Sep 10, 2010

Question from a Reader...

This is a question from a lovely reader and I personally do not have a good answer, but maybe one of you do...

Hi, there!

I love your Vintage Sheet Blog! I found you at the beginning of the summer! Thanks for all the fun things you post! I have been quilting for years but then got bitten by the vintage sheet quilt craze this summer! It has been FUN!

However, I have not for the life of me understood why, I, who pride myself in having NO puckers in my quilt backs ever when I freemotion quilt them, have been getting all kinds of puckers in these vintage sheet quilt backs!!! WHAT in the world??? I'm losing my mind with frustration and perplexed-ness!

So I am begging you, please help! What do you back your quilts with? I like to use the vintage sheets for backing too but I recently heard that it is the polyester that makes it pucker. I baste my quilts awesome and have never had a problem but I always back my regular quilts with 100% COTTON! What do YOU back your vintage sheet quilts with? Do you have "pucker" problems??? Please share because I can't stand the idea of not being able to make another beloved vintage sheet quilt because of all the awful puckers!

Susie, from CO. (who takes her quilt back puckers VERY seriously! LOL)

Hi, Jen! Thanks so much for posting my qulting issues on your blog! I am honored! :)

I don't have a google or blog account so I couldn't post to the comments people kindly offered me. Here is my email to you all. Thanks SO much! :)

Wow! I'm published! LOL Thanks, Jen! :)

To answer a few questions:

- I freemotion quilt, usually a meander, not with my walking foot, though I think I may have to do this from now on!

- I use 100% cotton batting, , Warm and Natural,always have, always will (it's like budduh!)

- I pin baste the snot out of my quilts and have never had puckers this way but always use all cotton fabric; I do not use a frame since I freemotion my quilts

- I only buy (from the thrift store, no less) used vintage sheets, never new (didn't even know one could buy new! Cool!)

- I do not quilt for the public (wouldn't mind it, though LOL) but would NEVER sell a quilt to someone with puckers in it! Ack! Very bad form! LOL The three vintage sheet quilts I made were snatched up by family and friends,despite my protestations, who apparently don't care about the puckers - they just want my well-made, wrinkly-goodness quilts! LOL

Thanks so much for posting my comment, Jen, and to all of you for commenting. I think I will try spray basting, as you have suggested. And experiment with my walking foot! I love vintage sheet quilts too much to give it up! Thanks again for a great blog, Jen!

Susie, from CO. :) 


Coloradolady said...

Susie from Colorado...I have no idea on this, but have a you quilt for the public?? The lady I have been using DOES NOT seem to mind puckers at all in quilt backs and it has literally drove me batty! I swear I am going to find a good quilter who is on the same page as myself!!

I have not made a vintage sheet quilt yet, but I have STACKS of vintage sheets...just waiting! Hopefully...soon! I can not wait to see if someone has a great answer for you.....crossing fingers for you!

Michelle said...

If she is using a NEW vintage sheet that has not been washed, maybe the needle is having a hard time going through the sizing. With new sheets, you almost have to wash them a few times to make them softer.

I put sheets on ALL the backs of my quilts. I have never had a problem, but a friend of mine used a new sheet out of the package, and she had all kinds of thread breaking and skipped stitches problem.

Just my guess.

ps...because of you, I am collecting vintage sheets and rippng them into fat quarters. I can't stop!

Lelainia N. Lloyd said...

I've been a quilter for 18+ years and while I don't know for certain what's causing the puckers in yoru case, I would guess that it's a combination of the polyester and the bias of of the sheets.

It's quite possible that sheets may have been cut on the bias for the same reason that quilt bindings are-so that if two people are sharing and both pull in opposite directions, the sheet will have some give to it.

I don't know if you are hand quilting or machine quilting. Hopefully if you're doing it on the machine, you're using a walking foot.

I am wondering if useing some spray basting in addition to pin or thread basting might help prevent puckers? ALso, I am wondering if you're using a poly batt? It may be slippery in combination with the sheets having poly in them. I'd go with Heirloom or Warm & Natural instead.

Also, are you using a quilt frame (any size) when you quilt? If not, I would recommend it. It will help keep everything flat and smooth as you work.

Hopefully, some of what I've suggested will be helpful. It's hard to know exactly how you're tackling this, and any number of things could be contributing to puckers. Good luck! Let's hope you can troubleshoot!

Jodie said...

I've used vintage sheets on the back of several quilts and not had a problem. I use the spray adhesive (no pins).

The first thing that popped into my mind was how super soft (and sometimes thin) vintage sheets are if they have gotten a lot of use. I'm wondering if that is the issue here - perhaps the sheets she is using are well-loved and a little on the brittle side and shifting during quilting?

liz taylor said...

I have used sheets for the back and I have no problems with puckers as long as I stick with straight lines. As soon as I start free motion quilting, I get all sorts of tension problems and skipped stitches. I wish I knew what the problem was too!

qltmom9 said...

I used to get puckers that DROVE ME nuts. I was pulling my backing too taut. I just let it lie there now and smooooooth my hands over to get wrinkles out...NO puckers. I was stressing too much.

If she is spraying, she could spray the backing down ONTOP of the batting.

Just some ideas, Lucy~

Lisa said...

So far I have made one quilt completely out of vs. The top and the back were both sheets.

I used spray baste to hold my layers together. For quilting, I just put my walking foot on and used a wavy stitch set as wide and far apart as I could make it.

I made parallel lines about an inch apart all the way up and down the whole quilt. I did not have any puckers at all and that kind of quilting reminds me of old bedspreads.

I imagine you could use a straight stitch also, but I like how the wavy one looks. If you go to my blog, 5 or 6 posts back I showed this quilt. You can see what I mean about the rows of stitching.

It looked really cute if I do say so myself. :0) Hope this helps.

The only other problem I have run into with quilting sheets is that my machine skips stitches when I quilt them. I have found that using a "jeans" needle helps with that.