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Thread: Half square triangle are all cockeyed

  1. #1
    Super Member jcrow's Avatar
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    Half square triangle are all cockeyed

    I am making Jenny Doan's Big Star quilt and doing her way of making half square triangles. I already sewed the 10" blocks 1/4" around the edges of enough blocks to make a king size quilt. That is all done.

    I cut apart enough of them to make one star and starched each half square block, put it on The Steady Betty and ironed the sewed edge while it was closed and then opened it and pressed it open. Every single one was so cockeyed all around the edges and down the sewed middle line.

    Should I have waited for the starch to dry first before i ironed it? What am I doing wrong? Isn't the bias at the edges and not the center? The center was so crooked. I need help. I just ruined one star block and will not press another one until someone helps me. Please help me. Thanks.
    "Be yourself...everyone else is taken."
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  2. #2
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    I usually get better results starching my fabric before I cut it, rather than after is is sewn into a block. Unless you soaked it not sure why you would get the distortion. Is it oversized? If so you could trim it down

  3. #3
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    Is your stitch length to tight? The bias will be on the edge and those can get wonky if you are not careful. I am starching my Spiderweb blocks and they have bias edges too. I mist and then iron while damp so that shouldn't matter. The good news on bias edges is, all the intersections will match because they streeeeetch. I will just quilt the heck out of my Spiderweb top to iron out any wonky-ness.
    Hopefully someone who has made the same pattern will have some pointers for you.

  4. #4
    Super Member jcrow's Avatar
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    I soaked it. So I should spray it with starch before I cut it? Should I let it dry before I cut it? Iron it after I starch it before I cut it? Let it dry and then iron it before I cut it? I am afraid of ruining another block.
    "Be yourself...everyone else is taken."
    Strong people don't put others down...they build them up."
    "Remember that your instincts are more important than rules"

  5. #5
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    I didn't know her method so had to watch youtube ... very interesting way to make hst. Did you 'iron'? or did you 'press'? If you ironed then you may have stretched the fabric.

    I use the grid method for my hst.
    I.E. http://www.patchwork-and-quilting.co...triangles.html

    I hope it all works out.

  6. #6
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    I think pressing damp material causes it to stretch, which seems to be what happened to your blocks. I firmly belong to the "make it big and cut it down" club. I once used precut squares and after I got the HSTs made I starched, pressed and trimmed them. You will lose quite a lot of finished size in your king size quilt, but maybe you could just make more, or add on a boarder. At least they would not be totally wasted.

  7. #7
    Super Member PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    That's the down side with this method of making HST, the sides are all on the bias. The only way i've been satisfied with the results is to starch the fabric a lot BEFORE cutting the squares and doing the stitching around the edges.
    If you already have others cut, I would starch heavily and press using your steady betty to get them square, before joining them to other squares.
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  8. #8
    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    I starch my fabric as I press it after it's laundered. If I'm only using part of the fabric, I only press that part of it. After it's stitched I press the seam with a dry iron, open it up and press the block with a dry iron.
    When I do the first starching, I spray it evenly and press immediately until it's dry.

  9. #9
    Super Member GrannieAnnie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcrow View Post
    I am making Jenny Doan's Big Star quilt and doing her way of making half square triangles. I already sewed the 10" blocks 1/4" around the edges of enough blocks to make a king size quilt. That is all done.

    I cut apart enough of them to make one star and starched each half square block, put it on The Steady Betty and ironed the sewed edge while it was closed and then opened it and pressed it open. Every single one was so cockeyed all around the edges and down the sewed middle line.

    Should I have waited for the starch to dry first before i ironed it? What am I doing wrong? Isn't the bias at the edges and not the center? The center was so crooked. I need help. I just ruined one star block and will not press another one until someone helps me. Please help me. Thanks.

    If I'm following you, you end up seaming on the bias. Cut just two HST at a time and they'll be on the straight grain and much easier to deal wiht.
    Bad Spellers of the World
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  10. #10
    Super Member jcrow's Avatar
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    Thank you. I will starch them before I cut them. I drenched the first ones and think that is where I went wrong. I'll use Best Press instead and do a light spray of it. Thanks for the advice. Much needed. Don't like this way of making half squares. I'll never do it this way again.
    "Be yourself...everyone else is taken."
    Strong people don't put others down...they build them up."
    "Remember that your instincts are more important than rules"

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