Go Back  Quiltingboard Forums > Main
Why don't my quilt tops lay flat? >

Why don't my quilt tops lay flat?

Why don't my quilt tops lay flat?

Old 11-23-2011, 06:10 PM
  #1  
Super Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: DC metro area
Posts: 1,284
Default Why don't my quilt tops lay flat?

My blocks are good, I can match my corners well, I can square up my blocks, I press everything. When it gets to putting it all together it develops problems.

My borders are wavy, the center sometimes has bumps that won't lay flat.


At least I'm in good company-most of these things she sings about I can relate with.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XzoL7...ure=plpp_video

What are your suggestions for improving?
charity-crafter is offline  
Old 11-23-2011, 06:28 PM
  #2  
Power Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Western Wisconsin
Posts: 12,930
Default

For borders, it's important to measure through the middle of the quilt, cut the borders to that length, then divide and pin the border to the quilt before starting to sew. The most common reason for wavy borders is that the quilter has simply taken a length of fabric, sewed it to the quilt, then cut it to fit.

Starching fabric stabilizes it so it is much less likely to stretch out of shape or distort as you work with it. Starching before even cutting your pieces helps ensure accurate cuts. Spray starching as you assemble will help keep blocks flat and straight.
Prism99 is offline  
Old 11-23-2011, 07:02 PM
  #3  
Power Poster
 
BellaBoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Front row
Posts: 14,648
Default

I press most seams open if they won't show through. It really helps to fuse lightweight interfacing on the back of the top before adding borders. I fuse about six inches around the quilt and then sew on the border. I like Misty Fuse.
BellaBoo is offline  
Old 11-23-2011, 07:13 PM
  #4  
Senior Member
 
pippi65's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Central, Illinois
Posts: 399
Default

IMHO I always measure each side and then the middle and I average them out and cut my border to that measurement. It's also best to try and cut your borders on the length of the fabric rather than crosswise. In a lot of patterns they tell you to cut your borders first. I used to have the same problem...I sewed my blocks nicely and squared everything up and it would still have those wavy borders. But this seems to have worked the best for me. Hope this helps. Using starch is another great idea. I do go thru a lot of starch.
pippi65 is offline  
Old 11-23-2011, 08:37 PM
  #5  
Power Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 38,017
Default

Starch is your friend. It really helps keep the fabrics from distorting or stretching. If you've squared at every step, that is the only thing I can think of that might help you.
Tartan is offline  
Old 11-23-2011, 09:04 PM
  #6  
Senior Member
 
AndiR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: S. Dakota
Posts: 512
Default

Are you applying your borders properly? I have a handout that explains how to do it so they will lie flat - go here and click on "How to Apply Borders" http://www.andicraftsquilting.com/learn.htm
AndiR is offline  
Old 11-24-2011, 05:11 AM
  #7  
Super Member
 
jitkaau's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Australia
Posts: 4,116
Default

Originally Posted by Prism99 View Post
For borders, it's important to measure through the middle of the quilt, cut the borders to that length, then divide and pin the border to the quilt before starting to sew. The most common reason for wavy borders is that the quilter has simply taken a length of fabric, sewed it to the quilt, then cut it to fit.

Starching fabric stabilizes it so it is much less likely to stretch out of shape or distort as you work with it. Starching before even cutting your pieces helps ensure accurate cuts. Spray starching as you assemble will help keep blocks flat and straight.
Good advice here - measure across the middle in each direction and ease the difference in.
jitkaau is offline  
Old 11-24-2011, 06:53 AM
  #8  
Super Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: DC metro area
Posts: 1,284
Default

Well, I guess that answers my question. Thanks. I tend to just start at one end, sew to the end and then cut it off. That's probably why all my long sashing between my blocks is wavy too. So actually measure and not wing it.
charity-crafter is offline  
Old 11-24-2011, 08:03 AM
  #9  
Junior Member
 
Corry's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Okeechobee, Florida
Posts: 287
Default

Originally Posted by charity-crafter View Post
My blocks are good, I can match my corners well, I can square up my blocks, I press everything. When it gets to putting it all together it develops problems.

My borders are wavy, the center sometimes has bumps that won't lay flat.


At least I'm in good company-most of these things she sings about I can relate with.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XzoL7...ure=plpp_video

What are your suggestions for improving?
I had the same problem as you. My blocks seem to be very good and the blocks of my quilt went together very well but when it came to my outer border I had a wavy problem. I found that handling the quilt alot stretched out my bporder fabric. I had the quilt top at my sewing group working on it and when someone came in they wanted to see it and they held the quilt top up holding it by the outer border to show to everyone. Well when I laid it out to make my quilt sandwich it was all stretched out and would not lay flat. I also applied my borders the same method you did. So I took off all the outer border and washed the fabric by swishing it around in the washer and laying it out flat on my ironing board to dry. i then pressed and starched. I applied the borders again in the method they suggest by measuring thru the center of the quilt and it lays nice and flat now.
I also will not hold my quilt top up to show to people until it is pinned with the batting and backing or it may stretch out the border. I do have alot of machine embroidery in my quilts which makes them weigh heavier so it really is more weight to the quilt when you hold it up by the top border to show it to someone. I really swear by measuring thru the center of the quilt now to apply my border. I was skeptical before if it mattered to do that but learned the hard way it does matter.

HUGS
Corry
Corry is offline  
Old 11-24-2011, 08:11 AM
  #10  
Senior Member
 
Highmtn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: An Ocean Shore
Posts: 950
Default

The only time I've had that issue was when I put too much tension on a binding when putting it on. I dont cut 2" bindings anymore. I cut 2 1/4" or 2 1/2" bindings and I'm mindful to just let the quilting/walking foot do it's work and feed at it's own speed and pace. I am for sure going to try the starching method mentioned.

Lots of good tips offered here.
Highmtn is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
stitchengramie
Main
8
10-06-2011 05:26 AM
nativetexan
Links and Resources
19
05-17-2011 11:45 AM
brennalee
Main
6
02-04-2011 05:05 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


FREE Quilting Newsletter


SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.