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Thread: Newbie needs help with first block for quilt club

  1. #1
    Super Member karenm36's Avatar
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    I've made only one quilt and it was fairly easy. So to help me in my learning process I joined our community quilt club this past Wed. I found out that every month they assign a quilt block for everyone to make to bring to the next month's meeting. Someone puts all the blocks together, makes the quilt and then we give them away to those in need. So cool! BUT...I then went home with a piece of cream fabric and was told the theme for the next month was "juvenile sports". No pattern...just make anything as long as it's 9 and 1/2 inches square when finished. Wow, where to start?!

    So here's my first attempt at designing my own block and piecing it together...and I'm soooo frustrated!! No matter how much I measure and how slowly I sew the fabric still gets skewed a bit. Finally got it 9 and 1/2 wide but the height is lacking by 1/8 of an inch or so ... so I'll be ripping out a seam and doing it over again. I don't mind that but if anyone has any tips for keeping things really straight and matching up the seams better and all I sure would like to hear it!

    Thanks!! Karen
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  2. #2
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    I love your block. Try starching your fabric. It might help.

  3. #3
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    Cute block! :D:D:D
    Check your seams, maybe sew with a scant 1/4"?

    I use Elmers glue to line up seams..it is easier sometimes than pinning. The pins can distort the seam line.

    http://www.quiltingboard.com/t-29275-1.htm

  4. #4
    Super Member btiny36's Avatar
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    try spray starching the material, don't iron, just press, matching up seams, I usually iron the seams in oposite directions on each piece so that when joining, they will nest...sometimes I will also stick a pin in the seams then pin on either side of the seam, remove middle pin and sew.
    hope this helps. Also I learnt this from Eleanor Burns, find you 1/4" seam, I then put a piece of tape where my fabric will run next to, then I move my needle over one position. this gives me a scant 1/4"....

  5. #5
    Senior Member dungeonquilter's Avatar
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    I have been one of the ones to put blocks like this together, and if your block is only 1/8" out, you are doing a great job. I have had blocks that were out by as much as 1".

  6. #6
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    If it is 1/8" off in one direction, I would starch and block it. That means press it to be the right size and pin it to the ironing board to dry.

    Like amma said, you may want to get acquainted with the scant 1/4" seam. It is a pretty block though.

  7. #7
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    Your colors and block layout are terrific.

    Pin the seams like the others have talked about, then see if there is excess fabric at the beginning of your seam - if so, you can either match the end and work in the excess or sometimes, in my case, I have been able to trim off the excess before starting to stitch the seam....don't tell the quilt police about me - it works for me but maybe not others...I make very sure before trimming that the remaining fabric will not look skewed.

    also, if you have everything matched and one fabric is looser than the other, put the looser fabric on the bottom when you stitch it..the feed dogs will help ease the extras into the seam evenly.

    I agree with others about making sure you're using a scant quarter inch..and a quarter inch foot that truly gives you a scant quarter is one of the best tools a quilter can have.

  8. #8
    Super Member karenm36's Avatar
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    Thanks to everyone for all the input! I think starching will help as well. At this point do I starch the block since it's already together or should I deconstruct it, starch and re-sew the whole thing? Or starch new fabric (I have more of everything) and just start over?

  9. #9
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    Don't rip it out... Block your block to get that 1/8" Take a cork board and draw with a permanent marker a square the size of your unfinished block which I think you said was 9 1/2". Take push pins or regular pins and stretch the block so it fits to every corner of the drawn line. I use a lot of pins when I do this. Then spray it down with water from a spritz bottle. Allow the block to dry and it should behave and measure up for you. I always double check with my square ruler. I have easily squeezed those 1/8" shortfalls out by blocking.

  10. #10
    Super Member RkayD's Avatar
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    Seems like it could be the check fabric isn't straight on grain..or the fabric is straight and the check is just off. I run into this every time i try to use check print.

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