It's a Quilting Mystery....


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Last week I quilted a little baby quilt. As I was working on it I noticed a spot where about 1/2" of a seam wasn't sewn. I made a mental note to let the piecer know because I knew she'd want to hand stitch it closed. When I took it off the frame I decided it needed some SID and decided just to do it on my dsm. As I was doing that I found more seams open, then more, then more, there must have been 2 dozen of them I marked with safety pins for her.

Does anyone have a theory on what could have happened? I thought maybe a her machine was skipping stitches, she says the quilt was ok when she finished it which makes me think she blames me. I don't know what I could have done to it, on the other hand I don't know why I didn't notice until I did the SID. One spot was pretty obvious, about 1-1/4" open in the middle of a 3" pinwheel.

Has anyone else ever had a problem like this? I'm guessing not, but it doesn't hurt to ask.

Thanks!

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Cindy, could it have been the thread she used for piecing the top?  Perhaps it was cotton, past its shelf life, and as you maneuvered it through the longarm and then the DSM, it snapped, leaving the gaps?  I've not seen anything like this, but that's my best guess......

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Hi Cindy. Maybe her piecing thread was old. Did it seem that the seams were weak? Were there any seams at the edges that were coming apart? Was there any top thread strung along the stitching path like maybe the bobbin was not feeding thread correctly? 

 

Even with the top attached to the leaders I can't imagine there would be enough pressure to pull apart seams randomly like that. And if you float, the top gets very little tension on it to pull apart.

 

As for the top being OK when she finished it--if she just gave it a final pressing with seams going in one direction, she wouldn't have been able to see the open seams.

 

I don't imagine you'll be able to convince her though! Maybe you can call her and let her know how puzzled you are about it. You've never seen anything like it before and could she (for your peace of mind) please check the thread she used to see if it breaks easily? If she realizes it was the thread, she may share that with you or she'll be embarrassed and not tell you. In any case, you know it wasn't anything you did and I hope she stays a customer.

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Yes, thread is what I suspect. She used Aurifil, although I'm afraid she accidentally put in a bobbin wound with water soluble thread....I know, its a scary thought. I gave the first row a spritz with water to take off the blue marks, only did that first row though because it was drying too slow and I wanted to roll and move on. I don't remember if all my pins were on that end or not. I looked carefully in that pinwheel block, I couldn't see any sign of thread...no broken pieces sticking up or anything, it was like no thread at all.

She's a really good friend of mine, I'm more worried about losing the friendship than the quilting jobs. I'll see her tomorrow, I asked her to bring the quilt so I can look at it again...I think I'll give it another spritz and see what happens. I'll let you know.

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I had a good friend bring me a very large quilt with missed seams or barely caught edges and as I would handle the top, they would pop loose.   My lady is elderly and was having some health and sight issues.   This happened a couple times and the first time I just fixed the top, but the 2nd time I told her about the problems............she had no idea.   The sad part is, she used to be a Blue Ribbon winning quilter !   Old ages gets us all, I guess.  

 

From your gal, Cindy, I would also agree it sounds like a thread issue.   Too bad.

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I have had a few quilts with seams that were open.  Looking at them I noticed that one side of the fabric had not been caught in the seam.  I marked all of them and told the owner about them.  A little hand sewing and the seams were fixed.

However, with your quilt.... my goodness, I certainly hope she did not use water soluble thread...how awful that would be!

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Well, it's not my fault! Linda (my customer) had her sister visiting from Portland last month and Linda helped her put together a quilt top while she was here. So last week Linda was talking to her, told her about the issue with the baby quilt and found out that the top she'd helped her sister with had the same problem. She says she had put in a new needle, she usually uses a microtek (I think thats what she called it) but was out of those so she put in a universal. I'm not sure why a universal wouldn't work, maybe it was faulty or put in wrong...

In any case, she has all the seams repaired, is working on the binding, will put it in the Wa. State Fair and I'm officially off the hook.

Woo hoo!

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