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Thread: Uneven pieces after sewing

  1. #1
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    Uneven pieces after sewing

    I am cutting squares the same size. I am able to match them easily and they are exactly the same size...and then I see them together. The top piece ends up stretching so by the end of the peice, it is significantly longer than the bottom piece! It is driving me nutty. Using a Brother PQ1500SL with a walking foot. Please share your wisdom!

  2. #2
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    I mean it stretches when I sew them together....not see them together.

  3. #3
    Senior Member IceLeopard's Avatar
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    Try using a regular quarter-inch quilting foot instead of a walking foot. What stitch length are you using? A very tight stitch might be making the bottom fabric gather up a bit rather than the top one stretching. Are you pinning them together? If you haven't been, try that as well.
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  4. #4
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    A walking foot is not needed for piecing, a walking foot is used when sewing 3 pieces(Backing, batting and top together) I recommend using a 1/4 inch foot while paying special attention when nearing the end of the seam, some machines have a tendency to veer left. Maybe need to loosen the pressure foot tension that feeds the top fabric. Not familiar with the Brother 1500 not sure if it has the ability to adjust foot tensions. My Pfaff does not.

  5. #5
    Super Member Krisb's Avatar
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    This is what I would do if facing this situation:

    I would take off the walking foot and replace it with a straight stitch foot or, if you have one, a 1/4”foot. I only use my walking foot for straight line machine quilting and attaching the binding. Then I would take out my pins, and pin the edges if they are large squares. If the squares are small, a stiletto (or your seam ripper) can be used to hold the two fabrics even at the end of the seam. This can also help keep the seam allowance straight.

    Check your stitch length, and use the length recommended in yiur manual. Mine is about 2.5 for piecing

    It is not unusual to need to readjust the ends of the fabrics to keeo them in line. Fabric isn’t wood or concrete. Pins can be your friend, just don’t sew over them.
    Last edited by Krisb; 05-20-2018 at 09:28 AM.
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  6. #6
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    Maybe try sewing them together without a walking foot?

    On the older machines, the feed dogs would move the bottom layer "faster" than the top layer, so one had to "outsmart" the machine so that the layers would feed the same.

    One "trick" was to hold the fabric "up" before it got to the needle, so that the bottom layer would go "faster" than the top layer.

    Is that clear as mud?

  7. #7
    Super Member SusieQOH's Avatar
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    Are any of the fabrics on the bias? If so starch or Best Press would help. I also agree about the foot.

  8. #8
    Super Member KalamaQuilts's Avatar
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    The feed dogs are usually the culprit. Their purpose is to pick up the piece and keep it moving through the seam process.
    I have one machine that feeds evenly, and four that don't

    If you are doing block size seams hold the bottom ends together and they will feed nicely
    On longer seams pin the start and end, and while they are laying nice and flat there add a few more pins so when you let go just drop down to the next pin and so on.

    Once you recognize the problem you won't need pins.
    Welcome to the board and quilting Amy!!

  9. #9
    Super Member Irishrose2's Avatar
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    If it is possible on your machine, loosen the pressure of the presser foot. I had that happen this week for the first time. It was a very long seam to have to rip and redo with pins. Grr.

  10. #10
    Senior Member ArlaJo's Avatar
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    If my pieces get stubborn I use a drop of Elmer's washable school glue and a quick tap with the hot iron. That usually brings them around to my way.
    So much fabric, so little time.

  11. #11
    Super Member rryder's Avatar
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    I have a PQ1500s and the first thing I would try would be to switch to a quarter inch presser foot rather than the walking foot and also lower the pressure on the presser foot. On the PQ1500s you turn the knob that's on the top of the machine, the needle in the slot on the face will go up as the pressure is lessened.

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  12. #12
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    When sewing square rows together, the row on the top should have the seam allowances facing the foot not away from the foot. I know it is tempting to put the top seam allowances away from the foot but that will push the top row further and further along. I use a straight pin to hold the seam allowance as the foot comes to it ( so the foot doesn't catch it) and this method will lock the intersection against the bottom seam allowance going in the opposite direction on the bottom row.

  13. #13
    Power Poster Onebyone's Avatar
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    I learned from a expert designer dress seamstress, she use to sew for designers for fashion week in NY. She said to hold the top piece of the fabric up until it goes under the foot to keep the feed even. It works great when sewing strips. Also fabric basting glue is the used by the gallons in the designer houses.
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  14. #14
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    I'm a pinner! Try pinning, using thin pins, removing them just before you get to them. Also, see if you can reduce the pressure on your presser foot. Might need to get out your manual!
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  15. #15
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    Using a bit longer stitch length may help too.l
    Another Phyllis
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  16. #16
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    This video helped me a lot with piecing. Also, try reducing your pressure on the presser foot if the problem continues after changing to a regular foot from the walking foot.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=--vIltDWpl0

    bkay
    Last edited by bkay; 05-20-2018 at 04:31 PM.

  17. #17
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    I agree with everything said here. The only thing I would add, is consider a new needle, and use a single-hole stitch plate on the machine. I recently had a problem sewing side seams on a blouse, the result was irregular and messy looking, and sure enough I had my 9mm hole stitch plate on. I changed it to the single hole plate, and put in a fresh needle and problem solved.

  18. #18
    Super Member Aurora's Avatar
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    I never use a walking foot, they always mess up my stitching.
    Aurora

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  19. #19
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    Take off the walking foot. it is moving the fabric as though you have many layers, including batting. DON'T MESS WITH YOUR TENSION. This is not your problem. I like the dot of glue too, I have used that in piecing curves. I think you will find that a regular foot will solve your problem,....let us know. Best wishes

  20. #20
    Super Member quiltedsunshine's Avatar
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    I've found that if I pin the ends, I can ease them to fit if needed. Also, I've found that when I put the length of grain with the width of grain, the width stretches and the length doesn't.
    Annette in Utah

  21. #21
    Super Member madamekelly's Avatar
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    I know that yardage usually stretches from seledge to selvedge, and does not stretch end to end. When I am cutting quilt pieces, I make a point of making sure I do not turn any of my fabric so it all stays the same orientation. When I am sewing, I make sure to seam the non-stretch edges first, then connect the rows using the more “adjustable” direction to join the rows matching the seams and letting the machine squish the stretchiness in. If I am cutting triangles, it is not so critical, but I keep my long edge facing up and down so it does not move, then I have less problem with not matching seams. My favorite pattern is TAW (trip around the world) byEleanor Burns. No seams to match at all.
    Last edited by madamekelly; 05-21-2018 at 10:26 PM.
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  22. #22
    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
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    I pin. Everything longer than 2 inches. Just got tired of the 'misfits,' so I tame them with a pin at the beginning, one in the middle, two near the end. AND, I use my awl's point to hold the two pieces together as they near the needle at the end. It just wastes less time for me if I pin than if I have to 'unsew' one out of 5 sections.

    I sew with a stitch large enough to get the tip of my Clover seam ripper into easily, usually about 3 on my mechanical Bernina 1031, and I always use my 1/4 inch foot with a sticky note pad taped next to the presser foot to give me a dramatically accurate seam.

    Jan in VA
    Last edited by Jan in VA; 05-21-2018 at 10:52 PM.
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  23. #23
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    I did not know this, Thanks Tartan!!

  24. #24
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    If/When I am sewing long pieces together that I am reasonably sure that I cut the same length, I pin each side into halves and then fourths - and then match and pin the sections/sides/seams together - and then I sew "section to section" - this seems to minimize the "creeping" -

    I can deal with about 1/8 inch unevenness on one edge - if it's a long seam - but that does not work well on tiny blocks.

  25. #25
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    That is my strategy, too, BiGray.

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