Wednesday, July 28, 2010

WIP Wednesday - Straight Quilting.

I finished this quilt top on the weekend. I sandwiched it on Monday and now have started quilting it. Going for plain straight quilting. I have always admired this type of quilting when I have seen it, but never attempted it. Something though is not quite right and I can't work out why. The quilt top is moving down when I quilt it. So is that a result of not pulling it taunt enough when sandwiching it? I have a brand new walking foot and my foot pressure is set as high as it can, so I refuse to believe that is the cause. Or am I just being pedantic? Is that just an effect of the quilting? I don't know whether to just leave it and keep going or get out my unpicker....

10 comments:

KateKwiltz said...

I've had that happen -- I think it's the weight of the quilt pulling it along, or if it gets hung up on the table at all it starts to stretch. If you do every few lines in the opposite direction, I think it evens out and isn't as noticeable.

Duff said...

Hmmm....could the pressure foot be too high? that would cause the top layer to be pulled. Is it the top layer only or both sides? Even if it's both sides, that could mean the material is not moving freely between the walking foot and throat plate (but would more likely just cause a smaller stitch length).
I know that you have to quilt in the opposite direction for each line--but I can see that the pulling does go in both directions.
How big is this quilt? Bigger ones pull if you don't watch 'em or if you don't have an accessory table in front of (and behind) the throat-plate-area.
I'll keep checking back to read what experienced quilters have to say--I want to see what the answer is!

Duff said...

I clicked on the photo and a close-up reveals varying stitch lengths--seems like a weight issue or it's hanging down before going under the throat plate. If you don't have a table, try a stack of books in front of the throat plate so the fabric is not coming under the needle from an angle. Otherwise, try loosening the pressure between the walking foot and the feed dogs along with the fabric angle. And hey, don't pick it! Just wash it--it'll be fine!!

Meg said...

What Duff said. Also, try slowing down your speed, if you can. I find that if I set my sew-speed to just below mid-range, I don't wind up with bits where I've hit the pedal too hard and it has zoomed ahead--with the weight of the quilt, it can cause shorter stitches and more drag.

Oh, PS, I learned this just this week from Laurie over at Minick & Simpson--however you're basting your quilt, whether pin or thread or spray, thread-baste the edges of your quilt (a long zig-zag all the way around on your machine should do it) to keep the edges from shifting as you quilt. It should help keep the edges of the top from migrating, and might help keep that drag effect from happening, too.

Good luck!

Betsy Lynn said...

It looks like your stitch length should be longer. I have a Janome and I set my length at 4.0 when I quilt.
Try it on a sample piece and see how it turns out.
The quilt is beautiful.

Me aka Supermom said...

Hmmm...interesting. Perhaps when it is washed it won't be so noticeable!

Shari said...

When I straight-line quilt, I use a stitch length of 3. I begin in the middle and when I reach the end, I start my next row back from that end so that no two rows next to each other began at the same end. I stitch quite slowly. I safety-pin baste the quilt and will often pin-baste a line if I think it needs it. I support the weight of the quilt as much as possible and often have it thrown over my shoulder if it's bed-size. Good luck!

Looks like lots of good advice in the comments!

Nichole said...

Alternating the direction you quilt each line is the best way I've found to combat this. I've found there is always a little pulling when all the quilting runs in the same direction (ie: no perpendicular lines). Good luck - looks great from here!

Kate said...

Your quilt is looking gorgeous. I'm about to try this type of quilting tomorrow so its interesting to read the responses. Hope its all going well.

Lily Mulholland said...

I had to quilt one of mine from the back recently, as it was the backing that was bunching up! Also, I would loosen off the pressure a bit, and ensure you're holding the fabric fairly taut either side as it goes under the needle. Hope it's all going well!