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Thread: trouble with applique warping

  1. #1
    Member MostlyMaja's Avatar
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    Hi to All:

    I am doing an applique and after I quilted around the applique and some quilting further out on the square it began to look distorted. It's only about 24" x 24". I didn't use an embroidery hoop to start with, but I have undone the quilting stitches to start over. Will a 6" or 8" hoop solve all this. I basted with safety pins about every 4" or 5". Didn't seem to do any good. I would appreciate any advice. Thanks

  2. #2
    Super Member quiltingfan's Avatar
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    good luck, i have not done any so I would not know.

  3. #3
    Super Member Treasureit's Avatar
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    Are you talking about the quilting process??? I can't help you there...applique - I have some experience.

  4. #4
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    oh, i've never had that happen. sorry, i don't have an answer.

  5. #5
    Super Member hopetoquilt's Avatar
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    I read somewhere that you should cut your block slightly larger than the required size due to the fact that applique may warp it or change the size of it. Once the applique is done, you trim the block to square it.

    I don't speak from personal experience b/c I haven't done much applique...yet

  6. #6
    Member MostlyMaja's Avatar
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    I mean that the outer edges are drawn up towards the middle, mostly along the lower edge and one side edge. It's no longer even around the edges.

  7. #7
    Member MostlyMaja's Avatar
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    well, I added border strips before I quilted it so, maybe that's where I went wrong. Thanks for the advice.
    Quote Originally Posted by hopetoquilt
    I read somewhere that you should cut your block slightly larger than the required size due to the fact that applique may warp it or change the size of it. Once the applique is done, you trim the block to square it.

    I don't speak from personal experience b/c I haven't done much applique...yet

  8. #8
    Super Member Treasureit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MostlyMaja
    I mean that the outer edges are drawn up towards the middle, mostly along the lower edge and one side edge. It's no longer even around the edges.
    Did this occur when you did the sewing of the applique to the block? If it did...I have found that putting some tear away, tissue or my current favorite coffee filters on the underside while sewing keeps it flatter. Then you can tear them off when done.

  9. #9
    Super Member auntpiggylpn's Avatar
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    Did you use any kind of stabilizer when you appliqued? It truly makes all the difference in the world!! Can you post a picture?

  10. #10
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    It is always advisable to cut your squares about an inch larger than the final square size, that allows for any draw-up that you might have while quilting. If you are pulling your quilting stitches too tight that will cause a distortion. Also, make sure that your square is cut as near as possible to the on-grain directions. If the backgound is cut on the bias it will distort in one direction more than the other. Also, start your quilting in the center of the piece and work out all around. I do not use a hoop, but do lap quilting and I pin baste about every three or four inches and sometimes I thread baste, starting from the center and going out to the corners than filling in with basting threads between the "spokes". Good luck.

  11. #11
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    it is normal- that is why we cut our applique/embroidery squares larger than the finished size- after the stitching is all done you square them back up- the process draws up the fabric somewhat-and causes distortion-
    square up when finished

  12. #12
    Member MostlyMaja's Avatar
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    The lady that I began to learn to quilt from always tore the material so that the edges would be completely on the grain of the material. However, I noticed on this square of material that it wouldn't square up completely. Do any of you do this, or does everyone pretty much cut the edges so they will be straight?
    Quote Originally Posted by gitlisgal
    It is always advisable to cut your squares about an inch larger than the final square size, that allows for any draw-up that you might have while quilting. If you are pulling your quilting stitches too tight that will cause a distortion. Also, make sure that your square is cut as near as possible to the on-grain directions. If the backgound is cut on the bias it will distort in one direction more than the other. Also, start your quilting in the center of the piece and work out all around. I do not use a hoop, but do lap quilting and I pin baste about every three or four inches and sometimes I thread baste, starting from the center and going out to the corners than filling in with basting threads between the "spokes". Good luck.

  13. #13
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    I don't like tearing fabric because it damages the fibers along the tear -- about 2" in if examined under a microscope. Those microscopic tears weaken the fabric.

    Being absolutely straight on grain is not necessary in quilting the way it is with dressmaking anyway.

    I heavily starch the yardage before cutting background squares. Heavy starching stabilizes the fabric so it doesn't distort with handling. I cut the starched fabric squares larger than required and trim to size after the applique is finished.

    Starching like this (including heavy starching of the background fabric) also helps prevent puckering when machine quilting.

    In your case, I would recommend using spray basting as this keeps the 3 layers together with less slipping than safety pins. Also, I wonder how puffy your batting is. The higher the batting loft, the more likely you are to get the kind of distortion you describe after quilting.

  14. #14
    Member MostlyMaja's Avatar
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    Yeah, I think the loft is too much. I didn't think about that until after I had done most of the quilting. I've undone everything now so I will change what needs to be changed now. Thanks for the info about tearing the fabric. I didn't know about the spray basting either. Thanks so much for the help. Diana
    Quote Originally Posted by Prism99
    I don't like tearing fabric because it damages the fibers along the tear -- about 2" in if examined under a microscope. Those microscopic tears weaken the fabric.

    Being absolutely straight on grain is not necessary in quilting the way it is with dressmaking anyway.

    I heavily starch the yardage before cutting background squares. Heavy starching stabilizes the fabric so it doesn't distort with handling. I cut the starched fabric squares larger than required and trim to size after the applique is finished.

    Starching like this (including heavy starching of the background fabric) also helps prevent puckering when machine quilting.

    In your case, I would recommend using spray basting as this keeps the 3 layers together with less slipping than safety pins. Also, I wonder how puffy your batting is. The higher the batting loft, the more likely you are to get the kind of distortion you describe after quilting.

  15. #15
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    It sounds like your stitches might be too tight. I never use a hoop. Also if you are going around curves do the inside curves first and then the outside curves; it eases the fabric in better. Make sure to snip the curves where needed so that they lie flat as well. Good luck. I keep mine in my purse and work on it so using a hoop isn't an option. I also always start with a block larger than what I want to end up with because it will get a little smaller as you applique. I also do not use stabilizer; never needed it.

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