Pinning or basting are essential steps for sewing longer lengths of fabric, whether you’re doing machine quilting or any other type of sewing.
The two layers have to be straight and stitched together as the fabric is passing under the needle so the seam turns out correctly.
You don’t want to end up with one of the fabric layers ending up longer than the other because your pinning was off.
Sounds Simple - But It Isn't!
As simple as pinning a seam may sound, many people have trouble keeping things straight without the fabric becoming stretched, warped, or bunched if working on long seams.
The next time you’re preparing to make a long seam with your Juki quilting machine, try this easy technique for pinning in just the right places and in just the right way.
Your fabric will stay smooth and straight from the start of the seam to the end and you’ll be able to slide the pins out easily while sewing so there’s no risk of broken or bent needles from accidentally sewing over one.
Spread Out Your Fabric
If you want your seam to be smooth with straight edges for easy seaming using a machine like the Juki HZL-DX7, it’s important to first lay out long lengths of fabric on your cutting table or another large surface.
Layer the fabric as needed for the seam you’re going to sew, making sure both layers are flat and aligned and the edges are properly matched.
Smooth the layers out on top and then move on to the next step.
Pin By Dividing The Seam Into Sections
Pin using the technique of dividing sections in half until you have placed a pin every four to five inches or so because the more pins you place, the less chance the fabric will shift while it’s being sewn.
Start by pinning the very start of the seam as well as the very end and then start pinning between the two by dividing the space.
Find the midpoint between your first two pins and pin there, then put another pin in the middle of the first section and then the middle of the second section.
Do that again, placing one pin between each of your four sections and keep pinning in this fashion.
Keep dividing the spaces between pins, placing more pins in the middle until the whole length of fabric is pinned with evenly-spaced pins.
When inserting your pins, put them in horizontally.
With the raw edge of your seam on the right as it will be positioned when you stitch, put the pins in horizontally with the head of the pin facing you.
The benefit of horizontal pinning is that you can easily pull the pin out with your left hand while guiding the fabric with your right as it’s slowly stitched under the needle, all without stopping the machine.
Another option for pin placement is the vertical method which is another way to pin using straight pins with a sizable head to pin along the seam edge of the fabric to hold it in perfect position so it won’t shift while stitching it with your sewing or quilting machine.
With this method, you place the pins using the division method noted above except the pins are placed at a 90 degree angle to the material so that the pin heads stick out to the right of the edge of your fabric so they can be easily pulled out as you are stitching the seam.
You can also use fabric clips that don’t bunch the fabric instead of pins, placing them the same way.
Proper Pinning Means Precision for Longer Seams
The biggest issue when sewing long seams on a basic or more advanced machine like the Juki HZL-DX7 is always keeping the fabric aligned so it doesn’t shift during stitching.
Using this simple technique for sewing and machine quilting, anyone can have long, straight seams without needing to rip anything out and start again.
Spend a few extra minutes pinning and save all the frustration of dealing with crooked fabric that could potentially ruin your whole project!