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Thread: Getting seams to match up. Will I ever master it?

  1. #1
    Super Member Rachelcb80's Avatar
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    I'm piecing together some blocks right now that are definitely a challenge for me. I know for your seams to match up correctly it all depends on you cutting accurately, sewing 1/4" accurately and pressing accurately. I certainly do my best to do all that as well as I can, but I still have seams that don't line up. How can you ever do everything perfectly, so your block comes out perfectly?! Is it just a matter of years and years of practice?

    I'm not the type that can seam rip over and over until it's right. I just don't have that kind of patience. My straight seams are all matching up, it's these angled pieces that you can't match up while pinning that I'm having trouble with. I can't see that they've matched up, or not, until I sew and press open. I can kind of pin it in place and open it a little to see if it's close, but can't tell if it's exact until it's a done deal.

    I know there's probably no magic tip that can help me. It's the same 'ole cut well, sew a correct 1/4" and redo it if it's not right. I just needed to complain. :P

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    Off seam
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  2. #2
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    You're doing some fairly complicated blocks, give yourself a break!! Being off that much on one seam in a whole block isn't bad at all!! Quilt it and wash it and you'll never see it.

  3. #3
    Super Member Deb watkins's Avatar
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    Just quickly looking at the misaligned seam, I am wondering if the the seams are just a tad more than 1/4"....it looks like it may be, from what I can see pressed back, and that can throw the alignment off.

  4. #4
    Moderator kathy's Avatar
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    I stick a pin straight down through both seams to be sure they're even then I pin along the seam line with a long pin, run it in and out like basting so I can open it up and peek, if it looks good I carefully repin off the seamline and remove the first one so I can sew. Sometimes nothing works. I've never made a perfect quilt but I have places on all of them that are!

  5. #5
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    Angles are harder to pin, have you ever tried glue basting? I have found it helpful for alignments like these.

    http://www.quiltingboard.com/t-29275-1.htm

  6. #6
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    My blogjust disappeared. I was saying, I took a class recently for a bargello and she gave us each a glue stick and we put a dab of glue on each seam and then matched the other side to it and pressed the two to go together with my finger. Then when I sewed them together the fabric worked itself in and the seams matched. I finished a king size bargello and all seams matched up. And the glue disappates quickly and does not gum up the needle for some reason. Hope this might work for you.

  7. #7
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    When I look at the blocks "from a distance" - as in the top picture - everything looks aligned to me.

    It may be that one's eyes/brain just sort of "fill-in" to what it's supposed to be, but it does look good to me. (I'm really NOT a member of the **, but I DO notice)

    Like Deb Watkins wrote, your seams may be a bit "off." It may be that your seams are a bit too deep and that's what causing that. Try deliberately making a seam too shallow and see if it does the opposite and that may help diagnose the problem.

  8. #8
    Super Member Pamela Artman's Avatar
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    Here's a tip I use when piecing angled pieces. Put a pin through the seam 1/4" in from the edge. Then poke the pin through the seam 1/4" from the edge of the other unit. Hold the pin straight up and down between two of your fingers (don't come back up through the fabric with your pin, just hold it in place) and take another pin and pin on each side of your first pin, then sew your seam, making sure to hit the "spot" thats marked with the first pin, removing the pins as you come to them. Kinda hard to explain! When you put your pin through the two seams, you'll see why it's so hard to sew them correctly because the seams don't line up.

  9. #9
    Pam
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    Super Member Pam's Avatar
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    It is frustrating to get the angles to line up, that is for sure. Try the glue basting, if that does not work, this might, it is time consuming and I learned this from a pro that enters quilt shows to win. Let me know if it works for you. Hand baste, eww, I know, right? Just one or 2 stitches at each intersection, leave the thread hanging and just go down the block. It takes a little longer than pinning but before you sew you KNOW it is lined up, and the stitches are easy to take out. I have not done this yet.

  10. #10
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    I also have a 1/4" foot and marked a 1/4 using blue paint ers tape and putting a second layer on the tape gives it a border to follow. And "press" don't iron. I tend to stretch my seams when I ironed incorectly. I am talking about what happens to me, not you. Just a thought. lol

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