Quilting and Starting to Sew
The feed dogs on your sewing machine can be your
friend or your enemy. The feed dogs are what pull your fabric along as you
make your stitches. If you don't jerk your fabric, the should glide it in
a straight path.
However, sometimes getting the fabric started can
be problematic. Several factors can cause the fabric to jam in the feed
dog before it gets moving.
If this is happening to you, there are several
ways to stop it.
One of the easiest ways is to always use a
starter scrap of fabric, like in the above photo. Put your presser foot
down in the middle of the starter fabric, and then sew off of it directly into
the your patchwork. At the end of your patchwork, sew on the the starter
strip again. You are then ready to sew onto your work again from the
One of the advantages of using a starter strip is
that you use less thread.
Another way to handle this problem is to grab
hold of the threads behind your fabric, and hold on to them as you begin to sew.
This will usually provide enough tension that the fabric will advance.
Finally, use a different presser foot. Wide
presser foots are more prone to jam fabric. Narrow foots, with only a hole
for the needle to go in, will usually glide along nicely.
Most quarter inch pressing foots are narrow, like
the one pictures above.
Always avoid starting to sew on a delicate area,
such as the corner of a triangle, if possible.