08 Nov

Arggggggh!

I feel like I used to be pretty good at machine quilting. Nothing fancy, and my stitches weren’t always even, but at least the fronts looked good and the backs of my quilts were smooth.

Untitled

Lately, I’ve been getting this and it’s ticking me off. The only real change is that I used to use cotton batting and now I’m trying wool. Cotton is less poofy and it sticks nicely to the fabric, whereas wool and poly are both poofy and non-sticky. I tape my backing to the floor smooth but not taught. I pin baste a hand’s width apart. I use a walking foot for straight lines like these (and I have to say, that I’ve turned down the speed on my machine and that has done wonders for keeping me slow and steady and at least making my stitches much more even). I work from the center out unless I have motifs that need to be dealt with first (like the red cross in the background).

This particular quilt is a small utilitarian bed quilt from a Jelly Roll and destined to be donated, so I’m not stressing too much about the puckers, but I’m using it and another that I do care more about as practice for my next round of art quilts and I want to solve as many issues as possible before tackling something bigger and more important. I want to use wool, so I’m looking for any tips anyone wants to throw at me?!? Probably closer basting, but I’m open to all ideas.

8 thoughts on “Arggggggh!

  1. If you want to fix the puckers…my cheater method is to remove the stitches on the pucker and a couple stitches on the immediate sides of the pucker. Then take some straight pins and smooth and pin a fabric ease in place. Then stitch over the areas and do a double stitch on the original stitches to keep in place… Good luck!

    • Ah yes, this is an excellent fall back. So far I’ve removed and restiched a good third of the work on this particular quilt. I’ve decided this one is not worth doing more, but others definitely are.

  2. I’ve had the same kind of problems you did – and found that spray basting was the best solution for me – surprisingly. One thing that has helped is that I had to make sure I was using enough spray glue. Off the Wall Friday link up is open on my blog throughout the weekend if you’d like to join us!

  3. looks great to me. seriously. nothing to stress about. meanwhile I am working on a quilt using scissors – no rotary cutter or straight edges. I got some wobbles and I’m enjoying it…

    • I have had that problem as well with wool batting. I “seem” to have improved with less puckering by using Sharon Schambers method of basting using long boards. No floor pinning needed just a long table. You can find it on You tube. I did not however stitch baste but used safety pins about 4 inches apart. I love this method and have used it on large pieces and love it. A meticulous friend told me about this. Not really what I ever would have thought of for a solution!

      • I think I know this method — my friend Kim uses it. I would not have expected much difference from floor basting, but if you’ve noticed a difference then I’ll definitely give it a try!

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