Sew, What's Up

Sew What’s Up Presents

The Sew What’s New Archive

This archived content is from Mary Wilkins’ sewing and quilting message board “Sew What’s New,” which was retired in August 2007. It is being provided by “Sew What’s Up,” which serves as the new home for many members of “Sew What’s New.”
From: mom_of_rayhnebe
Date: 04-09-2006, 12:03 AM (1 of 6)
I'm a newbie to the quilting world, I have previously sewn curtains and dresses for my kids when they were little, but the last time I used my machine was 1992!

I found a fairly straightforward pattern I like to make a wallhanging as a housewarming gift for my olderst daughter. I rotary cut all the pieces (and stilol have all 10 fingers intact!) and tried at least 15 times to sew the dreaded 1/4 seam. I CANNOT for the life of me get the stitches anywhere near the corners! If I line the needle up with the corner and lower the presser foot, the fabric either gets "crumpled" under the presser foot or doesn't get pulled through by the feed dog.

Any tips you can offer for me to try would be greatly appreciated!
User: mom_of_rayhnebe
Member since: 04-08-2006
Total posts: 1
From: Ashda
Date: 04-09-2006, 05:48 AM (2 of 6)
Hi Tracy,

I'm not the best on advice but you might try feeding a leader square first (a little scrap) of fabric and then your "real project" like you would if you were chain piecing. Hope that helps. Sue
User: Ashda
Member since: 12-08-2004
Total posts: 3
From: westozmum
Date: 04-09-2006, 08:16 AM (3 of 6)

I am too doing my first quilt after years of dressmaking!!!

Another tip that may help with your little problem is that are you using the right size needle for the fabric you are sewing on? Sometimes a needle that is too big for the job will force the fabric down into the feeddogs.

It could even be that the needle is blunt/bent and this wouldn't be helping either.

I do like the idea of putting a little piece of scrap ahead of your fabric.....another idea is to gently (where possible) pull the threads from the back as you begin to sew........

Good luck!! Dont let it get the best of you!! :re:
Westozmum aka Laura from the Land Down Under
User: westozmum
Member since: 02-16-2006
Total posts: 41
From: woodywoodpecker
Date: 04-09-2006, 11:35 AM (4 of 6)
Don't know ir this is applicable to you or not but have you got a zig-zag needle plate in your machine verus a straight stitch plate. While I don't quilt I fine that sometimes if I have the zig-zag plate in and I'm just doing straight stitch some times it screws up and when I change over to the other plate it usually solves my problem, just have to remember to change it back when you do zig-zag or you have a broken needle instantly.
User: woodywoodpecker
Member since: 11-07-2003
Total posts: 242
From: mamahoogie
Date: 04-09-2006, 04:49 PM (5 of 6)
I'm a new quilter too and I highly recommend the starter fabric scrap to start sewing on. I have used this for over 30 years of garment sewing. I saves a ton of thread too and I never have to worry about hanging on the the thread when I start a seam. I cut scraps into pieces about 2" x 3" and then fold them in half (or I put different ones together) and when they get too full of thread I toss them.
And yes, check your needle. Dull needles or those too large are not good for quilting.
Good luck and hang in there. It gets better!
I've decided to live forever - so far, so good.
User: mamahoogie
Member since: 12-25-2002
Total posts: 461
From: JoanieB
Date: 04-10-2006, 02:08 PM (6 of 6)
The leader piece of fabric is a very good way to get past this problem. I have also used a small piece of tissue paper under the corners to get them started. Use the kind you wrap gifts in just the thin tissue paper.I've used both methods and they both work.

JoanieB :bluewink:
User: JoanieB
Member since: 01-28-2005
Total posts: 68
Sew, What's Up
Search the “Sew What’s New” Archive:
Visit Sew What’s Up for the latest sewing and quilting tips and discussions.
This page was originally located on Sew What’s New ( at