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Thread: Newbie Question: How worried should I be about 1/4-inch?

  1. #1
    Senior Member JenelTX's Avatar
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    Finally! I started my first quilt today. (I forced myself to wait until I had finished another project.) What a fun day! I cut strips and made 22 blocks with 9 squares in each. They're supposed to measure 4.25 x 4.25 inches, and they all do... except one. That one is 4.25 x 4 inches, maybe a little bit less.

    I think I'm just going to throw it away and make a new one, but I wanted to ask more experienced quilters how much I should worry about a quarter inch. Do you normally throw away a block that's off by that much (smaller)? If not, how do you compensate for the shortfall?

    Next weekend... pinwheels!!! :)

  2. #2
    Super Member Vicki W's Avatar
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    It will make it easier for you later if you toss it. (Save it and let it find it's way into another project later.

  3. #3
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    At first I worried more about consistancy of my seam allowances than I did exactly what measurement they were. Consistancy is far more important.

    As for the one block, don't throw it away. Rip it apart, figure out where your error was and fix it. It may have been in cutting, it may have been in stitching.

    We learn by ripping :)

  4. #4
    Power Poster erstan947's Avatar
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    Rather then throw it away, I remove the stitching, press and recheck the pieces size and then resew. Sometimes one block will have extra large seams. As close as you can be accurate the better your blocks will fit together.:)

  5. #5
    Power Poster MamaBear61's Avatar
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    As you work with more pieces and blocks the 1/4" can be your best friend and everything will go together smoothly. I know my first few quilts show the difference an 1/8" or two can make in the final products. I have improved greatly but still end up taking the odd block or seam apart to correct a "situation".

  6. #6
    Super Member hopetoquilt's Avatar
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    If you have enough fabric, you could put it in a scrap pile. If not, you could always put it in the corner of the quilt (we won't report you to the quilt police)

  7. #7
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hopetoquilt
    If you have enough fabric, you could put it in a scrap pile. If not, you could always put it in the corner of the quilt (we won't report you to the quilt police)
    Or use it as the label on the back of the quilt.

  8. #8
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    accuracy is important
    Accuracy is important
    ACCURACY IS IMPORTANT

  9. #9
    Senior Member clynns's Avatar
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    Rules to live by:
    1. The seam ripper is your best friend.
    2. Tear it out and re-measure your pieces. If they are exactly what they are supposed to be, re-sew. If they are not and you have extra fabric, just recut those pieces that you need to.
    3. Take painters tape for masking tape and mark off on top of your needle plate 1/4 inch line. Place the tape 1/4 inch from the needle. Use this line as your guide.
    4. Sew the block again. Measure the block.

    You should be good to go.

    PS. There are no quilt police on here. A lot of varied opinions of different things that work for different people. Try several different things and keep what works for you. But good habits are best started at the beginning. If you are consistent now, later on you'll do it automatically. And many patterns require that you be exact on that 1/4 inch.
    Don't give up. I have a seam ripper in my sewing machine, my thread cabinet, on top of my bookcase, and in my purse. Plus a couple extras that I've picked up just in case I can't find one. LOL

  10. #10
    Super Member PurplePassion's Avatar
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    I never throw away blocks , they can be used for making potholders, or in a small doll quilt or a scrappy quilt.or make a pillow , by adding borders.

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