Quilt Backing Fabric Has Puckers
by Marlene W.
I have machine quilted my quilt. Some parts of the quilt backing fabric have puckered.
I pinned it correctly, or so I thought. I used a walking foot. Could it be because perhaps some of the pins did not go right through the whole quilt sandwich? It just seems that the back layer has moved.
Hope you can help.
I think you've hit the nail on the head!
If you are having puckers on just the back of the quilt the causes could be two-fold:
1. As you suggested, if the safety pins did not go clear through the quilt backing fabric, then they were unable to do their job which is to hold all the layers together. Safety pins should be no more than about four inches apart. A good test is to lay your palm (with fingers together) on the top of your pin basted quilt. If you can't feel at least 2 safety pins, you need to pin more.
Also, after your quilt is pin basted and you've removed the tape and picked up the quilt, turn it over and check to see that those pins have gone all the way through.
2. The other possible cause of these puckers is that the quilt backing wasn't properly taped or held down as you layered the quilt.
Now as you tape, the purpose is to hold the backing in place for when you layer on the batting and quilt top. You can't see the backing and the tape is to help you control that back. You are taping it down so that it is taut but not stretched
, because stretching could also cause puckers.
I baste on my kitchen floor which is 12" ceramic tile. ('Hate getting up off of it when I'm done!) I tape the backing down to the floor with masking tape. Pull a piece of tape about 3-4 inches long.
Tape the North side of the backing in the center, then the South in the center. Next it's East and West, both in the center. Then NE and SW, and NW and SE. You get the idea, put a piece of tape on one side and then immediately its opposite. Continue taping until the backing is held taut in all directions.
Before adding the batting, evaluate your work.
Can you see wrinkles or ripples? If so, then adjust the tape, until those ripples pretty much disappear. Next run your palm over the quilt back, palm flat on the fabric and move it over the backing much like you'd pet your cat or dog...not too much pressure, but definitely contact. Does a bubble of fabric rise up before your palm. If so, re-tape until you no longer create this bubble while "caressing" the quilt.
Marlene, I hope this helps you out. Let me know how it goes.
Quilting is such a wonderful thing to do. I wish you the best!