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Thread: Question about sewing from alternate sides when making strip sets

  1. #1
    Super Member LucyInTheSky's Avatar
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    Question about sewing from alternate sides when making strip sets

    I know when I'm making strip sets or sewing rows that I want to alternate the side that I sew from to keep the strips from getting bowed. But what I'm confused about is the exact pattern, I guess, of the sewing.

    Okay: so I have 8 strips that need to become 1 strip set. I start from side A and sew 4 seams making 4 pairs, all starting from side A. Now I want to alternate, so I go to side B and sew 2 seams making 2 groups of 2. Great, no problem, no confusion. Where I'm confused - now do I sew from side A or side B? Since starting from side A would make sense, since I alternated since I just sewed from B. But since the ones that I'm about to connect were sewn from side A initially, B would be the side to start on to make them alternate in their final placement.

    I included a picture to illustrate the question

    Do I want to lay out the final strip set and have each strip from 1 to 8 have started from opposite sides when I sewed? Or do I want each pass through the sewing machine to alternate? Your help is appreciated, since this is something that's been bugging me for many a time.
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  2. #2
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    Join them from side B. The fact that you just sewed from B doesn't matter since you didn't just join the seams next to the one you are doing next. (it's the fabric that cares about direction, not the machine)

    I leave thread tails on the start of each row so I know which direction it started. Helps me out sometimes, especially if I take a break.
    Last edited by ghostrider; 02-26-2012 at 10:08 AM.
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  3. #3
    Super Member sewjoyce's Avatar
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    Yep I'd do the "B" side next...and I also leave thread tails....I can forget which direction I've sewn from one strip to the next...
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  4. #4
    Super Member LucyInTheSky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghostrider View Post
    Join them from side B. The fact that you just sewed from B doesn't matter since you didn't just join the seams next to the one you are doing next. (it's the fabric that cares about direction, not the machine)
    Okay, gotcha. That makes sense. Thank you
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  5. #5
    Super Member willferg's Avatar
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    I learned this the hard way...I sewed a whole bunch of 44 inch strips together, one to the next. I did notice that they weren't ending the same, even though they were the same length, but I was new to quilting and just forged on. When I was done (sewing all those expensive batik flannel strips), I had a big curve in the middle, and the piece was unusable. I think, after tossing it aside for some years, I finally cut it into a big fish shape to make a big floor pillow, but I don't know if I even finished that. So depressing.

    Good for you for thinking this out and asking about it!

  6. #6
    Super Member LucyInTheSky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by willferg View Post
    I learned this the hard way...I sewed a whole bunch of 44 inch strips together, one to the next. I did notice that they weren't ending the same, even though they were the same length, but I was new to quilting and just forged on. When I was done (sewing all those expensive batik flannel strips), I had a big curve in the middle, and the piece was unusable. I think, after tossing it aside for some years, I finally cut it into a big fish shape to make a big floor pillow, but I don't know if I even finished that. So depressing.

    Good for you for thinking this out and asking about it!
    Yup, I've learned my lesson too, though thankfully mine were workable. And then the concept of alternating made sense, just needed these nice gals to clarify it. Now off to sew some strips!
    Nothing's a mistake. It's a learning experience. Some experiences, you learn more than others.

    My 2012 resolution: Be happy and finish lots of UFOs!

  7. #7
    Super Member jcrow's Avatar
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    I never thought of alternating sides. It makes complete sense. Thanks for the advice even though I didn't write this thread I need to know this for my own use.
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