.
    That's a good idea! Do you think stitch in the ditch would help? Or should it be away from the seam?
    Susan

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