Thursday, February 24, 2011

what the heck???

What am I doing wrong?
This is why I hate straight line quilting! I basted the crap outta this quilt (I spray baste). I used the Minky fabric on the back and I have absolutely no puckers. It's perfect. It's the top that is a hot mess. See above! There are only a few spots where this happened and I haven't washed it yet because I still have the binding to do. So I'm really hoping after a wash and dry that these won't be too noticeable.

My machine has a dial that I can turn for the presser foot tension. Do you think I should have put more pressure or less? I just can't figure it out. I played with it over and over and never could really tell a difference. I just don't know why my top was getting so many puckers!  So frustrating! Any tips are appreciated! This is why I always free motion stipple my quilts!!

**edited: FYI, I used a walking foot and still had this problem. I've straight line quilted in the past and don't recall having as many issues as this time. Not really sure, what's happening!**


  1. ah bummer! I think less pressuread would be better. I've been incredibly lucky so far with straight line stitching so far but I only make little quilts. Now watch, I just jinxed myself. lol. Hope not because I haven't even gotten up the nerve to try free motion yet...

  2. Do you have a walking foot? This is what I use and I've not had any issue.

    Despite that, I love these colors!

  3. My method takes all of eternity to do, and so have only tried it on small projects. I set the speed to the slowest it will go and chug along. That way, I can feel any surprise puckers or gathers that are approaching the needle and it gives me a chance to smooth it out.
    You are right, after it is washed, you will most likely not notice. I have pulled out the silliest of stitches and started over, but again, these are real small projects.
    hugs and best of luck!!
    Sincerely, Trish

  4. Are you using a walking foot? Sometimes when I notice this starting to happen I use a pin to ease it under the foot as I sew, so I don't end up with a huge pucker.

  5. I'll ditto the comments on the walking foot. That's the only way I can do straight line quilting without tearing out my hair (or stitches).

  6. i will bet that the crickles you get after washing will hide it! besides, no one will look at the quite as closely as you will. it's going to be perfectly handmade!

  7. This might sound strange but are you smoothing out your fabric to the point of stretching it? If previous rows are stretched and then you have a few that aren't, that kind of puckering can happen. This happened to me the first few times I straight line quilted and it turned out that I was trying to do the work for the walking foot. ;)

    I bet thought, that after you wash the quilt they will hardly show.

    Jennifer :)

  8. I get this too! I use a walking foot and yet, the top piece of fabric or the top layer of the quilt will stretch and create a tiny fold. It has always happened with my current machine so I'm not sure what to tell you.

    I've also tried using more and less "pressure" and it doesn't seem to matter on my machine. The top layer still pulls more than the bottom. :(

  9. Try spray starch on the top. It will help stiffen the quilt and keep it from puckering.

  10. Decreasing the presser foot pressure should help quite a bit. I too have run into this problem, and I've found that decreasing the presser foot pressure helps.

    But, it's this very reason I loathe straight line quilting. Perhaps some machines are just better at this stitch than others.

    I also decrease the presser foot pressure when I sew the binding, which I find helps keep the binding nice and flat rather than pull (if that makes any sense).

  11. Oh and try increasing the stitch length.

  12. I wonder if direction has anything to do with it? Do you stitch in the same direction every time?

  13. I actually avoid straight line quilting with my walking foot, because of the puckers I can't seem to avoid.

    I only recently tried one quilt using this method, and I didn't get any puckers for the first time. I don't spray baste; I use lots of pins. Also, I would get puckers on the back, not the top, so I place the backing on the floor, pull it taut, and tape it to avoid puckers. Then I finish layering, and I pin baste. Like you, I default to FMQ, because I am much more successful with it.


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