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Question of the Week

Question for the week of March 31, 1997:

Our question this week comes from BZQUILTR

When machine quilting what is the best way to avoid puckering the back? :
There is a new product on the market
called a quilt so easy. It's a horse
shoe shaped ring that you place on top
of your quilt as you sew. They are
available at all quilt shops. It really
works well. :
Baste well...every 4" with small safety pins or the Quilt Tak gun. And you must have a walking foot. If you do these two things you will not have any puckering.
Patpiecer :
use cotton batting it sticks to your
fabric and it doesn't shift.
also make sure and baste it well.
Margaret F. :
Baste your quilt every 4 inches. Also use a cotton batting to eliminate slipping.
XstchrQltr :
When I lay the backing out on the table I make sure it is pulled taut and secured around all the edges. Then lay out the batting and smooth it out. Then lay out the quilt top. I use saftey pins instead of thread for basting because thread gets caught under the presser foot. I think the big trick to having no wrinkles is to pin pin pin! I pin about every 1-2 inches and have never had troubles with wrinkles. It takes more time but is worth it in the long run. To help my fingers from getting so sore I use the Kwik Klip(sp?).

Marie :
I make sure when creating the sandwich, the back is stretched more than the front. This makes the front a bit looser, but I usually like the fuller "poofy' effect.
Mary Elizabeth :
Be sure to pin-baste, not thread-baste,
your quilt.
Use cotton batting too, rather than
a polyester one - they slide around
too much.
A walking foot is great, but if yours has
a foot in the middle, trim that down a
little (it's the one that runs over the
seam.) You don't need it for quilting.

Wendy :
When preparing the quilt "sandwich",
if you have enough floor space, tape the
backing material to the floor. Stretch
the backing material just slightly
before taping it down.

Charlotte :
Use a basting frame when you make the
quilt sandwich. Many of the local shops
have frames you can use for free, or you
can build one of your own. The frame
allows you to get the backing nice and
tight, so that you don't end up with
ripples and puckers.
Maureen Grantham :
Because of the way the quilt is sometimes bunched up in front of the machine
it helps to smooth out the backing every time you re-arrange to start another
length of machine quilting.
Anthony :
Several points. First, perparing the quilt sandwich correctly is the key. I agree with Graff, starch you backing fabric. Make sure your backing fabric is stretched taut before basting. Taut, but not distorted. Layer and smooth out the batting and top, but do not stretch them. Use low-loft batting. A cotton batting or 80/20 batting will cling to the fabrics and shift less than a poly batt. Baste wit safety pins or a basting gun rather than thread basting. The thread will shift. Use #1 safety pins. Place enough fabric on the pins don't shift. Pin with the grain of the fabric, and avoid pinning on the bias. Keep pins close together; as a rule, about a fist's width between pins in all directions. Second, there's technique. Use a walking foot if doing machine guided quilting. If you don't have a walking foot, pressure lower foot pressure. Use your hands as a hoop. Smooth out the top layers as you move the quilt under the needle. Concentrate only on the 5-6 inches you are guiding with your hooped hands. Since the backing is already taut and well pinned, the low loft batt is not bunching, you'll find that you will not have puckers on the back of your masterpiece. you backing.
graff :
use spray starch

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