Basting my quilt
by Tina Kather
I am machine quilting all in the ditch in straight lines.
I taped my layers to the table and safety pinned, but when I go to sew the top and back are both loose and end ups puckery???
What I'm wondering from your description is if you've taped and pinned 'enough'.
I've written about the process here at Layering and Basting a Quilt
I would stress that the backing must be taped down taut
but not pulled or stretched. If it's stretched as it's taped down, then once the tape is removed is shrinks back to its original size and that can be a cause of the puckering.
My rule of thumb for the amount of pins needed is if you put your palm flat on the basted quilt sandwich, you should feel at least two pins. If you feel less, I'd suggest adding more pins to keep the layers from shifting as you maneuver the sandwich underneath the needle.
The problem may also stem from your presser foot pressure setting
(try saying that 3 times fast!). I've written about that on the page Machine Quilting Causes Tucks
. If your quilt is basted properly, you may need to reduce the pressure setting.
On that same page, I discuss how stopping (with the needle down) when you see a 'bubble' forming on the top of your quilt and simply raising your presser foot and then stitching again can alleviate small tucks from forming.
Finally, if it's the basting that is causing you problems, you may find the two videos on my How Do I Control My Quilt Sandwich During Quilting
page. You can baste with your regular safety pins instead of thread basting as is shown in the videos.
I hope this information helps.
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We appreciate your help. Thank you!