I’ve been having trouble with fabric puckering and creasing whilst quilting my latest project. I concluded that stitching curved lines with the walking foot was at the root of my problems but other factors were playing their part too. I ended my recent post entitled ‘Quilting Troubles’ with a list of actions that might solve the problems.
I opted for the radical approach: carefully removed all the quilting stitches; removed the basting pins; starched and pressed quilt top and backing before putting the quilt sandwich back together again. I decided to go for some dense pinning – about two inches apart . A quick walk to HobbyCraft was required to purchase two new packs of curved pins. In the end I used about 470 pins on this quilt that measures around 46″ square (it makes a lovely metallic clinking sound when I move it across a table top!).
Originally I chose to just run in-the-ditch stabilising stitches in the seams between the borders and the quilt centre. Second time around I’ve stitched several rows of in-the-ditch stabilising stitches in concentric squares starting with stitching around the centre four squares.
I was in two minds about whether or not to repeat the orange peel quilting design that had created the puckers. Whilst still pondering, I read Amanda Jean Nyberg’s post about her latest quilt on her blog site, Crazy Mom Quilts. I’d in no way compare myself to such a talented and prolific quilt designer-maker but I did take comfort from reading that she’d had issues quilting curved lines across her quilt. Amanda Jean had unpicked her first few lines of quilt stitches and then replaced her walking foot with a free motion foot before successfully completing the quilting. Humm! Time for me to stop dithering and try out free motion quilting the orange peel curves. Using a large circular table mat as my template I marked the curves using a chalk Chaco Marker.
There are some wobbly stitches on some of the curves and my stitches are not a consistent size but so far there are no puckers or signs of the fabric becoming distorted 🙂 Happy Dance!
I’ve made too many changes from first to second attempt to come to a scientific conclusion as to what the improvement is down to: starching the top and backing; doubling the number of basting pins; increasing the amount of stabilising stitching; using free motion stitching to quilt curves? I think all these have played a part in preventing the fabrics distorting under the machine needle thus reducing the occurrence of puckers and tucks. Thankfully not all quilts are this ‘high maintenance’ but it is worth making some changes and having a second go if the quilting is not successful first time around 🙂
Linking with Lorna for her 200th Let’s Bee Social.
And with Yvonne for Tips and Tutorials Tuesday. One contributor, Luna Lovequilts, has linked her method for basting a quilt…