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Thread: Help please with quarter inch seams

  1. #1

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    I must be completely out of practice. I have major problems here. I am working on the foundation of an art quilt and I am doing the background in Ohio Star. I am making 9 inch blocks which involves 3.5 inch squares and triangles. The fabric is cotton, but has differing texture. When I sew the quarter inch seams and press them, the 3.5 inch squares are less than 3 inch squares. I am in the process of taking them apart and resewing with less than quarter inch seams. Do any of you have suggestions on what I should be doing here? I really need some of your help. :roll:

  2. #2
    Izy
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    Super Member Izy's Avatar
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    Hi Susan,

    If you use the search button at the top of this page you can type in how to achieve a 1/4" scant seam, and you will be able to browse through several topics created on the quiltingboard about this subject....we all have problems - me included, but I use a 1/4" foot now and it is so much easier :D

  3. #3
    Senior Member PuffinGin's Avatar
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    I've noticed that different fabrics sometimes require minor adjustments to achieve the correct pieced size. I found that batik fabric blocks were a bit smaller than those with regular cotton fabric, perhaps because the batiking makes it stiffer (?). I'd recommend whenever you are using unfamiliar fabrics or combinations of fabric, you make a test piece (not necessary to do same block as your project -- maybe just a simple 9-patch to check size). Then you can make any needed adjustment to seam size or even to cut size. Doubt this is a recommended procedure but it seems to work for me.

  4. #4
    Super Member bebe's Avatar
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  5. #5

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    Thank you all so much for your messages. You are a joy to know ....esp. when I'm in a panic attack. I read your links and was so happy to see them. They covered all the material I should have recalled as I began this project. I do have a quarter inch foot. I've taken part of the seams apart and managed a scant quarter inch seam and that seems to do the trick. Thanks for that link. However, I don't think this is going to fix my quilt completely.
    I am using four different materials in this Ohio Star background, all being sky colors. But there are three different weights of the fabric thickness....all being 100% cotton. As I iron the star, two of the lightest weights want to buckle until I add more starch. I am wondering if this is going to be a problem later when the quilts are finished and in the hands of my sisters. Maybe I should begin this background with squares of the same weight 100% cotton so it will lay flat when I appliqué the top. Do you think this would be a good idea until I master that quarter inch seam and scant quarter inch?

    These quilts will be small table top quilts appliquéd with the four houses my father lived in.....one on each side. The appliqué will be done by using fabric from his shirts and robes. He passed away almost a year ago and I am still working on the estate finals. He spent three years in the nursing home and then he passed away, his body went to the Texas Tech Medical school where he was studied in anatomy class. His class has now finished and he is being shipped back to me. I think these quilts might be nice to have and give to my four sisters.

    So what are your thoughts about this background fabric and design? Maybe the stars will be too busy, maybe I should start with squares and see how that goes.
    Thanks,
    Susan

  6. #6
    Super Member sewmuch's Avatar
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    Susan, I can't help w/your problem, my seams get off all the time. But I want to tell you what a wonderful idea you have making the quilts for your sisters, including Dad's shirts and his houses, splendid, please share them when you are done. Nancy :lol:

  7. #7
    Power Poster
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    Just wondering - what size triangles are you using?

    They need to be cut from a 3 7/8" square to come out correctly.

    Or you can make triangles from 4 inch squares, and trim them down after sewing. A bit of a bother, but then you get perfect sized squares.

    Also - did you preshrink your fabrics? I've soaked mine in hot water and then washed gently in the machine on warm.



  8. #8

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    The triangles are cut from 4 and a quarter inch squares.....what is that called, quarter triangles? I cut the square 4 & a quarter inch square and then cut it in four triangles.
    I did wash my material in the washing machine before I started. And I ironed it as well. Some of this fabric is thicker than the rest, although this was advertised to be 100% cotton.

  9. #9
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    I just realized I gave you bad information -


    If you are making quarter square triangles - the long edge needs to be 4 1/4 inches long.

  10. #10
    Power Poster
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    http://quilting.about.com/od/rotaryc...g_shapes_3.htm

    this site might be helpful to you

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