Monday, August 26, 2013

Have you ever had to re-baste a quilt?

I'll give you the pretties first....


I'm now making great progress on quilting this quilt, but it has not been without its challenges!  I was merrily quilting along, using up a half bobbin that I had and then a full one (ie. a good amount of progress!) when I took a break only to realize that I had quilted over a big fold in my backing fabric.  Eeek!  It was folded over about 1/4" onto itself, and probably 6-8" long.  Fortunately it was at the top of the section I had completed and not smack in the middle, but let's just say my seam ripper and I got well acquainted yesterday!

I ripped out a whole bunch, tried to re-smooth and re-pin as well as I could, gave it another go (this time checking the back frequently!), and the same thing started happening in the same spot.  

Hmmmm.  Enter a little frustration.

Thinking about it, I started to realize that the only way to really fix this would be to re-baste it.  My oldest son, being the thoughtful guy he is, helped me remove all of the pins.  Then I taped the backing down as well as I could (easier said than done when a portion is already quilted), used spray to baste the batting to the backing and then still re-pinned the whole thing, using pins way closer together than I had originally done.  That's where I ended off at bedtime last night.

Today I took another go at quilting and it seems to staying in place nicely.  I'd say I'm nearing half way done and there's no sign of any folds or puckers, so I think I'm in the clear.  

I'm still not sure why it happened but I'm thinking that perhaps free motion quilting promotes more possibility of shifting layers than using a walking foot?  I also have another theory, which is difficult to describe but in my limited experience I'm thinking that you have to be more careful with FMQ designs that require you start on an edge (like this one), as opposed to designs that can be started in the middle of the quilt and then work your way out (like the spirals I did recently), which I think would redistribute any excess fabric or shifting a little better .

Any thoughts??

21 comments:

Patchwork and Play said...

I certainly have had to re-baste a section of a quilt! I find this shifting quite common but I am a very inexperienced quilter of my own quilts! I would suspect you are right about the fact you started on a side not in the middle! I am so pleased to hear you may have solved it! Lesson learned...

Patti said...

Heather, your quilting looks just spectacular! I haven't had that happen to me, but I think your conclusion that starting on the outside and working inward could be the culprit! How wonderful that you had some help rebasting!

QuiltyGirl said...

Ugh, that stinks! I very, very rarely got puckers when I pin basted. When I did get them, I usually noticed at the end of the quilting and they were small enough to ignore. ;) (Also, I wouldn't sell anything with a pucker, at least not without disclosing it. But I would probably gift it, if it wasn't terrible.)
I've noticed with the long arm, though, that designs that require a lot of back and forth are more prone to puckers (and also, I need to be diligent about using the side clamps!). I think the pattern you're quilting qualifies as having a lot of "back and forth", so don't beat yourself up too badly! ;)
I really like this quilt!

Julie said...

I absolutely love the quilting on this. Such a great contrast with the lines of the blocks and the curves of the quilting. I have certainly had puckers occur and agree it seems more common when you are starting at the edge, but I'm not a great quilter by any stretch and assumed it was my general ineptness.

Debbie said...

Sorry, no thoughts but compassion, as you know I just re-spray-basted my quilt. But I'll definitely be reading all the comments....glad you are going once again!

Debbie said...

Sorry, no thoughts but compassion, as you know I just re-spray-basted my quilt. But I'll definitely be reading all the comments....glad you are going once again!

Adrianne said...

I love the quilting you've done on this. I've never had to re-baste a quilt (but I pin baste and use quite a lot of pins). I definitely agree with your suspicion that the pucker was caused by moving from the edge across the quilt rather than from the centre out. I always start my FMQ in the middle of the quilt but sometimes my progress is a bit random, and I end up moving from the edge inwards. I find I have to be a lot more careful to avoid puckers in that situation.

Lorna McMahon said...

I am sew sorry you had trouble with shifting while you were quilting. You certainly are making great progress and the design is a perfect choice! I had trouble with one quilt, a large queen sized quilt, when I used the Honeycomb quilting method described by Amanda Jean of Crazy Mom quilts. This is done with the walking foot and a wide zig-zag stitch. The top shifted as I went (no puckers on the back), but thankfully my backing was large enough! Barely! I think more pins is always a great option. Thanks for sharing your progress on this sweet quilt!

Erica said...

I have had to rebaste a quilt once and it was so painful. The quilt and the quilting both look beautiful!

Suz said...

Because FMQ doesn't push the fabric (either from the top or from the bottom) like the walking foot does - I wouldn't think that FMQ would cause more problems with puckers. I have enormous problems with straight line quilting :0) If anything, FMQ around an area, then trying to fill in a hole is most likely to cause puckers, but they would normally be on the top. I wonder whether you had a fold or slightly looser bit on the back before you even started quilting. Do you check your back for tucks before you start? Also, what batting did you use. Cotton naturally adheres to the backing and the top - helping to reduce movement. Polyester can wriggle all over the place. I suppose how you handle your quilt while you are quilting can also cause shifting between pins... golden rule, always pin more than you need.

Jess @ The Elven Garden said...

It looks amazing Heather! I've never rebasted a quilt - but sympathise on the unpicking, there's nothing worse.

Teje Karjalainen said...

Hi! Your quilt is going to be so beautiful! I can imagine frustrating it was to fix the quilting again. I can't quilt by machine so something good with that. x Teje

Cille said...

Ugh! Tough one that it happend two times! No advice from me. First of all I'm a lousy quilter, secondly I always spray baste... the quick 'n dirty way ;) But I will say that your quilting looks spectacular!

Kelsey said...

It's sure looking fantastic Heather. All the effort will definitely be worth it!

Amanda said...

I just basted a quilt last month that needed to be re-done. Difference being that I hadn't started quilting it yet and my quilt is still in the time out corner waiting for me to remove all of the pins. Your quilt looks amazing though so it was well worth the effort of getting it right.

Carla said...

Good job Heather. I think when we are quilting towards more quilting, there is risk of puckers especially on a domestic machine. Everythingvhascto be scrunched as opposed to a long arm moving freely over top. Way to go!

amy said...

Man, that sucks! I must say I quilt almost exclusively from one side of the quilt to another...both FMQ and walking foot. I had troubles with shifting with my first machine quilted quilt, but haven't had any problems since - and that was only the top part shifting! I do suspect that Suz is right, perhaps part of it was just a smidge baggy in the back :(. Hope that never happens again!!

Toni said...

Gosh, this looks beautiful! Sorry it has been such a pain. I'm pretty sure that if it had happened to me that lovely thing would be wadded up and shoved in the closet. So glad you persevered! Your theory about the edge-in FMQ makes sense to me.

Kristan said...

The quilting is beautiful! What a great pattern. Frustrating about the fold & re-basting. I haven't had that happen (yet).

snips said...

Sorry to hear about the unpicking and rebasting! But it looks gorgeous! You're doing a fantastic job :)

CitricSugar said...

Nerds! I hate it when that happens but yes, I've had to rebaste a section of quilt. It's awful but I think that it sometimes happens with larger quilts and wrangling it through the machine - sometimes with fingers on top and bottom of the quilt, one layer gets stretched the other puckers. I try to remember to check often but I frequently get in a groove and forget.