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Thread: Getting discouraged

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Getting discouraged

    No matter how hard I try I can't seem to line up my seams when hand piecing my squares. I'm getting really discouraged with this. I was using pins through the seams but it didn't seem to matter, any tips for hand piecing?

  2. #2
    Super Member knlsmith's Avatar
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    I don't hand sew, but search the board for glue basting. I bet it would work well for you. But again, I don't sew by hand.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Hinterland's Avatar
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    Try not to pin right on the sewing line, Meldmac. I put the pin through the sewing line so everything is positioned right, pinch the pieces together and pull the pin out and re-pin by putting the pin above and below the seam line. That way I don't accidentally move the pieces while I pin. And you know, if I'm off by a little bit, who cares?!

    Janet

  4. #4
    Senior Member craftygal63@yahoo.com's Avatar
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    Scrapbooking glue sticks and elmer glue sticks work well and are water soluable

  5. #5
    Senior Member Hinterland's Avatar
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    My only reservation about using glue for hand piecing is that if it hardens, you will need a jackhammer to get the needle through the fabric.

    Janet

  6. #6
    Super Member JulieR's Avatar
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    First of all, more pins! I pin every two inches or so when hand piecing.

    Next, try sticking all of your pins in horizontally before securing them vertically. That may help you keep everything lined up.

    Also, lay the hand holding the fabric on the arm of the sofa or something to keep it stationary while you sew. This should reduce any strain you might be putting on the fabric that's making it lose its shape.

    Finally, wash the quilt when you're done and you'll never, ever see anywhere those seams aren't perfect.

  7. #7
    Super Member AZ Jane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hinterland View Post
    My only reservation about using glue for hand piecing is that if it hardens, you will need a jackhammer to get the needle through the fabric.

    Janet
    Not true. Now if you put a blob or glob of glue, yes it will harden beyond imagination but you should only be using a dab of glue. I use glue for basting and I hand quilt. Only once had an issue, then I quickly learned to smooth out ALL blobs.
    Better to do something imperfectly, than nothing perfectly.
    Done is better than perfect.

  8. #8
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    Elmer's school glue works great and is washable. I used it recently to match up open seams and it worked beautifully.

  9. #9
    Super Member
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    I'm guessing you're speaking of matching seams when sewing 2 blocks together? I would pin for hand piecing the same way I pin for machine piecing...I put a pin straight down top to bottom through the seam on the top piece, then take the bottom piece and place that pin through that seam. With that pin still vertical, I place a pin as closely as possible on both sides horizontally through both pieces of fabric and then remove the vertical pin. I do this at each intersection. I also pin with the head of the pin on the outside edge of the fabric. You could then hand sew with the edge of the fabric towards you to reduce pin sticks. Hope this helps.

  10. #10
    Super Member pumpkinpatchquilter's Avatar
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    You could try an Elmer's Gluestick if you want to glue baste...they work really well and are pliable enough after they dry that pushing a needle through wouldn't be an issue.

    Do you have your heart set on hand piecing? Or are you hand piecing because you think it will be easier than machine piecing? If you really WANT to hand piece, try finer pins...sometimes the big thick pins they try to pass off as "quilter's pins" at big box stores will shift your seams. You can find extra fine quilting pins from Nancy's Notions or another specialty catalog like that.

    I personally think that machine piecing is easier...if you're trying to perfect your hand quilting skills I totally get it...but if you're thinking that hand piecing will be easier to start with I totally am from the school of thought that thinks it's easier to quilt on a machine to avoid what you're going through right now. Just my two cents!!

    Good luck, I hope you find something that works for you!!
    Valerie Smith - Pumpkin Patch Quilter
    Obsessed Quilter and APQS Long Arm Machine Quilter
    www.pumpkinpatchquilter.com

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