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Thread: What do you do when...

  1. #1
    Luv2Kreate's Avatar
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    you just can't get a block to come out the right size?
    I am in the quilt block exchange, and I am having a hard time getting my blocks to come out right. The 1st block was a complete disaster so I tossed it and decided to do something else. The 2nd block looks good until you measure it. It came out 1/4 of an inch to short both diagonally and horizontally...I know I measured and cut the correct pieces and I used my piecing foot with the edge so the seams should have been correct too...Any suggestions? I have to have the block finished by tomorrow because after that I will be away from my computer and this block is for my December partner...I need HELP!

  2. #2
    Super Member Quilt Mom's Avatar
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    Sometimes even the feet that are supposed to be 1/4" are not. I'd measure the seams to make sure.

    and

    Some patterns call for a scant 1/4" seam. That can make a difference, too, in the outcome. :-(

    I struggle with this, too, you see. I finally took a piece of painters' tape - the blue stuff that comes off easily - and marked 1/4" on my machine.

    Hope this helps...

  3. #3
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    yep, those seams can be a pain sometimes. stitch a scant 1/4 inch seam and sometimes even the way you press the seams on a block will make a difference.

  4. #4
    Bobbinwinder's Avatar
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    There are many little things that can add up...if there are multiple pieces and each one is off just a smidge then the end result is a smidge times the number of pieces off. Stiffening...starch or sizing...fabric before cutting has made a huge difference in my accuracy. Always use the same rulers, try not to mix brands unless you check them against each other first. For sure check your seam guide. Some thread can even make a difference if it is too heavy. Pressing is so important and often we don't take the time to set each seam before we press to the side...and for accuracy, some seams should be pressed open. Don't be discouraged, there are many of us who have trouble with attaining the accurate size for a block for others...we don't have to worry about that when we are consistent with our personal stuff because it all works out...but when it is for someone else, it does. But since we all use different rulers and we all read them a bit differently...there's bound to be some differences when we participate in swaps and trades. I've really gone a long way with all this...probably too far... but since your post mentioned being off in two measurements and not four, I'd guess that it's a pressing problem...see if you can redistribute the bulk by redirecting the allowances or by pressing some seams open. Hope this helps...and, please forgive the longwinded reply.

  5. #5
    Luv2Kreate's Avatar
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    I pressed and starched really well before measuring. I think maybe I can take the block apart and shorten the seam allowance. I am hoping that works...thanks for all the replies :)

  6. #6
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    Are you cutting your pieces from measurements from the block pattern or printed out templates/foundations? Some times when we print out the templates they can be just a tiny bit too small to begin with... I found this to be true with the DJ software and my printer, so I would need to make adjustments.

    Can you post a picture of your block? So we can see the whole picture? That will help us be able to help you better too :D:D:D

  7. #7
    Tiffany's Avatar
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    I know this may sound like an odd question but did you measure the pieces and cut them with a cutting mat or did you use a ruler? The measurements on the cutting mats are NOT CORRECT! If you measure them with your ruler, often you will find spots where it is off. For a couple years I just could not seem to get my blocks to come out the right size. It was frustrating and often made me want to cry. I just didn't join any type of exchanges or anything like that. Then I had a teacher tell me to measure my cutting mat and I was shocked to see that right in the center, where I did most of my measuring, it was off quite a bit. Once I quit using my cutting mat to measure with I was amazed at how much better my blocks came out. If you haven't tried this, measure your mat to see if you have one that is off. It could be that you aren't doing anything wrong and it's the mat to blame.

  8. #8
    Luv2Kreate's Avatar
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    No it isn't done from a template. In fact what makes it so frustrating is it is an easy block (or should be. I can't post a pic to the board because I don't want the recipient to see it :(

    I think tonight when I have a chance I will start over from scratch and try my 1/4 foot without the guide. Maybe that will help...

  9. #9
    Luv2Kreate's Avatar
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    I wish I could blame it on the mat...I used the ruler. Maybe I cut a little off or something. Great tip on measuring the mat though...will be doing that for sure :)

  10. #10
    Moderator Up North's Avatar
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    If you can, move your needle to the right one or two clicks. I finally got it right when I did that because even with the 1/4 foot I was off. I still end up redoing for swaps tho as I want it to be correct for them.

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