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Thread: Tolerance

  1. #1
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    Tolerance

    How much plus or minus from the expected measurement do you consider acceptable when you make an item?

    For example - if the unfinished block size is supposed to be 12.5 inches - and this was for a group project - what measurements would you consider acceptable (and easy to work with)?

    (I also know that many of you are miracle workers in making almost anything/everything 'work' - but if you could have your druthers - ?)

    I know that 'exact' is just about impossible to attain - so how much leeway do you allow yourself?

    Even manufacturers of low tolerance items have a plus/minus from the expected measurement.

    For me, my tolerance would be 12.25 to 12.75 inches if 12.50 is the target size.
    Because - I could make 1/8 inch seams on the smaller one and the points would not look overly floaty, and I could fairly easily ease in the extra 0.25 inch on the larger one.

  2. #2
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    Since I'm still a pretty new quilter, I allow myself a LOT of leeway! I use the lowest common denominator approach where everything gets trimmed down to the smallest block and sashing makes up the difference. But so far I haven't made blocks that had points or anything that would really show the block had been trimmed.

    Plus I tell myself there's a certain amount of charm in a slightly wonky quilt. Though honestly I prefer things to line up, I'm just not all that skilled yet. My first quilt has blocks that are probably a half-inch off - thankfully I've gotten a LOT better! LOL

  3. #3
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    For my own use - whatever works. For a group project - probably 1/8 to 1/4" depending on the size of the block. But maybe that's why I seldom do group projects. When I first started quilting I somehow wound up putting together all the blocks from a group, and it was for a quilt meant for a raffle. I wound up having to make extra blocks to replace the ones that just would not fit. I wouldn't want some other quilter to be saddled with blocks that I didn't have the skill or patience to make well.

  4. #4
    Super Member ckcowl's Avatar
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    for swaps- when a 12 1/2" block is supposed to be swapped there is seldom any (tolerance)---a 12 1/2" block is expected- if you tend to not make your blocks precise you would be best off to make them a little large-then trim to the proper size before sending for the swap- often if your blocks are not correct they are returned unswapped.
    if i am working on something for myself i try very hard to make my blocks the size they are supposed to be- even an 1/8" off will add up to a whole inch in only 8 pieces---if my first block does not come out right i figure out why- if i continue to have problems i try to adjust so they are larger & can be trimmed to size.
    if your blocks are continuously 1/4" off it only takes 4 to be a whole inch off---if following a pattern that can really cause nothing to work- it is generally best to strive to get them right- not allow yourself a (tolerance)
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  5. #5
    Super Member Treasureit's Avatar
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    I always square up my blocks before I start sewing together...I can't make them bigger, but I can get larger ones to get a little better. I try to find the smallest one and see if I can get the rest to match. If not I do smaller seams on that one or two and the go from there.

  6. #6
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    For myself as long as they're all the same size I'm generally okay with it unless it's a real fussy block. For swaps I make sure my own blocks are the perfect measurement for the swap. I discovered I don't have much tolerance for other people's tolerance so I don't swap.

  7. #7
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    If it is for a group project or swap ... 1/8 inch or less what I find exceptable to receive . If its my own work , and I am very critical of my own .. its less than 2 mm...even then I would be dissapointed in my lack of precision.

  8. #8
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    1/8" is my tolerance. If the block is for a swap or group quilt I make sure it is the exact size or bigger to trim to exact size. No tolerance in swaps for me. I have been in too many swaps where close enough was considered by some as okay to send. It is not.
    Got fabric?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ckcowl View Post
    for swaps- when a 12 1/2" block is supposed to be swapped there is seldom any (tolerance)---a 12 1/2" block is expected- if you tend to not make your blocks precise you would be best off to make them a little large-then trim to the proper size before sending for the swap- often if your blocks are not correct they are returned unswapped....
    Ty, I agree.
    especially if the pattern has a point and that extra 1/4" would chop off the points.
    Swaps are great because everyone should aim to do their best. With that in mind, your skill will improve.

  10. #10
    Super Member pollyjvan9's Avatar
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    First off, I don't enter swaps because I tend to get distracted and end up starting a new project or completing a project I haven't thought about for months and would probably miss the deadlines. However for myself I really strive for the correct size (no tolerance) in a pieced quilt. As someone already stated a very small + or - tolerance can add up to a very difficult quilt to put together. Back to being easily distracted...maybe that is why I make so many machine applique quilts. It is very easy to cheat and still come out ok. My background square is usually about 1/2" big so that I can trim them all down to the same size.

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