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Thread: Steaming to take fullness out

  1. #1
    Super Member Watson's Avatar
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    Steaming to take fullness out

    I've heard of long arm quilters steaming customer's borders to take fullness out when the borders weren't measured correctly. Can this be done in other areas of the quilt?

    I've done some FMQ on a quilt and there is a bit of a "puff" between two elements where the FMQ stitches end and the SitD stitches start around a block. Clear as mud?

    Is it possible to "steam" the fullness out of that at area, before I tear out all those stitches?

    And, if so, how do I go about it?

    Thanks, Watson

  2. #2
    Power Poster
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    There are YouTube videos of longarm eras steaming a quikt to take out fullness. I would watch those and then try in in an inconspicuous spot. You don’t want the steam to make the fabrics bleed.

  3. #3
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    Good pressing can ease out much. I recently had a friend long arm a big quilt for me. It seemed to me like she didn't have enough tension on the top. I washed the quilt and then pressed it. It is fine now.

  4. #4
    Super Member Snooze2978's Avatar
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    I SITD my last quilt and when I started quilting the center afterwards I noticed all this fullness. Was so afraid I'd have folds on the backing or even the front but as I continued to stitch the fullness disappeared. Amazing. Think it depends on how intensive the pattern is too on how much of the fullness will disappear. Luckily mine disappeared for me. On another quilt years ago and I made this quilt myself so don't know how it happened but it did, the border at the bottom was way too full, no matter of steaming took enough of the fullness out for me so I went to Plan B as I call it. The pattern I was using helped too. I pleated the fullness in 2 places right where the stitching would come down using a piano key pattern. Got lucky there too and no one was the wiser. Should have taken a photo of what I did for future problems but didn't. I do keep an extra steam iron near my quilt machine just for those areas that become problems for me.
    Suz in Iowa
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  5. #5
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    I do long arm quilting for others. Recently I was working on a quilt that had extra fullness in a certain area. After requesting help from our local group of long armers, I was told to try spraying the area with spray starch, let it dry for about 1-2 minutes, then steam the area. One person said she uses Best Press but someone else said she used spray starch. I used spray starch because it was what I had. I was amazed at what a difference it made. I was able to quilt the area and nobody could see the problem area. Yes, I told the customer what I had used in case she wanted to wash the quilt. She was not concerned because the quilt was going to her son to be used at the lake cabin and she was sure it would be washed frequently.

  6. #6
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    I have started to preshrink Warm and Natural batting because of this problem. I spray it with water and use a hot iron. It has made a big difference.

  7. #7
    Power Poster feline fanatic's Avatar
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    I have gotten away with just the spray starch and no steam right in the middle of a quilt. But the addition of steam does help draw in fullness. With just the spray starch I had to wait overnight for it to dry and draw up. I also ended up doing a loose meander over the area in a large basting stitch to help distribute the fullness so I could quilt it then removed the basting.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    Starch takes the fullness out.

  9. #9
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    Kelly Cline has a video on this process. Works great!
    Always keep music in your heart 🎶❤️

  10. #10
    Super Member quiltingshorttimer's Avatar
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    I long arm and use spray starch (dry) and if needed steam-sometimes just starching and smooth/patting with your hand does it. If you puffiness is in a narrow area there will be less area to shrink up so you may not be able to get it as smooth as you'd like.

  11. #11
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    what do you do if border is red with another narrow border and the red bleeds. Seems like all the customer quilts have red borders and they aren't prewashed. can't use steam or starch.

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