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Thread: Why the puckers????????!!!!!

  1. #1
    Junior Member coffeebreak's Avatar
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    Why the puckers????????!!!!!

    I've tired it all...except one way.. and that is the way that will fix this! I starch all squares before sewing them, I press seams flat then to the side, the press on top. I pin seams and use only 100% cotton, and same for thread. When I assemble the quilt, I use the spray adhesive stuff...starting with the back and batting together and starting in the middle and working out in small areas. I press it all down, and turn it over and do the same with the quilt top and even use large safety pins to hold it in places etc. all that said.....

    WHY DO THE SEAMS STILL PUCKER!!!!???????

    This picture is just one of the puckers...When I do the top stitching like SITD...there are these puckers. WHY? I can't figure anything else to do to stop them...any suggestions?
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Senior Member Kat Sews's Avatar
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    Since the pucker is were you pass another stitching line, my first guess would be that your walking foot isn't moving the top layer at the same speed as the feed dogs move the bottom layer.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Pat M.'s Avatar
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    Is your quilt laying flat on the table or hanging off of the machine (about 3-4")?? Do you use the quilting gloves? When the quilt hangs it pulls on the machine needle and cause problems, I always use the gloves. It helps to hold the fabric in place.

  4. #4
    Super Member crafty pat's Avatar
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    Are you stretching the fabric because it is cut on the bias?

  5. #5
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    You didn't mention whether you use a walking foot. That could be the problem-a walking foot helps to move top and bottom layer equally.
    jackie

  6. #6
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    try lengthening your stitch length a little bit- are you using a walking foot?- if not that is the problem- if you don't have one can you (lessen) the pressure on the foot you are using? some machines allow that-some do not- but your stitches look really really tiny- lengthening them a little will help
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  7. #7
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    I have stretched fabric before when I wet the fabric too much with the starch.

  8. #8
    Super Member auntpiggylpn's Avatar
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    When I am doing any straight line quilting or SID, I lengthen my stitch. I think it helps "loosen" the tension and causes less puckering
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  9. #9
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    When I do the straight stitching on sashing before FMQ, I start in the middle of the quilt and stitch out to the edge of the quilt in all directions. I used Hobbs 80/20 fusible batt but the fabrics still move a little but if you get the "extra" to the edge it helps. After the whole quilt is stitched outward in the sashing, I quilt inside the stabilized squares. My Machinger gloves really help with smoothing the sandwich as I approach intersection. I think intersections are where most problem puckers tend to occur.

  10. #10
    Junior Member coffeebreak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kat Sews View Post
    Since the pucker is were you pass another stitching line, my first guess would be that your walking foot isn't moving the top layer at the same speed as the feed dogs move the bottom layer.
    I used the walking foot this time for the first time intending to help this problem, but it didn't help and didn't seem do do any diff than the regular foot

  11. #11
    Junior Member coffeebreak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pat M. View Post
    Is your quilt laying flat on the table or hanging off of the machine (about 3-4")?? Do you use the quilting gloves? When the quilt hangs it pulls on the machine needle and cause problems, I always use the gloves. It helps to hold the fabric in place.
    well, yeah, it hangs lower than the machine, I have an extension plate, but the machine is still elevated from the table. But I have a 5 ft banquet table as my sewing table and as much of the quilt as I can get there...is on the table.. And yes...gloves are a must, I do use them.

  12. #12
    Junior Member coffeebreak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crafty pat View Post
    Are you stretching the fabric because it is cut on the bias?
    None of it is cut on the bias. All straight of the grain. the diagonal seams are HST's sewn together.

  13. #13
    Junior Member coffeebreak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greensleeves View Post
    You didn't mention whether you use a walking foot. That could be the problem-a walking foot helps to move top and bottom layer equally.
    I have always used the regular all purpose foot, but with this problem, I had heard that the walking foot helps move the fabric better...and used walking foot this time...didn't see any difference in anything over the all purpose foot

  14. #14
    Junior Member coffeebreak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ckcowl View Post
    try lengthening your stitch length a little bit- are you using a walking foot?- if not that is the problem- if you don't have one can you (lessen) the pressure on the foot you are using? some machines allow that-some do not- but your stitches look really really tiny- lengthening them a little will help
    I was using the walking foot and had stitches at 3 instead of the 2.5 it is automatically set at. I was thinking that the stitches need dto be longer to help the walking foot manuvre the fabric better instead of the small stitches...but didn't see any difference.

  15. #15
    Junior Member coffeebreak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sunnye View Post
    I have stretched fabric before when I wet the fabric too much with the starch.
    INteresting thought but I dont' think I do that. I do starch, but not overly starch. And I press, not iron when I starch.

  16. #16
    Junior Member coffeebreak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by auntpiggylpn View Post
    When I am doing any straight line quilting or SID, I lengthen my stitch. I think it helps "loosen" the tension and causes less puckering
    I lengthen to 3 but maybe need a few more.

  17. #17
    Junior Member coffeebreak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tartan View Post
    When I do the straight stitching on sashing before FMQ, I start in the middle of the quilt and stitch out to the edge of the quilt in all directions. I used Hobbs 80/20 fusible batt but the fabrics still move a little but if you get the "extra" to the edge it helps. After the whole quilt is stitched outward in the sashing, I quilt inside the stabilized squares. My Machinger gloves really help with smoothing the sandwich as I approach intersection. I think intersections are where most problem puckers tend to occur.
    I start in the middle also...do the blocks first on the whole quilt , then go back and do sashings.. maybe I need to do blocks AND sashing from the middle out. I will give that a try next time. Thanks for the tip. How do you make sure the back fabric is smooth and no puckers?

  18. #18
    Senior Member Toni C's Avatar
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    Are you using the same machine? Has this always been a problem for you?

  19. #19
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    When you wash the quilt, don't the puckers vanish in the over all winkles that occur to the quilt?

  20. #20
    Senior Member sew4nin's Avatar
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    I understand your frustration. That is exactly what my quilting looked like before I got my Pfaff with a built in walking foot. If it is possible, you might want to try taking your problem to the store you bought your machine from. They are usually pretty good at trouble shooting. Even if you didn't buy your machine from the store, problems like this are sometimes seen as a challenge. My other thought is to try loosening the tension on the top thread.
    Good luck and let us know if you find a solution.

  21. #21
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    Can you loosen the pressure on your foot? That helps me a lot.
    Got fabric?

  22. #22
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    I have not had a pucker since switching to the Hobbs fusible batt. I lay the back on the old carpet in my basement, smooth the batt over it and then the top. I start pressing with a fairly hot dry iron in the middle and work outwards until the top is fused. I flip over the whole sandwich which is partially fused and start ironing the back from the middle out. There is always a little extra fabric that proceeds the iron and I work that out to the edges. When I have the back perfect, I put a few safety pins along the edges so that I don't accidentally peel the edge up.
    I use knee pads when I iron on the floor. I sew all the sashing lines first with my walking foot (middle outwards)while the whole quilt is well fused. If needed I re-iron inside the squares before FMQ inside the squares. I am going to try the 505 spray soon on a quilt and see how that compares to my fusible batt because I am not getting any younger and crawling on the floor is getting harder. Good luck and just keep trying different things until you get something that works for you.

  23. #23
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    I have also had same problem in the past. I now have a brother mechanical 1500S straight stitch with a big heavy walking foot and also a heavy free motion quilt. Using this machine has allowed me to adjust the pressure on my pressure foot, and the stitch length, and the heavy walking foot seems to make a difference. However, with any machine, (if you can adjust the pressure foot tension, which on some machines you can't), I find that I make a little mock up first a "quilt sandwich" made up of some of the pieced extra blocks or partial blocks, or fabric in some batting. I practice on this first, and see where I may need to adjust things to get the nice even stitching that I need. This would be a twelve to 18 inch square or piece. It doesn't even have to be square, you just have to have it big enough to see if fabric is puckering on top and or bottom, what stitch length looks best, and if your fabrics are shifting. I find adjusting the pressure on the pressure foot makes the most difference in the outcome, and sometimes must adjust the top tension a little as well as the stitch length. For me it is worth the effort both in stitching in the ditch, as well as free motion quilting, to practice first. This was hard for me, since I always want to run ahead and get the thing done, but have found this to be a crucial step for each quilt. Sometimes battings are different. Also, I have begun to use the gloves, and the "supreme slider" which I bought online, that easily stays on your machine and the quilt under the needle part slides over this teflon slide thingy. It has a self stick bottom and I am wondering how I got along without it. Oh, it is wonderful!!! Also, I read that adding bobbin washers can make a huge difference in quilting. I bought these but haven't tried them yet. You pop them into the bobbin and supposed to give you a nice even feed. I am going to try these next. Don't give up. I had the same thing happen to me and was so frustrated. Wow I am long winded. Best of luck to you!!

  24. #24
    Member barbpowers's Avatar
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    Puckers

    I don't think anyone has mentioned that when you do straight SITD, you have to push the fabric TOWARD the foot to take in the slack. The natural tendency is to smooth the fabric as you go, which pulls it and you eventually end up with a pucker. Any developing fullness must be gently pushed in the direction of the foot.

  25. #25
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    What barbpowers said about pushing the fabric gently towards the foot for SITD. I mostly do FMQ in a large stipple. Also try loosening your tension on the thread. I agree with making a sandwich for testing all your settings before starting on your quilt, wearing any gloves with rubber nubs. I also try to keep the quilt loosely around the needle area, takes the pull off the quilt. Good luck and just try all these tips and you will improve.
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