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Thread: Seams that intersect perfectly

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    I would like to know what the secret is to seams that intersect perfectly. I have used pins and removed them at the very last moment, but the result is less than perfect. Does anyone have suggestions for me?.

    Thanks,
    Alfred




  2. #2
    Super Member Pam Pollock's Avatar
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    Alfred,

    While feeding the 2 layers of material to my machine, I hold the material together at each upcoming intersection with my left hand. If it looks like the top piece of the material is getting a little slack in it before getting to the seam, then I use the point of a seam ripper in my right hand to ease the material under the foot a little at a time until the top material is flat again. so that when I get to the intersection everything is lining up just fine. Hope that helps! It works for me. Maybe someone else will have another idea for you. :D

    Pam

  3. #3
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    when my joints are off, the first thing i do is check the seam allowances on the sewn pieces to be joined. if they're off, i fix them. if they're the right size (usually 1/4") the fun starts.

    i've recently started pinning across the intersection, so my pins run parallel to the presser foot. i put the pin about 3/4" from the edge so i don't have to take it out when i get to it. that also lets me check the join from both directions.

    when they're really stubborn, i pin across the join, then once "up and down" on each side of the join. i sew slowly. sometimes i have to remove the pins, sometimes not.

    when they're really, really, really giving me fits, i pin and sew just the joins and don't "fill in" the whole seam until the joins are right.

    if none of that works i either induce self-hypnosis so i don't see the wonky bits any more or i set them aside and move on. then i make replacements for the ones that wouldn't go together properly. i set them aside to use them later in a scrap quilt, or - if i don't have enough fabric to make replacements - take them apart and reassemble until they fit together the way they're supposed to.

    needless to say, i spend a lot of time in a transe. AND my scrap bag is bursting with orphan sections of wonky blocks. :shock:


  4. #4
    Super Member moreland's Avatar
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    When I learned that I should put the fuller piece on the bottom, it helped with matching seams. A few times I've turned my pieces "upside down" to get the best fit. Also, it is sometimes easier to "correct" the intersections after the fact. I go back and rip out a few stitches on either side of the intersection and am able to get things to match up. Another quilter taught me that trick.
    As I have gotten more experience and can make my seams equal in width (I aim at the quater inch), that has helped too. One other "tip" is to be sure you are squaring up your blocks --it is tedious sometimes, but well worth the time it takes and pure joy to watch the seams match so easily.

  5. #5
    Steve's Avatar
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    Then too, how "imperfect" can you stand? A lot of very minor flaws go away once quilted, or at least that's what experience I've had thus far. Ask yourself “Can I live with it?” if the answer is no, then see seam ripper and the previous responses. If yes, hallelujah!

  6. #6
    Senior Member Lisa's Avatar
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    Line up your seams using your sewing pins, just stick them straight into the fabric pointing out of the other side, once your seams are lined up the way you want then with the pins still sticking straight thru, use another pin on either side and put them in the way you usually do, then remove the ones that are sticking straight thru. Be careful when you put your pins in, when you push them in and then push the pointed end back out to the top you can sometimes inadvertentley un-align your seams. Also if you plan ahead so that you have pressed one seam one direction and the other seam in the opposite direction they will "lock" in for you with ease. I hope this helps.

  7. #7

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    One rule of thumb serves me well:

    On a galloping horse, who can tell?

    Keeps my OCD at bay. :D


  8. #8
    Super Member moreland's Avatar
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    I loved the little poem--and it is so true. Things that look bad today are usually just fine the next day. It is amazing how that works. :-)

  9. #9
    Country Quilter's Avatar
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    I don't follow anybody's rules but my own....I press my seams open, match them up, pin both sides and don't remove the pins when I get to them...I just go really slow! I have bent a few pins and dulled a few needles but my seam ripper? where is that thing anyway....I can never find it! LOL

    Seriously, I know this isn't the "correct" way to do this but I was also told there are NO rules!!! I make mine up as I go along...whatever works!

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    This may not solve your problem, but--press seam allowances to one side. When putting together 2 blocks, have the seam allowances going in opposite directions (ex: blue piece to left, red piece to right) and pin through the stitching. If you're not sure, baste it first, then look at finished seam. They should line up just right. Make sure when stitching that the bottom seam allowances are not pushed in other direction, because this makes a bump and can throw off exact seam match.

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