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Topic: HELP I have a quilt top but it keeps bunching when I try and sew it all together  (Read 5813 times)
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« on: January 04, 2011 11:19:02 AM »

Here is my beautiful quilt (this is a picture I took right before I sewed all the pieces together). I have the batting and the back and every thing else, just when I try and sew it it bunches up and looks ugly and unprofessional, Im trying to do simple straight lines because I don't know how to use the quilting foot on my Bernina >< any suggestions?

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« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2011 11:24:22 AM »

Are you using safty pins to baste your quilt sandwhich? I've only quilted a couple of things, but when I did I used saftey pins to baste all of my layers together. The more the better. Everything stays nice and smooth that way. Then you can quilt away and take out safety pins as you go.


« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2011 01:33:52 PM »

Well I tried a few maybe I just didn't put them close enough together. Thank you so much!! Also would it be better to do just straight lines running vertically up my quilt or will diagonal lines from corner to corner be better. I noticed that when I would try and sew in the middle the material it would go in odd angles. Sorry for all the questions but I need a lot of help! Its my first quilt.

bleed yarn!
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2011 02:52:53 PM »

Start by basting tightly - spread your index finger and thumb, and try to keep the pins within that distance. Second, bernina walking feet are tricky, but easy once you get it.. Try putting the "arm" over the needle bar, before you try to put it on the cone and lock it in. It'll mean a lot less bunching. Also, make sure that you've lowered the presser foot pressure - too much and the fabric will feed VERY uneasily. Do you have a darning foot? are you using that instead, or are you just using a regular foot?
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2011 09:29:55 PM »

I baste with spray adhesive. I tape the backing down to the floor so it's really smooth and tight, then layer the batting and top on with spray adhesive between each layer. It takes some practice to get the right amount of adhesive, but it will hold. And if you're the type (like me) who really hates pin or sew basting and so do as little as possible, this may be a good choice for you. Or you could use spray adhesive as a supplement to pin or stitch basting.

Plus when you're quilting, make sure your lines all go in the same direction, so that fabric spread always goes the same way. That is, if you're doing straight lines, you should (for example) start every line on the left side and work right. doesn't matter which direction, just make sure it's always the same. For diagonals, I'd quilt the centre diagonal, then quilt one half and then do the other half-again make sure the lines all move in the same direction.  If you want to do other designs, I'd recommend starting in the middle and working outward. That way the extra fabric will be heading out toward the edges and won't get trapped by previous seams. If you have a machine that allows you to adjust the presser foot, I would also set it to the lowest pressure setting so that it's not pushing on the fabric as hard.
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2011 10:58:15 PM »

I am going to second the basting spray idea. I will not use anything else to baste a quilt. You also need to ensure you're using the walking foot if you're straight-line quilting. This has feed dogs (the little teeth that grab the fabric and pull it along) on top to grab your top layer at the same time as your bottom layer. This, along with careful basting, will keep your quilt flat as you quilt it.

« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2011 08:32:24 AM »

Thank you every one for all your help!
anaximander to be very honest I am scared of my quilting feet and arm and such so I just kinda leave it in the corner, i'm just using my regular old sewing foot nothing fancy.

Also thank you cmoore for the idea of spray adhesive I never even thought about doing something as simple as that. What a great idea! I don't think im going to be so adventerious to make any designs, i'm just trying to keep strait lines! But next time I do a quilt I might be bold!

And Compwalla I haven't heard of a walking foot, I will have to go buy one. Its silly because I do a lot of sewing, but I don't know the name of anything or how to use most of my stuff or what works best, I just kinda use my regular foot and cross my fingers.

But all of you are wonderful thank you for all the great advice!

bleed yarn!
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2011 08:58:06 AM »

A walking foot will make your life SO much easier. The whole purpose of a walking foot is to feed the multiple layers of fabric through the machine evenly to prevent bunching and puckers. And baste baste baste! Keep us posted on how it turns out!

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« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2011 10:07:26 PM »

Make yourself a little practice sandwich so you don't have to mess up your beautiful quilt and then practice with your walking foot.  That will make a world of difference once you get the hang of it!

Also that's a big one to start with.  If there's no deadline (like a birthday or baby) I might try making a smaller quilt first.  That's not at all necessary, but would be some practice.  The practice sandwich is key though - I have a bunch of those around and I use them until I can quilt them no more!  If I'm going to free motion I make sure I have the hang of my design before I start.  It's also a great way to fix any tension issues.

Can't wait to see pics of the finished one!

Progress not perfection.

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