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Thread: Novice Quilter trying to piece together stripes, please help

  1. #1
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    Hi Everybody, I only have completed 3 quilts and they were made with BIG (at least 12"X12" blocks). While doing the September FabShopHop I stumbled across GORGEOUS floral fabrics on sale for $2/yard, and I bought a lot! Not content with the florals, I searched and found the coordinating stripes and a plaid for around $4/yard. Again, being a novice, I didn't know how much to purchase, so I bought a lot more! Anyway, I tried my hand at piecing together a block called Aunt Eliza's Star. From this I discovered 2 things - 1) I am not good enough to work with triangles yet; and 2) trying to line up stripes is not as easy as it looks. [IMG]http://i213.photobucket.com/albums/c...ilting/159.jpg[/IMG]

    So here are the fabrics I have - the striped plaid and floral. The plaid and floral stripe repeat every 2 inches, and I have white, blue, pink, and green but not a lot of blue because it was almost sold out.
    [IMG]http://i213.photobucket.com/albums/c...ilting/161.jpg[/IMG]
    I also have yards of ribbon florals in blue, green, and white.
    [IMG]http://i213.photobucket.com/albums/c...ilting/162.jpg[/IMG]
    I have small floral groups in pink and blue, and a limited amount of all plaid:
    [IMG]http://i213.photobucket.com/albums/c...ilting/163.jpg[/IMG]
    And I also have a large pink ribbon floral on green background, and that was the center of the sample block in the first picture.

    So what can I do? Should I just cut out squares and patch together a nine block? Trying to line up those stripes is nerve-wracking. Any advice from experienced quilters would be much appreciated! Thanks!

  2. #2
    CrystalKicks's Avatar
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    I think the star you made is beautiful and if you hadnt of mentioned it I wouldnt have even noticed that the lines didnt match!!

  3. #3
    Super Member Prism99's Avatar
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    Many quilters don't line up stripes. Not lining them up actually adds a lot of "life" to a quilt.

    As for the triangles, if you starch your fabric before cutting triangles, you will be much less likely to stretch the bias edge out of shape. The heavier the starching, the more stable the fabric.

    I think your block is charming. You might want to make 3 more and see how the blocks look together. I'm thinking a narrow sashing might add definition.

  4. #4
    Super Member charismah's Avatar
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    I also have to say I don't worry about matching stripes....I just go with however they turn out..I love striped fabric and I think I wouldn't if I worried about matching everything up nicely..I just love the texture it adds to my finished product. I think you shoudl continue on with your blocks..they are darling!

    As far as half square triangles I think there are so mnay tricks to them that make them easier to deal with.

    There are several ways...

    Tube quilting
    thangles
    special rulers....I think you just have to decide what works for you..try a few out.

  5. #5
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    I would be happy with your block. The fabric is beautiful.

    Have you tried the sew then cut method for hlf square triangles? Cut your squares 1 inch bigger than the finished size you need. Mark a diagonal line on the back of one of the squares. Place the two squares right sides together and sew 1/4 inch from your marked line on EACH side. Cut on the marked line. You will now have 2 half square triangle blocks you can trim to the perfect finished size.

  6. #6
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    I think you may be second guessing your self/overthinking this block :wink: :D Not many would venture to try lining up stripes... I would make these blocks and would add a sashing strip...they would be separated and the fact that the stripes don't line up would not be noticed... I would use a more solid colored fabric for these.
    This block with the stripes landing in different places will make the quilt have more movement, which is very desireable.
    Please keep going with this...it is going to be an amazing quilt!!! :D :D :D
    I agree with starching your fabric pretty heavily...you will be amazed at how well the triangles will behave :wink:
    Double check your 1/4 in seams...maybe a stack of post it notes to use as a guide for your fabric will help with your seams/piecing. You are not that far off to having perfect points!!! :wink:

  7. #7
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    To line up the stripes, you would have to fussy-cut every square and that would waste time and fabric. Also, as long as you use a directional fabric in the HST - you will have a stripe that doesn't line up in the triangle. I am with the rest of the group: Just go with your original plan. You already KNOW that the stripes won't match. That may give you more leway to play and experiment with the rest of the process. Have fun. It will be beautiful.

  8. #8
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    I think your block is wonderful. We have the same taste in fabric. I was drooling on my keyboard while looking at those beautiful fabrics.

  9. #9
    Super Member b.zang's Avatar
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    Now, if you were trying to set in sleeves to a striped jacket or some other tailored outfit, I might give you matching advice. However, if you want stripes to go one way or another, just cut your fabric along that line and piece it in. Quilt pieces go every which-way, though, so why don't you try your stripes likewise?


  10. #10
    Super Member Moonpi's Avatar
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    Some patterns lend themselves easier to stripes than others. Keep in mind that stripes don't always need yo be lengthwise. It's all according to the look you are after.

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