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Why am I getting wavy edges on quilt?

Why am I getting wavy edges on quilt?

Old 06-07-2013, 06:51 PM
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Default Why am I getting wavy edges on quilt?

I just quilted a charity throw on my new longarm. Can't say the quilting is great yet, darn, but, I'll get there. What I don't get is why are my sides wavy when I put the binding on? Am I not pullting the binding tight enough? Do you think it might have something to do with a bit thicker batting? I'm pretty frustrated over it. Am hoping the recipient won't get too upset. Thanks so much for any advice you can give me.
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Old 06-07-2013, 06:57 PM
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When you attached your borders on the quilt, did you measure the length needed and cut the pieces to fit, or did you just put a strip of fabric on top of your quilt and stitch until you got to the other end of your quilt?

Quite often, there is more give and stretch in your border than there is in the pieced blocks of your quilt. If you are not measuring your borders before attaching to your quilt, you will want to make sure you are pulling it somewhat snuggly. Otherwise, it's like you've attached a ruffle.

I've had more than my fair share of ruffled quilts in my early days. Good luck!
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Old 06-07-2013, 07:16 PM
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I agree. If you did not measure through the middle of the quilt and cut the borders to exact size before sewing them on, that is the problem.

If you did pre-measure, pin, and sew then the edges are getting stretched on the frame. One thing that helps is cutting the borders on the lengthwise grain (parallel to selvedge) as that grain is more stable and stretches less. A lot of quilters also stabilize the edges on a frame before quilting. That is, they sew or baste down the sides after each roll, before quilting.

Another thing you can do is pin the edges on each side before quilting (remove the pins before rolling). Pinning allows you to work in any excess fabric at the edge for each section.
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Old 06-07-2013, 07:35 PM
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Did you check the borders before loading? The borders may have had too much fabric in them to start. I re-square my quilted quilt before adding binding. I use my walking foot when sewing the binding on to keep all the layers moving at the same rate.
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Old 06-07-2013, 08:27 PM
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Thanks for the tips. I didn't happen to have any borders on this quilt...just big blocks. It was square when I loaded it...I didn't know about pinning or sewing the sides. How do you re-square a quilted quilt? I do use my walking foot putting on the binding. I do pin the binding - I didn't measure or check to see if each side was squared....it looked curvy, but after putting on the binding it was definitely wavy.
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Old 06-07-2013, 08:34 PM
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I would suggest you put at least a 1 or 1-1/2" finished border on your quilts to stabilize the edges. Be sure to measure through the center for top and bottom and again for the sides. I fold quilt in half, mark with a pin, and again in half, on either side of that center pin. I do the borders the same way.
I'm so sorry this happened to your quilt. I quilt on a 9" throat DSM and haven't used a long arm. I hope this helps.
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Old 06-08-2013, 01:16 AM
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Since the quilt top did not have borders, is it possible some of the blocks had bias edges? It helps to measure the top to make sure it is square. If not, then make sure the quilt top lays without being stretched on the frame. Stabilizing will help a lot. Once I had a top with wavy edges....I simply quilted the heck out of them!
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Old 06-08-2013, 01:43 AM
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When I have wavy edges, it's always for one of two reasons: the pieces at the edges of the blocks may have been cut on the bias, or I've had to ease in (or stretch out) the inner edge of the border which leaves the outer edge sort of fluttery. What I've done to fix it is steam the heck out of it and press it as flat as I can. And really I wouldn't worry myself about it - your quilt was done with love and no one but you probably notices that the edges wave.
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Old 06-08-2013, 02:22 AM
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the quilting process sometimes (especially if using a lofty batting) becomes a little wonky- that is why we lay out the quilt and square it after quilting, trimming the backing/batting making sure it is squared before adding the binding. there are many tutorials on 'squaring your quilt' - sometimes they may need to be blocked- but I've always had pretty good luck just squaring them up- then add the binding.
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Old 06-08-2013, 02:55 AM
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Another suggestion for the next quilt: stay stitch within about an eighth of an inch from the edge, all around your squared up quilt top (especially when there are no borders to help stabilize those edges) before loading it on the frame for quilting.
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