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Thread: Strip Piecing

  1. #1

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    I'm new to the Forum and looking forward to another source of information. I do have a question:
    When I sew long strips of fabric together (WOF) they tend to ripple along the sides. Does anyone have any ideas how to over come this so that I can stack the strips for further cutting?

  2. #2
    Boo
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    Lucy, my first suggestion is to check the stitch length. Maybe your stitches are too tight. Secondly, are you letting the feed dogs do their job of moving the fabric? Never push or pull your fabic strips. Thirdly, I would recommend you look into aquiring a 1/4" foot for your machine. This foot has a little flange on it to keep the fabric straight.

    I hope you find this information helpful. Please let me know if you have anymore questions.

  3. #3
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    There is such a thing as "pressure" on the presser foot.
    You can check the amount of pressure by putting 2 pieces of fabric under the presser foot, lower the foot, now try to pull the fabric out from under the foot.
    If it pulls out, then you need to increase the amount of pressure on your presser foot (see your manual for how to do this).
    Lack of enough pressure could be causing your seam line to ripple.
    Joyce

  4. #4
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    Boo, where can I purchase that 1/4 in. foot with the flange? I have a foot that measures 1/4 inch from the needle to the outside edge of the foot, but it does not have the flange you mentioned. The foot I have helps, but my seams are rarely perfect.

    Betty Ruth

  5. #5
    Boo
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    My machine is a Janome and I bought the foot at the dealer. You can check online sources like Nancy's Notions or Clotilde for a generic foot to fit your type of machine. I would first check a machine dealer in your area, so you don't have to pay shipping costs. You need to know if you have a short, long, or slant shaft machine. Most short shank machines, like Kenmore and Janome can use these generic feet. Every customer who brings her machine to the shop to sew seem to have this type of 1/4" foot, so I think they are available for every brand of machine.
    Good luck with your search. You will be grateful for the extra precision. Your seams will always match and your points will stay in line. What more could a quilter ask for? :lol:

  6. #6
    Suz
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    Lucy, my suggestion after checking all of the above, is that once you have completed your row stitching, press your seam flat first in order to set your stitches. Press, or stomp your iron along the length, no scrubbing or rubbing. Using a permanent pigma pen, draw a straight line on your ironing surface and then press, aligning one of your edges along this line.

    Hope this helps.
    Suz

  7. #7
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    Thank you, Boo.

  8. #8
    Super Member Moonpi's Avatar
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    A walking foot may help you too - some makers refer to them as even feed feet. Sometines I just use a chunky magnet to line everything at 1/4 inch, so i will be less likely to "help" the fabric though. As with a lot of things in quilting, it is a matter of finding out what works best for YOU.

  9. #9
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    [I have used a walking foot. It helped when quilting with a thick batt, but I couldn't use it for piecing. I just wasn't comfortable using it for that. I had read about using it for matching plaids, so I thought it would help me keep the quilt pieces together. It didn't. It made my problem worse. I'll just look for that foot with a flange when I get a chance. I 'll probably have to order it. The only quilt shops with which I'm familar are on the other side of San Antonio, over 25 miles of city traffic. It's Walmart or Hobby Lobby on this side of town. Even Hancock Fabrics on this side of town has closed, not that they had that much of a choice, anyway.

  10. #10
    Senior Member ddrobins1956's Avatar
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    In my area there are a couple of small appliance and vacuum repair shops they both carry parts for sewing machines, that's where I bought my quarter inch foot.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moonpi
    A walking foot may help you too - some makers refer to them as even feed feet. Sometines I just use a chunky magnet to line everything at 1/4 inch, so i will be less likely to "help" the fabric though. As with a lot of things in quilting, it is a matter of finding out what works best for YOU.
    When I took my first quilting class, the teacher cut lengths of 1/4" masking tape about 2 inches long and many layers thick. Then she measured a 1/4" and stuck the tape to out machines. Because they were raised up, it was really easy to make straight seams that were exactly 1/4". When the tape didn't stick anymore, you just removed the bottom layer and remeasured. They also have magnets that you can use to mark any seam width. I am pretty sure I got one at JoAnnes several years ago. Both of these methods can be used with any machine and are inexpensive.

  12. #12
    Suz
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    You can also use a stack of "Post-It" notes by removing the one on the bottom and sticking to the machine. When it won't stick any longer, just take another from the bottom. I use then with my 4Hers.

    Suzanne

  13. #13
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    Thanks to all for your ideas.

  14. #14
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    Betty Ruth,

    There are quilt shops all over San Antonio. If you can call one that sells your brand of machine and tell them what you are looking for and they can mail it to you.

    Peggy

  15. #15
    Senior Member GramMER's Avatar
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    Do you use a "walking foot" provided with most machines?

    Using an ordinary foot, I find it necessary to pin my fabric pieces together to keep them from gathering the bottom layer.

    GramMER

  16. #16
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    Even the Base Exchange carries Singer sewing machines, but they don't carry accessories. I'll check the phone book. I never thought of calling a local retail store.

  17. #17
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    I read the comments about attaching a magnetized seam gauge to your sewing machine and just wanted to add one caveat. If you have a computerized sewing machine, the magnet may impair some of the machine's functions. Just like putting anything magnetic next to a computer can addle its brain, the same thing can happen to your computerized machine. The masking tape idea is good or you could measure the correct distance from the needle and draw a line with a fine tip permanent marking pen.

  18. #18
    Senior Member GramMER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lucy
    I'm new to the Forum and looking forward to another source of information. I do have a question:
    When I sew long strips of fabric together (WOF) they tend to ripple along the sides. Does anyone have any ideas how to over come this so that I can stack the strips for further cutting?
    Since I cannot see the seam effect, I can only guess at what is happening, but it sounds to me like either your bobbin or your top thread is too tight. Look closely at the actual stitches to see if one of them is pulling tighter than the other.

    How long has it been since serviced or cleaned your machine? If you do not feel comfortable doing that yourself, would you possibly be able to take it to a repairman to get it checked? I never let mine go more than a year without servicing. Lint and plain old house dust get into the gears and you can have some major troubles. When I sew/quilt a lot, I have had huge balls of lint to suddenly appear in my stitching and have even had needles to break if that happens. Lint can certainly affect the stitching.

    GramMER

    Beth

  19. #19
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    I may just do that, although I prefer to see what I'm buying.

    Sorry that I've not been on here for a while. My computer's been down.

  20. #20
    refibered's Avatar
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    One more suggestion: when you're sewing WOF strips, alternate the direction of your sewing with each added strip. Don't begin at the same end of the strips each time, which can send you off course a bit.

    I learned this on my first quilt, which consisted of 22 WOF strips. Very pretty, but lots of frogging (rip-it, rip-it).

    rf

  21. #21
    Senior Member GramMER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by refibered
    One more suggestion: when you're sewing WOF strips, alternate the direction of your sewing with each added strip. Don't begin at the same end of the strips each time, which can send you off course a bit.

    I learned this on my first quilt, which consisted of 22 WOF strips. Very pretty, but lots of frogging (rip-it, rip-it).

    rf

  22. #22
    Senior Member GramMER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by refibered
    One more suggestion: when you're sewing WOF strips, alternate the direction of your sewing with each added strip. Don't begin at the same end of the strips each time, which can send you off course a bit.

    I learned this on my first quilt, which consisted of 22 WOF strips. Very pretty, but lots of frogging (rip-it, rip-it).

    rf
    Life is never dull and certainly we have to "roll with the punches." I was laughing so hard I almost fell out of my chair and sure enough, I pushed the send before I had responded.

    What you say is perfectly true, but the way you said it made me ROFLOL.

    GramMER

  23. #23

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    try cutting the length of the fabric instead of the width, this will lay flatter, also when sewing strips together alternate the rows i.e. where you end sewing row one, start row 2 at that end and vice versa this will keep the strata straight and not curved

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