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Thread: Need help - triangle insets causing fabric to 'bubble'

  1. #1
    Super Member JNCT14's Avatar
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    I am making a Double Star quilt for my dad in red, white and blue (really pretty) using a pattern I got from http://equiltblocks.com/four/Double_Star.gif

    I had to enlarge it (I don't like 6" blocks) and it is going ok - BUT. I made a bunch of the triangle insets (pieces 1,2,3..) and I am setting them into piece 13 (the large star) by hand since I have no luck with setting odd shapes by machine. However, I have made 4 blocks so far and the large star is raising up (bubbling) instead of laying flat. I cut the large stars on the bias and am gently stetching by hand as I sew the insets. I am pretty sure I can press the bubble out and I am going to wash the quilt top before I quilt it to see if it will shrink out a bit but can anyone tell me if there is a better method before I do the rest of the blocks?

  2. #2
    Power Poster erstan947's Avatar
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    I'm not sure I have an answer but I think the problem is in the "stretching" part. If anything stretches you will have a problem. Looks to me like you need to adjust size of triangles to avoid the stretch. Maybe someone else has a better answer.

  3. #3
    Super Member grann of 6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JNCT14
    I am making a Double Star quilt for my dad in red, white and blue (really pretty) using a pattern I got from http://equiltblocks.com/four/Double_Star.gif

    I had to enlarge it (I don't like 6" blocks) and it is going ok - BUT. I made a bunch of the triangle insets (pieces 1,2,3..) and I am setting them into piece 13 (the large star) by hand since I have no luck with setting odd shapes by machine. However, I have made 4 blocks so far and the large star is raising up (bubbling) instead of laying flat. I cut the large stars on the bias and am gently stetching by hand as I sew the insets. I am pretty sure I can press the bubble out and I am going to wash the quilt top before I quilt it to see if it will shrink out a bit but can anyone tell me if there is a better method before I do the rest of the blocks?
    I'm not much of a fan of sewing triangles, but what about starching the fabric first? That seems to be a popular thing here on the board. Also, instead of stretching, you should be "easing". Someone here certainly has the answer for you.

  4. #4
    Super Member ckcowl's Avatar
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    i have found when hand piecing and insetting pieces it is best to draw your lines and put dot's at the 1/4" corner marks so you inset without sewing too far into the seam allowance. I do not recommend washing your top before quilting and binding it. that can cause you tons of head-aches. just press well, any (fullness) can usually be quilted into (submission) and then when you wash and dry the finished quilt it will all come together just fine. but for accuracy try drawing the lines before stitching.

  5. #5
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    Are you not doing this as a paper piece block? Starching your fabric heavy will help with the stretching. It should be a easy pattern to do paper pieced, just do your corners, then attach the center.

  6. #6
    Super Member JNCT14's Avatar
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    Actually Grann of 6 is right - I am easing the triangle insets into the big star. So I marked my 1/4" seam allowances on the insets and the big star and then put a pin into where the seam allowances intersect on both pieces. Its weird - they match fine, but again I end up with fullness in the big star. CK - thanks for the advise on NOT washing the piece first - I ususally don't but I thought maybe it would help in this instance. I wil also try starching the pieces, and definitely quilt the thing into submission! I am thinking about doing FMQ by putting in the Pledge of Allegiance as the quilt pattern - maybe people will be so interested in reading it that they won't see the flaws! :-)

  7. #7
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    Are you handpiecing this block?

    Pressing is going to be important in this block.

    Sometimes I will handpiece one block (only sewing on the seam lines and leaving the seam allowances unsewn) to see which way will be the best way to press it.

    Then I will go on to machine piece the rest of them.

  8. #8
    Super Member JNCT14's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bearisgray
    Are you handpiecing this block?

    Pressing is going to be important in this block.

    Sometimes I will handpiece one block (only sewing on the seam lines and leaving the seam allowances unsewn) to see which way will be the best way to press it.

    Then I will go on to machine piece the rest of them.
    I machine pieced the insets which are composed of 3 triangle pieces. I pressed open the seams on the insets. The large star is only one piece. I am hand piecing the insets into the large star. I did notice that the seam allowance wanted to flip up towards the inset but didn't look very good so I pressed that seam allowance down towards the large star. I should take pictures, shouldn't I....... :oops:

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by JNCT14
    Quote Originally Posted by bearisgray
    Are you handpiecing this block?

    Pressing is going to be important in this block.

    Sometimes I will handpiece one block (only sewing on the seam lines and leaving the seam allowances unsewn) to see which way will be the best way to press it.

    Then I will go on to machine piece the rest of them.
    I machine pieced the insets which are composed of 3 triangle pieces. I pressed open the seams on the insets. The large star is only one piece. I am hand piecing the insets into the large star. I did notice that the seam allowance wanted to flip up towards the inset but didn't look very good so I pressed that seam allowance down towards the large star. I should take pictures, shouldn't I....... :oops:
    If you are pressing towards the star, you may need to clip the seam allowances of the large star by where I have the orange arrows pointing so that it will lay flat.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  10. #10
    Super Member JNCT14's Avatar
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    Just the large star seam allowance? or both?

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