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Tablemats and birthing method

Tablemats and birthing method

Old 03-17-2015, 08:42 AM
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Default Tablemats and birthing method

I've just had my first go at making some tablemats using the birthing method. My problem is this: when I topstitch around the edge, the opening (through which the quilt has been birthed) always seems to get a little pucker in it, which I have been unable to avoid (I made 6 of them, and it happened on every one, to varying degrees). The pucker is always on the top, so it's quite noticeable. I used wonder clips to keep the opening tucked inside, perhaps pins would work better? Any hints or tips will be most appreciated!
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Old 03-17-2015, 09:11 AM
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Do you use an even feed/walking foot when you sew around your sandwich (before you birth it)? The top fabric may be slipping a bit. You could also experiment with the placement of the batting in the sandwich. You often are instructed to place it against the backing, but it will also work if you place it against the top. I would also pin for the first stitching, then use the clips for the top stitching.
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Old 03-17-2015, 09:34 AM
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If you are like me, you want the top to overhang a bit, so the back does not show on the front side.

When I layer my sandwich (before birthing), I pull the back a scootch tighter, about 3/16-1/4" shorter than the front, easing it all around the outer edges. When I birth, the back is smaller, and pulls to the back, thus disappearing.

This makes the front a tiny bit bigger, so you can get puckering in the birth opening. Try to have no ease at the opening, just on the sewn sections.

When you sew around the sandwich (before birthing), you want to make a 45 degree turn and sew off the edge of the seam allowance. (The colons represent your seam line to the outer edge of fabric.) I cant send a pic or a EQ drawing so try this:

-----------stitching line---------------: (Opening) :-------------------
________cut edge______________: (opening) :______________

When you turn it inside out, these sew-off-the-edge bits pull the seam allowance inside the placemat.

Also, if you use some kind of "batting", that helps keep the placemat from puckering. I use flannel. Gives the placemat another layer to protect the wood from the heat of the dishes, and a bit of absorption of liquids.
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Old 03-17-2015, 11:11 AM
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Thank you for some fabulous advice! I really should have thought about the walking foot before, so I'll definitely try that next time (I have a bunch of other placemat tops ready to be made up!). As these ones are already done, I might just put some binding on them so that the pucker is covered up, as I want to try and sell them, and these are not up to scratch for that at the moment!
I think the order I did was batting, backing, top (from the bottom) and I did pin the sandwich, but not with very many pins, so maybe I need to pin it more thoroughly next time!
I like the sound of the 45 degree sewing off the edge to help with turning under! I definitely found that part the hardest, so I think that will really help!
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Old 03-17-2015, 01:25 PM
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Can you piece the backing? If so, you can leave an opening in the back seam to turn thru. This way you can stitch all the way around your piece and hand stitch the opening on the back where it will not show.
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Old 03-17-2015, 01:33 PM
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Before I sew around I use fusible web and fuse the opening closed. I use the lightweight sewable fusible. I then don't have to worry about things moving around on me and I don't have to pin the opening closed.
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Old 03-17-2015, 03:46 PM
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Method I learned. Sew the seam shut & if you have a border untsitch that. & turn. did 3 sets & they looked nice. I can never get the seam closed nicely until I did this method. sorry I don't do pics. & don't remember where i got the idea. Maybe a quiltmaker mag with a quilt.
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Old 03-17-2015, 03:55 PM
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Do you have any Wonder Tape? It's a narrow, double-sided, sticky tape that washes out. Since it's sticky on both sides, the cloth doesn't have a chance of moving.

I bought it for sewing zippers and now I use it for lots of things.

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Old 03-17-2015, 04:29 PM
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Even with a walking foot i used to have trouble with that uneven-ness....Elmer's school glue to close it up before sewing solved the problem for me. Oh....and i also always leave a little extra seam allowance in that area.
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Old 03-17-2015, 05:16 PM
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Thanks for posting this thread.

Some great ideas right on time!

(I'm making placemats for my mom)
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