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    I keep missing seams

    No matter how carefully I pin, it seems I'm constantly missing seams, meaning the seam isn't consistently closed along itself. My seam allowance is 1/4 inch. It seems to happen most on longer seams like the fabric has shifted and so the needle misses the bottom layer, but I've also had it happen on a six-inch block. It is really frustrating. Any advice (other than pinning every 1/4 inch) on how to keep it from happening?

    Rob
    There's nothing more directly linked to who we are than the fabric that we make.
    --Ken Burns

    #2
    Hi Rob,
    Happens to the best of us. Here's what I do. When I'm piecing i make sure especially on a long seam that I can see ever so slightly the bottom fabric. I look at the edge before it goes under the foot to make sure I can see the two butting. Its habit now so it's hard to explain. Remember the bottom fabric is going with the feed dogs so it's getting grabbed with every stitch. If you don't clear the feed dogs it'll grab whatever it can . Hope that helps

    Comment


      #3
      I don't know if this will help, but I check on long seams every 6" or so to see if the top and bottom are still lined up.

      If you're pinning, check the back to make sure it's caught before you go to the machine.

      Line up the top and bottom go straight down with the pin, especially if you're working with points.

      I feel like I'm rambling, but really, I'm gathering thoughts as I'm typing. lol, probably should have gathered those thoughts first.

      Katrina
      “Nothing can dim the light which shines from within.” Maya Angelou

      Comment


        #4
        Can't add anything except if your machine has a speed function to turn it down. It sounds funny, but if you start going to fast, the need for speed kicks in. lol
        🌺 Lorie

        Comment


          #5
          all of those things but I might add that you could use your index finger under the bottom layers and a light touch from the top with your thumb to keep the layers lined up
          Walk in peace with the Lord by your side.
          Terry

          Comment


            #6
            I will definitely try everything mentioned. Hulamoon, it does have a speed control, and I keep it on the point that it's easy for me to control the fabric (at least I think it's controlled).

            I will have to try what you guys suggest. That's part of the reason the Puzzle Me This was shortened, because in my attempt to resew the open seam, I accidentally sewed over a block and in the process of trying to rip out the seam, I tore the block. Guess I'll just have to be more careful and watch that need for speed! 😀

            Thanks again!
            Rob
            There's nothing more directly linked to who we are than the fabric that we make.
            --Ken Burns

            Comment


              #7
              I have occasionally pressed my blocks together before stitching. It kinda makes them stick together better. Haven't done it to long strips though. Cannot add anything else to what has been said above. Slow and steady always wins out in the end.
              No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted.
              Aesop

              Comment


                #8
                Are you leaving your fabric loose in front of the feed dogs? You don’t want to pull them too tight but hold the piece maybe 6inches ahead of where your needle is with just a little tension. This hopefully will keep them from separating.

                Comment


                • Rob the HOAQ
                  Rob the HOAQ commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Well, I thought I was, but to be honest I'm not sure. Next time I do this I will check and see. Thanks!

                  Rob

                #9
                Rob, ran into this time and agin while sewing the sampler quilt. It seemed I ran into it more when sewing the rows together.
                Carlie

                Comment


                • Rob the HOAQ
                  Rob the HOAQ commented
                  Editing a comment
                  That is definitely when it's the worst.

                  Rob

                #10
                What machine do you have? Does it have a 1/4 inch foot with guide?

                Here are some tips I learned from a great instructor at our LQS.

                Match the two pieces together. Put under the the foot for the 1/4 inch seam. Presser foot down. The right hand forefinger travels along the right edge of the fabric guiding it along the 1/4 inch line. You almost let the fabric ride along the fore finger Left hand fingers tickle the fabric along guiding it into position. Continue with this tickling manner along the seam all the way through. It's sort of like steering the car (fabric). Be sure to follow to the end. Remember, you can stop and reposition the fabrics to match the edges along the way.

                Many times stitchers want to lift too soon resulting in curves/skinny/fat seams.

                The 1/4 inch foot foot is similar to one of these.

                https://babylock.com/accessories/sew...oot-with-guide

                PS: You are doing great---keep on stitching!

                Comment


                • Hulamoon
                  Hulamoon commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I agree. The 1/4'' foot makes a world of difference. My new machine's (Phaff) foot looks way different.

                • Rob the HOAQ
                  Rob the HOAQ commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Rhonda,

                  My machine is a Janome M7200, and I do have the 1/4 inch foot with guide. On the majority of seams I sew, the stitch line evens up on both sides, but it's when I'm sewing a long seam (like putting rows together) it seems to fall apart in places. Thanks for your detailed instructions. So far I'm trying anything anyone tells me, and so far this evening I've only had one not meet up, but I think I know what happened.

                  All your comments are very helpful and very appreciated!

                  Rob

                #11
                Just some thoughts-
                First of all I have to mention your sewing machine. The feed dog setup on this type of machine is not optional for piecing. The narrower the seam allowance the more the problem exists. The spread of the feed dogs doesn't grab the bottom securely/and evenly on both sides of the stitching line. It tends to pull the bottom away from the top. It can be dealt with but requires one slows down and ensure alignment for the length of the seam.

                Second- I haven't heard a word about ironing and starch. This is a huge help in controlling the fabric. The rigidity it adds is a great help.

                Third- Pinning. I haven't pinned for years. It's too controlling and actually does very little in controlling the fabric along both grain directions. If I had the need to pin, I'd clip instead. Without pinning you have the ability to lift the top every few inches of stitching to check alignment between top and bottom.

                Fourth- Practice. How many practice blocks did you piece before you had control over it, and had enough "feel" to move on to an actual quilt?

                I'd love to see a video of your technique. The answer might be very simple.

                Last edited by oldmanquilts; August 26, 2020, 12:01 AM.
                You gots to risk it to gets the biscuit-

                Comment


                  #12
                  Great feed-back. As mentioned above, it can be the feed-dogs on the machine.

                  Remember---Stop and re-adjust the seam edges. Hold on to those edges. A stiletto may help. I don't use one but others like them.

                  Info here

                  https://www.byannie.com/stiletto_videos/

                  For really important seams or intersections...a tiny dot of washable-school glue between the fabrics and then touch with a hot iron. Then stitch the seam. Time consuming but works!

                  Comment


                  • Hulamoon
                    Hulamoon commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I use glue too (Roxanne basting). I think of it as a liquid pin. lol

                  #13
                  Dont know whether I'm right here but if I'm stitching a long seam I check every now and then that the top and bottom are lined up and, importantly, I have my needle down. If I forget and the needle isn't down I find the two layers can shift away from each other and not notice it's happened.

                  Comment


                    #14
                    I again want to thank everyone for their very helpful advice and comments. You've all given me several things to try, and I'm sure something will work.

                    Rob
                    There's nothing more directly linked to who we are than the fabric that we make.
                    --Ken Burns

                    Comment


                      #15
                      Rob, I have something you may want to try on your next project - do not switch to this method mid-project as you could get slightly different size seams and end up with wonky blocks...

                      I've sewn apparel for 35+ yrs and have always sewn my 1/4" seams "differently", think of finishing the bottom edge of a shirt. (I've only been a quilter now for about 5 yrs) This method drives my quilty friends nuts, but provides me with great results.

                      I use a standard presser foot with my needle off-set to the right (2.5 or 2.8 setting, you will need to practice stitch and measure the seam to find what a scant 1/4" would be on your machine) and sew with the fabric along the right side of my presser foot. Why? That way all my feed dogs are used and the fabric moves along evenly.

                      Give it a try sometime and see if it works for you too?
                      I've learned so much from my mistakes,
                      I think I'll make some more!

                      Comment

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