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Thread: question about grain direction

  1. #1
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    question about grain direction

    I am making a quilt for my baby who is due later this fall. The block I have chosen is a double friendship star with the center square being a diamond (square on its point). (I don't know if there's an official name for this block). I understand you are supposed to make all the grainlines run the same direction, but how bad would it be to make this one square different from the rest? It woudl be so much easier to just cut a square, then add triangles to the sides (which would make the grain of this square be diagonal), rather than cut a bigger square, cut away the corners, then add the new corners in the correct color. It's hard to explain, but I hope this makes sense. The entire block is 9" finished, so the square in question is less than 3 inches in size. What do you all think? I'm torn. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Marycumi's Avatar
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    I don't see a problem with sewing the triangles to the square. If you cut the corners off the square then sew on the triangles, you would be sewing with a bias edge on the square. That could cause a lot of stretch. As long as you keep the pieces on the grain, it shouldn't make a difference what way the pieces are sewn together.

  3. #3
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    While grain is important in making clothes, sometimes in quilting it is less so. When paper piecing the grain lines don't end up all going the same way. Sometimes getting the fabric pattersn straight is more important than perfect grain. If you starch your fabric well, you shouldn't have too much trouble sewing the squares together. The reason straight of grain is usually put along the edges is so the pieces stretch less when you sew them to the next square or row. Sometimes with solid coloured fabrics, the fabric looks a little different depending on the grain. This is supposed to be fun, so sew up your gift of love for the new baby.

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    Thanks for responding. I thought about the stretch problem when sewing two bias edges together (part of the reason I want to break the grain direction rule). But the square will be turned on its point (so, it's actually a diamond) which means the grain direction will not match the rest of the block (diagonal relativeto the other pieces). Since it's small and in the center of the block, that won't matter too much, will it? (I wish I had a picture. these things are hard to describe in words.)

    Thanks!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tartan View Post
    While grain is important in making clothes, sometimes in quilting it is less so. When paper piecing the grain lines don't end up all going the same way. Sometimes getting the fabric pattersn straight is more important than perfect grain. If you starch your fabric well, you shouldn't have too much trouble sewing the squares together. The reason straight of grain is usually put along the edges is so the pieces stretch less when you sew them to the next square or row. Sometimes with solid coloured fabrics, the fabric looks a little different depending on the grain. This is supposed to be fun, so sew up your gift of love for the new baby.
    Thanks! I think that answers my question. I sometimes have to give myself special permission to break rules.

  6. #6
    Super Member ckcowl's Avatar
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    first off----there are no real rules---do what works for you! what you are wanting to do is what most (square in a square- square on point) instructions will tell you to do. the only thing you ever really need to be aware of is bias edges will stretch- so when working with them starch helps- pins help- slowing down & taking care helps-
    people who work alot with scraps seldom pay any attention to grain lines- same goes for appliquer's- you just need to take care with bias edges- and make it the way you want to-and it works for you.
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  7. #7
    Senior Member Toni C's Avatar
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    With Starch you can do ANYTHING (almost)

  8. #8
    Super Member Pickles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ckcowl View Post
    first off----there are no real rules---do what works for you! what you are wanting to do is what most (square in a square- square on point) instructions will tell you to do. the only thing you ever really need to be aware of is bias edges will stretch- so when working with them starch helps- pins help- slowing down & taking care helps-
    people who work alot with scraps seldom pay any attention to grain lines- same goes for appliquer's- you just need to take care with bias edges- and make it the way you want to-and it works for you.
    I totally agree with ckcowl ..
    May you always have Love to Share , Health to Spare, and Friends that Care!

  9. #9
    Super Member mom-6's Avatar
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    Unless you are using a 'directional' fabric (stripes, figures that would be standing on their heads, velvet, etc) this should not be a problem. Usually in a quilt you have pieces small enough that it is not an issue except for borders.

    I remember years ago trying to help a friend make her first garment. She had chosen a fairly simple pattern, but her fabric was directional with fairies sitting on mushrooms. Fortunately we discovered that they were all facing the same way before cutting the main pieces upside down. She did not want to unpin everything and turn it around but eventually wisely decided that was better than wearing it upside down.

    Again, this should not be an issue with your quilt block, but thought you might enjoy the story.
    legendarycandles.com
    Just discovered I qualify for FABLE (Fabric Acquired Beyond Life Expectancy)

  10. #10
    Super Member ube quilting's Avatar
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    WHo told you the grain has to run in the same direction? If you look at most quilts, if they have a triangle or a curve, the grain runs differently. How do you make a quilt with the grain running he same direction? . I never considered fabric grain when I started quilting and I still don't unless I need a bias cut for something.

    My only concern about fabric grain is if the fabric has a nap that changes the color if viewed from different directions. Then I want to be sure that material runs in the same direction.


    I understand the stretching of the grain but never let it stop me from using a fabric the way I wanted to.

    HANLDE YOUR FABRIC GENTLY and with a little starch you should have no problem.

    peace

    EDIT: There are no rules in creativity except one. "There are no rules"
    Last edited by ube quilting; 07-27-2012 at 06:04 PM.
    no act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. Aesop

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