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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQkF02vpVuw this is the one to stretch a block
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3keKl...eature=related squaring up a block
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lIjZqABo2NY shrinking a block using starch
Choose to be happy
If they are only 1/4 inch off then it is probably not you or your 1/4 inch. It is probably because she is giving you the exact measurements of a mathematically correct block and you need to use what is called a "scant" 1/4 inch.
The exact figures do not take into account that ironing the seams takes up space, so your sewing line needs to be just a little bit less than 1/4 inch (hence the name "scant 1/4 inch"). If your machine lets you move the needle over, move it one or two positions to have that slightly smaller space. Don't forget to set it everytime you make one of her blocks!
If your machine doesn't do that, you can eyeball the smaller seam by going over to the right just a tiny bit (say, two threads or so). You can still use all the blocks you've made using the methods other people have mentioned. Hope this helps.
If you were swapping blocks, I would be really concerned. If these are only for you, chances are, they will all end up close to the same size, and thus, will fit together ok. As others have said, keep trying to perfect the 1/4 inch seam, and indeed, practice makes perfect... good luck! Don't give up.... can't wait to see the finished quilt
Don't give up.....sewing/quilting/piecing is a HUGE learning curve....you are just at the beginning...I have been sewing for 60 years, quilting/piecing for 40 years....and I still will look at some thing I made 20 years ago, 10 years ago, last year and last week and be amazed at how far I have come....everyday I try to learn something new, try something new....My goal this year has been to try a new quilt pattern every month, so far so good, and with every new pattern I learn something new, I get better with a technique, I learn to do something a different way.....I especially enjoy watching, the PBS quilt shows. Quilt in a day, Eleandor Burns, Fons and Porter, even Sewing with Nancy all have something to share....How to pin, how to sew triangles, the uses of spray starch, with kinds of thread....
My best advise is not to give up....keep at it....walk away when you get frustrated, time for a glass of wine....
Don't worry so much about ripping things out....just move on or do another one....
But keep on plugging along
Have you tested your machine to see if where your needle is to make a 1/4" seam? Just because you think the edge of the foot is 1/4" could be wrong. Get a ruler and measure from the needle to the edge of the foot. Lower the needle to the ruler and look at the line it lands on. Adjust your needle to make 1/4" from there. It take practice to sew 1/4". Good Luck.
I do 12" blocks all the time and I have yet to hear of a 12-1/2" finished block. Mine are always 12-1/2" unfinished and 12" finished. That being the case, that may be why your blocks aren't right! Check that one out. It may be it should be 12-1/2" unfinished, 1/4" off for seams, you have a 12" block.
Home is where the rags of your life are turned into quilts, lemons become lemonade and a few extra pounds are simply welcomed as "more of you to love."
I am so confused. I don't know if I found a rope or lost my horse."
I would just wait until you've done them all then cut them to match the smallest.
Another alternative would be to sash them.
Oh, don't give up, my first quilt I cut completely wrong, and honestly there was no way to save it, well that I know of anyway, but I did set it aside and started another. It came out really great. Not perfect, but alot better than my first try. I think as new quilters sometimes we bite off more than we can handle! I found a nice simple pattern, that was pretty mistake proof for my 2nd attempt. I can move on to those fancier things as I get the concepts better understood. Best of luck and I hope all the blocks end up working out for you.