trouble lining up seams
I'm hand piecing a very large quilt with very small squares. (King size postage stamp, was I crazy?) I have been on and off with being able to line up my seams when joining rows. Any tips? This is my first hand piecing. Also will it take me years more to quilt it? Or will that go easier than the piecing?
Any tips for speed and accuracy appreciated. I've been working on it for a few years now and only 1/4 through the piecing. (I have put it away for two and three months at a time though).
If your only pinning in the center of a seam try pinning on each side of the seam close to the center.
It probably would have been easier to work on it in sections instead of rows. It's probably too late for that now. Since you're doing it by hand, line up every seam, pin and then ease in the side that's too long.
One really good tip I learned in a Stack and Whack class this last month:
Put a pin in the center of the seam edge you are trying to match. Take that pin and put it in the opposite row center of the seam edge and stand it up (it helps to use a hot pad or pincushion as an extra hand). Take another pin and pin it at an angle across the seam. Take a 3rd pin and make an X with the pin you just inserted at an angle going from the next side back across the seam. You can then remove the pin standing up.
What this does is match the seam exactly with the opposite side.
Its a total pain to do, but the results are astounding. It matches up every seam exactly. All you have to do is ease the remaining seam together and wha-la you have perfectly matched seams every time.
I was taught to do this to match the points of the hexagon star Stack and Whack I was making in the class and it worked! It should work for your postage stamp quilt as well.
to add to VickyS suggestion. She suggests a hot pad or pin cushion.
Try a cork hot pad to stick pins in thru the fabric. It really helps hold the fabric.
HI Suncenter. Start something smaller and easier to get yourself motivated to quilt. I'm afraid you'll burn out. Pick this up at night and work on it then. But finish something for yourself soon. Barny
also, as suggested, break it down into smaller units.
be sure your seams are consistent too. very important
This is an after-the-fact hint, but... taking into consideration that the width-wise grain of the fabric has a TINY bit of stretch in a 1.5 x 1.5 inch square of fabric, and the lengthwise-grain had pretty much NO amount of stretch... if you sewed the *strips* sewing the sides with NO stretch together ....(and of course they really do need to be accurate seams too)... then when sewing the long strips of little squares... you are working with a TINY amount of stretch or give to help match seams........
Yes, when picking up a little square, you can just barely tell which edge is lengthwise or crosswise grain, its a tiny but different response to a very slight pull....
And, because this is after the fact LOL... I have heard of people putting a perhaps 6 stitches per inch basting line inside the seam allowance, and pulling up a stitch when attempting to ease the fabric inbetween two small seams.... .I dont know if this is helpful in an area 1 inch in measurement.. but it might help..... LOL
I hand pieced a wallhanging and had a similar problem of lining up rows of seams, I found pins were a pain in the ....... as I was always stabbing myself or getting the thread tangled. I ended up taking a needle and thread and tying the seam. I put put the needle through one side of the seam I needed to match up, leaving a nice long tail of thread, and then brought it up the other side and just tied a knot with the 2 ends. I did this to all the seams in the row before I started sewing, they all line up beautifully. ( I hope this makes sense ;) )