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Thread: This is why I only do applique quilts

  1. #1
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    This is why I only do applique quilts

    I've been doing applique for a lot of years. When I first started out and tried to do regular piecing quilts, my squares were so crooked I'd end up tossing them. So I figured I'd give it a try. I was so careful measuring, cutting out and sewing. I took my time. And I got this..



    Horribly crooked!!! I didn't want to just throw it out after 2 days of cutting so I decided instead of a quilt I would just make a wall hanging and hope it didn't look too horrible. This is what I got (before I quilt)...



    I really don't get it. Why am I so bad at this?? Is there a trick I don't know about? The only good thing about my wall hanging is that I don't have any quilting friends that will point out all the flaws!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Diannia's Avatar
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    This really isn't bad for your first attempt! Don't be so hard on yourself. Do you have a 1/4" foot...that helps a lot. Lots of us feel the same way you do...only about applique! Practice, practice, practice...

    Diannia
    I am too blessed to be stressed and too anointed to be disappointed!

  3. #3
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Consider this ... was your first applique project as perfect as what you are doing now?

    As Diannia said ... Practice, practice practice ............... and then practice some mroe!
    And soon you'll be thrilled with your progress and think about all the exciting new projects ahead using both piecing and applique.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Sew many ideas ... just sew little time!!
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  4. #4
    Super Member Crqltr's Avatar
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    Are you rotary cutting? Using templates. When I first started I was marking, then cutting. Found out it was not my sewing...it was my cutting. Try using thangles for your triangles. I think it's pretty darn good for starting quilt!

  5. #5
    Senior Member bunniequilter's Avatar
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    Totaly agree, you keep trying and you will get better and better! As I told my kids when they were young, how do you climb a ladder? From the ground up, keep trying and you will make it to the top.



    Quote Originally Posted by QuiltE View Post
    Consider this ... was your first applique project as perfect as what you are doing now?

    As Diannia said ... Practice, practice practice ............... and then practice some mroe!
    And soon you'll be thrilled with your progress and think about all the exciting new projects ahead using both piecing and applique.
    Quilt outside of the box!

  6. #6
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    I am still horrible with triangles. One of the ladies in the guild taught me to cut them so they come out right. It's all about finding a cutting and measuring style that works for you. I started piecing with simple patchwork squares, nine patches, etc - no triangles, just worked on seam matching. Then I moved up to things like shoo fly, churn dash, and friendship stars. I'm just starting to try some of the patterns with more triangles now after almost 6 years of serious quilting.

  7. #7
    Super Member PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    I would double check my seam allowance.

    Achieving an Accurate 1/4" Seam Allowance

    Your wall hanging looks great. After you quilt it, some of the 'off' seams will dissappear.
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
    Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

  8. #8
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    What are thangles? No, I didn't use a rotary cutter. It's been so long since I've used them their as dull as a butter knife!

  9. #9
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    you'd be surprised if you went ahead and finished the whole quilt how much your technique will improve after all the practice...and, any perceived errors will be lost in the big picture of the whole quilt....looks great for first time. Cutting, sewing and pressing all work together to determine whether something is "perfect" or not...and very few of us do "perfect".
    Kate

  10. #10
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    Okay first of all, a true quilting friend will NOT point out the errors. If she does, she's not really a friend. A good friend might offer assistance to show you how to improve, though.

    A couple of thoughts. First of all, when you press your pieces, are you using and up-and-down motion with the iron, or are you wiping the iron across the fabric? Wiping will cause your blocks to stretch. If you're not a pre-washer, you might consider washing the fabrics, or not using any water in your iron. I've had pieces of fabrics shrink after I've cut and sewn them, because I used starch or steam as I pressed.

    Second, your pins in the first picture are in an odd spot. I don't pin much, but when I do, I pin over the seam that I'm going to sew. As I'm sewing, when I reach the pin, I stop and pull it out, then continue to sew.

    You might consider doing some paper piecing. I actually got my start in quilting by taking a paper-piecing class, I was at a sewing show and the class I originally wanted to take was full. The benefit of paper-piecing is you get very accurate blocks. There are wonderful tutorials and videos out there to learn from. Make sure you start with a simple block, the Ohio star would work wonderfully.

    I understand how you feel, I'm frustrated because I don't think my quilting skills are where they should be, especially in relation to my piecing skills. It sounds like you're the same with your applique skills. Just keep plugging away at it. You will be surprised at how quickly you improve. There were times when I'd get frustrated, wad my project up into a ball and throw it in a bin. Pull it out 6 months later and amazingly, I'd improved and now had the skills to work out that particular problem.

    Your blocks are beautiful. As Paper Princess said, quilting will improve it.

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