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Thread: Can't Follow Patterns

  1. #1
    Member Jennoh2's Avatar
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    I've recently begun quilting, first quilt was yellow brick road which I hated after using too many fabrics. Now, I have begun "making up" my own designs as I go because I either get bored or just can't figure out what a pattern is telling me to do. The other problem I have is making my seams stay at 1/4 - no matter how I try, something gets messed up along the way. Am attaching a couple of my projects so all of you can give me advice.

    Square in a Square-paper pieced
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  2. #2
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    Your quilts are beautiful. Does the 2nd one have embroidery blocks? You can purchase a 1/4 foot for your machine and sew kinda slow. My blocks are not always the right size either.

  3. #3
    Super Member valsma's Avatar
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    A 1/4 foot can be a life saver to get a good seam allowance. I would sugget getting one.

    Your quilts are lovely. That chicken quilt is just to cute for words. What fun. I have the same problem following patterns, so have to take my time really figuring them out.

  4. #4
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    Nice Quilts! Welcome from Michigan.:)

  5. #5
    Senior Member AnnieF's Avatar
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    You don't need help from us...you're doing fine on your own. Many quilters buy patterns and kits and it works for them. I like to take a pattern or an idea and put my own spin on it. I've never bought a kit because they don't usually have the fabric in colors I like and following a pattern to the letter, well that never happens for me...I usually have to change the size or placement.

    My advice to you is to go your own way. Your quilts already are pointing you in that direction. Even the 1/4 inch seam isn't a "must have" as long as you take your wider seam into consideration when you're planning your quilt. And, the longer you quilt, the better and more accurate you get.

  6. #6
    Power Poster erstan947's Avatar
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    I consider patterns merely a suggestion. I think your quilts are outstanding, I have quit agonizing over 100% perfection and do the very best I can. I my opinion perfection is only important if you are having your quilt "Judged" in a show. Relax and enjoy the process:)

  7. #7
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Welcome!

    With work like that, I feel so inadequate .... you could teach many of us many things, no doubt!

    When you get your 1/4" foot, you'll have that issue resolved!

  8. #8
    Power Poster blueangel's Avatar
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    It's beautiful

  9. #9
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    This is very pretty. A 1/4 foot would help and you can also mark your machine with that measurement. Are you squaring up your blocks? The center yellow seems to be a little off to one side. If you are squaring your blocks to one size make sure you measure from the center out on all four sides so that its all centered.

  10. #10
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    Beautiful quilts!
    Welcome from Minnesota!
    Happy quilting!

  11. #11
    Super Member Janet L52's Avatar
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    Hello and welcome from northern California! Your quilts are lovely.

  12. #12
    np3
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    Power Poster np3's Avatar
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    Welcome from Central California!

  13. #13
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    A little tip for sewing 1/4 in. seams: Keep your eye on the guide, not on the needle. The needle comes down at the same place all the time, it's the edge of the fabric that needs your attention. This is more difficult than it sounds, it is natural to watch the needle. When my seams are off, it's,oh, oh, I've been watching the needle again. Hope this helps.

  14. #14
    Super Member valsma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scraphq
    A little tip for sewing 1/4 in. seams: Keep your eye on the guide, not on the needle. The needle comes down at the same place all the time, it's the edge of the fabric that needs your attention. This is more difficult than it sounds, it is natural to watch the needle. When my seams are off, it's,oh, oh, I've been watching the needle again. Hope this helps.
    You're right on that. I have to really concentrate on my 1/4" foot when i'm sewing and not let my eyes wander to the needle.

  15. #15
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    Slow down when piecing and when you cut at each step, square up you blocks to the correct size. It is tedious I know but leads to great accuracy, and makes it easier to match points. I have those square rulers in different sizes making it easy for me to square up my blocks. Did my irish chain this way and points matched so much better this method.

  16. #16
    Moderator Jim's Gem's Avatar
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    Welcome to the board from Southern California!

  17. #17
    Senior Member suzee's Avatar
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    Hello and welcome from Indiana! Your quilts are lovely!

  18. #18
    Member Jennoh2's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the good suggestions. Now I need to figure out what color to bind the quilt - or if I should use a plain or pattern. Yikes - indecision, indecision.

  19. #19
    Super Member Gladys's Avatar
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    Welcome from North Carolina!

  20. #20
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    Hello and Welcome to the board :D:D:D
    Practice :wink: sew slow too :D

  21. #21
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    Hello, and welcome from Michigan!

  22. #22
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    Who says you have to follow a pattern. Just use them as idea generators. I prefer coming up with stuff on my own. I have made several quilts and not one came from a pattern.

  23. #23
    Super Member Abby'smom's Avatar
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    wow-- welcome from se TX

  24. #24
    Super Member ShowMama's Avatar
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    Hi, and welcome, from Centra Texas.

    Remember that a huge part of quilting is being creative, which you've already got down pat. Keep up the good work!

  25. #25
    Super Member vivoaks's Avatar
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    Those quilts look gorgeous to me! One trick I learned for getting that "scant" 1/4" was to use a stack of maybe 8-10 small post-it notes, placed on the machine right where you lay your fabric. Set it up and check it to make sure it sews that scant 1/4", then just use that to line up all your fabric as you sew. Hope I explained it well enough that you "got it!"

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