Thursday, October 4, 2012

Folk Art Blooms

If you read my previous post you remember that I mentioned my "wavy" borders.   Now, I know that they were completely straight before the quilt went to the quilter.   I always measure the quilt in 3 places and take an average when cutting my borders.  This is a picture of the quilt on my design wall. 

And here's how it looks after I got it back and added the binding.

It just upsets me every time I walk past it.   Now, my first tendency was to blame it on the quilter but....I happened to mention what happened to Pam and Janet of Buggy Barn fame when I saw them at Quilt Market last spring.   They said that what they have noticed is that when there are wavy borders, it usually happens when the binding is added.   Now....this may have actually been the problem because I didn't use my walking foot (bad bad me) and the quilt was so heavy that it kept pulling down because of the weight.  

Has anyone else had this problem?  If so, did you find a solution?   It's been suggested that I spray the wavy parts with water and hope it shrinks, take off the binding and try again, and even cut off the binding and try to square the quilt up.    Help!

Here are some pictures of the quilting.    I really love it and the quilt hangs in such a prominent place in the house that it's one of the first things you see.  

Let me know if you have any suggestions for me.   Maybe it could help a future project (where you will find me always using my walking foot) or even help someone else so that it doesn't happen to them.   Public Service Announcement.   Hee Hee.

Hugs, Anne


Anonymous said...

Hello Anne,

Perhaps an extra hanging sleeve at the back bottom of your quilt and a wooden lath (or how do you call that in English) can solve the problem. The quilt will be flattened by the weight of the lath. If this doesn't solve the problem I guess there's only one thing you can do... remove the binding carefully and than add it again using the right length.

Good luck!

Yvonne V

Pauline said...

I like to suggest the already above mentioned extra sleeve and corner triangels and wooden lath. Putting a new binding on is far more work.

LesQuilts said...

I like the idea of taking off the binding. I'm sure you won't be happy with the quilt until you do!
Instead of binding, what about a facing? would still get sewn like binding, but be a few inches wide, be sewn to the back. Wouldn't be seen and when sewn to the back, might help to keep the perfect edge to your beautiful quilt!
PS, you could always add a piping between the quilt and the facing
Take care, Leslie

Ann at Prairie Primrose said...

Your quilt is so beautiful and I think if it were mine I would be upset as well. I'm not sure if this will help in future quilts, but I always run a hand basting stitch around the edge before putting on my binding. It keeps any tucks from creeping in and it helps keep all the layers together so sewing is a breeze. It really doesn't take very long either. Good luck at getting the border sorted out.

Sewing Junkie said...

Do you use bias binding? I find that bias binding stretches to much on the outer edges. I use on the straight of the grain. I read an article about the batting that was used may contribute to this. Cotton is not the batting of choice for wall hangings. It will distort. They suggested poly dense fibers. I don't think there is only one issue, but something might click. Chris

Sue said...

What a gorgeous quilt!
I don't know if this would help for this quilt, but I remember seeing this video a while back about gluing bindings to keep them straight. I saw this on Quilting Gallery. It might be of interest to see how this is done. Here's the link:

Lady Locust said...

I have to agree with Ann on both: the quilt is soooo beautiful! The basting of it prior to the binding of it is great for next time - I am one of those weirdos- it would bug me everytime I saw it. I would 'just' redo the binding. It's something you would not regret doing.
Good luck,

Me and My Stitches said...

Your quilt is so beautiful! I don't have any suggestions on the borders/binding, but I had never thought about this issue being caused by the binding. Guess I better get my walking foot out more often too! Hope you find a solution.

Anonymous said...

Block your quilt as if you we're prepping it for a quilt show. It's sure pretty.

Lori said...

Wow, it sure is beautiful! I'd spray it with water and see if that . It is possible a little steam ironing may shrink it a bit too.

Anna said...

I like the idea from Ann of Prairie Primrose for future quilts! But you know what I would do already and if you still don't like it...give it to me, I will live with the wavy border and take it off your hands. lol

Bev said...

I'll take it!!!

As is!!!

Cheery wave from Bev

Tina said...

Oh no! It's such a gorgeous quilt but it would bug the heck out of me every time I walked by it. I would remove the binding and do it over - I have been called an anal quilter (sounds gross, I know!) but it would nag at me and after spending so much time on such a beautiful quilt, I would want it to look perfect.
P.S. My sister does not agree - she says she would live with it and just enjoy it!

paulette said...

Anne, I thought it was going to be way worse! I know how you feel want perfect! I would definitely remove the binding, spray and water and iron to get it flat, measure the length and put that length of binding on each this while
crossing all fingers and toes...!
FAB is really beautiful! The quilting is STUNNING!!
Good luck!!
Big hug!

marie said...

Oh-my, this would bug me also. I was surprised that this has happened to someone with exceptional quilting abilities. I'd have to take the binding off and try again. Now it gives me some thought about when I get to that stage with my flannel background and wool applique quilt--have you had a problem with those?

Florida Farm Girl said...

Well, my two cents would be to remove the binding, make sure that the quilt is still square and then put a NEW binding on it using your walking foot. They can be clunky and awkward, but oh, what a difference they make. The quilt is gorgeous, but its waves will bug you forever if you don't fix it.

Carmen said...

I've found a batting made by Linda Taylor called Linda's Choice. It hangs like a dream. Infact I believe she worked with Hobbs to design this batting for show quality quilts. If you google Linda's Choice batting you'll find it. Any time I longarm a quilt for a wall I use this batting. Since this isn't an option for your quilt now (but maybe keep it in mind to try next time!) I've had great success putting a rod along the bottom of my quilt and attaching it to the wall with clamps. I hand sewed small loops along the bottom of the quilt for the rod to be placed in. It really is so beautiful, though. Congratulations on your creation!

merumo said...

Gorgeous quilt!!! My eyes even don't go to the area where you have a concern with as your applique work is stunning!! So pretty. As someone who is practicing her applique technique, it's really impressive :) Thank you for a beautiful inspirations!

Heartsdesire said...

Your quilt is so beautiful and I think I would be bugged by the fact that it's a bit wavy, too. I always use my walking foot as the quilt seems to fit under the needle better. I think you may have to remove the binding and try sewing it on again. I also use straight binding, not bias, and when I'm sewing the binding down, I try to pull the binding a little tighter as I'm sewing, it seems to take up any slack that the border may have. Good luck, and be sure and let us know what you do.

Candace said...

Unless you mention it, I am drawn directly to your appliques, Anne. But it would certainly bug me, too! I like the idea of removing the binding and starting over, but I think you would actually have to remove at least a quarter inch all the way around or you might risk having it wavy again simply because the fabric has already been worked so much on the edges that it might be stretched too much. In lieu of that, I like the idea of a weighted rod at the bottom. Good luck!

Gayle said...

I would suggest throwing the quilt in the washing machine with a color catcher sheet before you start taking it apart. Might just fix the problem...... It's a beautiful quilt.

Lia said...

Beginners usually just cut the border and sew directly, then they cut whatever is left.
This is what generate the wavy borders, as the fabric "works", get stretched and creates the waves.
Well, I went once to a class (here at Brazil) and the teacher said that we should never apply this last border just cutting and sewing like beginner. Instead we have to measure the whole quilt (ends and central part), then we have to cut the border to exact size.
After I began doing like this, I never had another wavy border quilt.

Hope it helps... :-)

Bowbailey said...

I love this quilt. I purchased the pattern and started gathering the fabric after I saw yours. This will be one of the first things I start in January. Also thanks for mentioning my friend Lori at Simply Put Plus on your blog post

Anonymous said...

First - beautiful quilt. I read in Prmitive Quilt magazine once that if you cut your borders along the length of the fabric instead of the width it shouldn't wave. The crosswise cuts have more stretch than the length. Of course you have to buy more yardage than the pattern calls for to do this. ~Jody R.

LONA said...

You might try blocking the quilt. Get it wet, might try damp first. Then square it up by gently tugging on it and let it dry flat. I have a friend that blocks all of her quilts before they go to a showing. She does awesome work. Good luck!

Loris said...

I would steam it and block it. Hope you find something to help you. It is a gorgeous quilt!

Anonymous said...

I guess I would take the binding off - block it - and hang it back up to see if the wavy is still there... if gone - put the binding back on with walking foot and gentle sewing.

The comments bring up many issues I would never have thought about.... batting type etc. But then again, I don't hang quilts on walls so have never been confronted with different batts. Good luck, the hard work will be done and you can use your energy to make another quilt!

Janet said...


Love that quilt. If you remove the binding and then cut a new binding on the bias and use your walking foot I think that will solve your wavy borders. I know it is a pain but that quilt is worth the effort. I have some experience with this problem and this solution has done the trick.

Hope this helps

Janet said...


Love that quilt. If you remove the binding and then cut a new binding on the bias and use your walking foot I think that will solve your wavy borders. I know it is a pain but that quilt is worth the effort. I have some experience with this problem and this solution has done the trick.

Hope this helps

Anonymous said...

I love your quilt -- so much so I purchased the pattern and have 2 squares done . . .
on occasion with other quilts I have had "the wave/s" have seen a lot of them at quilt shows also -- I always use bias binding and now I'm thinking maybe I'll try straight grain. I always bind with a walking foot and use Sharon Schamber's method I doubt if those are the wavy quilts . . . I also do my own quilting. Do share how you get this one to straighten out. It is soo gorgeous! As are all your quilts !!!
Diane in IL

Missie of Hallbrook Designs said...

When I get a bit of wave, I do a running stitch right up next to the binding and gather it just slightly so that the waves are gone. Then lay the quilt flat on an ironing board or floor and stem it to block the waves away. This works for me. It may be a way to fix it without taking off the binding. Think about it and keep us posted! It is a beautiful quilt!

Anonymous said...

Hi Anne,
I read your post the other day and have been thinking about it.

I love Elly Sienkienwicz and have attended her “acadamy” a couple of times. I took a class there with Sharon Schamber who talked about blocking. As a knitter, I know how important blocking is- it does miracles. I just happened to decide to watch an old Quilt Show segment that featured Elly. She brought a quilt that a large number of quilters worked on. It was just finished and it was gorgeous but the edges waved - much, much more than your quilt. She made a point of saying that the quilt needs to be blocked. I really believe that is the answer to your wavy problem as well.
First let me say I don’t think it is a significant problem on your quilt - take a look at Elly’s. I would try the weight on the bottom first. If that does not work, I would block it.

BTW. I enjoy reading your blog.

Rose Marie said...

Now that your bindidng is on, here is a great tip for fixing the wavy borders and I have done this a number of times now for quite a few of my quilts.

See this link first to see the before and after:

In the above post, I do mention about the binding being cut on the straight of grain, but I have also encountered the same problem with binding cut on width of fabric and also on bias cut binding.

Then, read the instructions to fix your borders.

Good luck and let me know if you try it and if it worked for you. This way is much easier than wetting it and blocking the whole quilt.

Heirlooms by Ashton House said...

What a gorgeous quilt! It looks so inviting on the wall.

Michelle said...

I am not sure how I missed your last few posts...but it is a beautiful quilt...having never actually finished a quilt, I have no suggestions except what Anna says..I will be over on the 20th and will GLADLY take it off your hands if you cannot fix it.

Which pattern is it btw?