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Thread: More Practice and Lessons Learned

  1. #1
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    I spent a good part of Saturday trying to piece the perfect block. Since I was cutting imperfect strips, it wasn't an easy task.

    After much reading, the best advice I could find on my impferct strips was it came from an imperfect fold of the fabric. I decided I'd have a perfect fold one way or the other. It involved pins and irons and starch, but I got there! My strips were very nearly perfect by the end of the day! Yeah!

    The next thing I learned is starch is a beautiful thing. I love it. If I starch the fabric into cardboard, it cuts much nicer. :) Maybe I spent too many years working with construction paper.

    The last thing I learned is square rulers are the best invention ever! I want one in every size possible.

    These practice blocks are still not exactly perfect. My points have a habit of running away, but I'm getting there and having fun doing it.

    Lisa

    Mr Roosevelt's necktie - again slightly undersized
    Name:  Attachment-47027.jpe
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Size:  51.9 KB

    Shoofly variation - perfect size - a little funky on the points
    Name:  Attachment-47028.jpe
Views: 28
Size:  54.7 KB

    Friendship star - about 1/4 undersized
    Name:  Attachment-47029.jpe
Views: 31
Size:  51.7 KB

  2. #2
    Super Member sewjoyce's Avatar
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    Well, I think you're doing just GREAT!!!! :D

  3. #3
    Super Member KGoodhand's Avatar
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    You keep saying - slightly undersized - have you checked your 1/4"?!? That will make a big difference too!

  4. #4
    Esqmommy's Avatar
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    You are doing amazingly well. Keep up the learning and practicing.

  5. #5
    Super Member Ducky's Avatar
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    Lisa, they look wonderful! You've done a great job. Keep going -- you're on a roll!

    I had to laugh when I was reading what you said about starch. I learned that if I starch the heck out of something, I can do anything! I just discovered that with binding strips.

  6. #6
    Power Poster
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    Very pretty and bright looking.

    Have you checked your seams?

    This has been mentioned here more than once, but it's still worth doing just to check on your "personal measurementd" - Mary Ellen Hopkins' term -

    cut three strips 2 inches wide - they only need to be about six inches long

    sew them together with your 1/4 inch seam - press like you usually do - measure -

    the three strips sewn together should measure 5 inches -

    if they measure more or less, then you need to do some adjusting with either how you cut or how you sew -

    Some of the places where differences can happen:

    In the original cutting - where do you put the line of your ruler?

    When I cut a "two-inch strip" - even though I have the line at 2 inches on the fabric, it's a smidge wider than that because of the extra width gained from the distance the rotary blade is from the edge of the ruler and I sew with about a "real" 1/4 inch seam.

    I've seen people use the lines on their mats as guides - the fabric they are cutting off is not under their ruler - so they might end up with "skimpy" two-inch strips

    But if you are cutting "exact" two-inch strips, maybe you need to sew a "scant" quarter inch (which is somewhere between 3/16 and 15/64 of an inch)

    Your pressing looks nice. If seams aren't pressed properly, little tucks or pleats can gather there also, and make the block "smaller"

  7. #7
    Super Member Kyiav10's Avatar
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    I think you are doing great!! I learned the hard way about folding too! But I have never used starch. Maybe I should try it sometime.

    The blocks are coming together nicely.


    Kyia

  8. #8
    Senior Member sandybeach's Avatar
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    I learned this from a quilt guild member. If your blocks are slightly too small, you can iron them a little larger.

    Take a piece of heavy muslin about 15 inches square. On it draw squares with a permanent marker starting about 5 or 6 inches. Go out 1/4 inch on all sides until you get a square about 12 1/2 inches. I keep this under my cutting board.

    Now when you want to square up or enlarge a block, simply lay it evenly on the muslin, and, using a STEAM iron, iron it until it fits perfectly on the size square you need.

    I hope this makes sense. I have a tendency to sew a little larger than 1/4 inch seam, so my blocks have a tendency to be a little too small.

  9. #9
    Super Member Quilt4u's Avatar
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    Great job.

  10. #10
    Junior Member Auntie M's Avatar
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    I shrink with sprayed water and stretch 'em out with starch. It's amazing what can happen.

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