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Thread: ? Alining print fabric to match at seam?

  1. #1
    Super Member ube quilting's Avatar
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    Jul 2010
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    ? Alining print fabric to match at seam?

    Name:  lisas barn raising  March 2012 004.jpg
Views: 1197
Size:  335.8 KBHere is a call out to everyone. I am trying to piece a backing of floral material so the print matches at the seam. I have the fabric lined up. My question is about adding the seam allowance and having the material still match? If anyone can instruct me or find a tutorial I would be most grateful. I haven't been able to find anything, maybe because I am not using the proper terms. Thanks to all.
    Last edited by ube quilting; 03-24-2012 at 07:16 AM.
    no act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. Aesop

  2. #2
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    Jan 2009
    Southern California
    Is it a big floral really paced apart or a really busy floral. If its really busy i wouldn't bother because you can't really tell especially if its a backing. I have used really busy prints and didn't line them up.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Mar 2010
    Manchester, NH
    What I would do would be to find the exact place on each piece that will match. I'd put a pin in the two pieces at that place and then I'd put the right sides of the fabric together placing the two pins one on top of the other. I'd then pin the two pieces together and open them up to see if they actually match. If not I'd try again. Once I had the two pieces matching perfectly, I'd pin them together all the way down the edge and then cut the seam allowance at whatever distance from the pins I wanted. Then I'd stitch along the line of the pins. I hope I've made this clear.....it's hard
    sometimes to visualize written directions. Personally I like to see pictures of what is being described, and I would include them here if I knew how! :-)

  4. #4
    Super Member grammy Dwynn's Avatar
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    May 2007
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    The first thing that popped into my head (sorry) ~ it is fabric, not wallpaper!

    Some of us are from the old school of 'clothes sewing', that we had to match the patterns/stripes/plaids. But as a 'quilter' I have had to THROW THAT OUT THE WINDOW.

    I agree with Dolphyngyrl ~ I wouldn't bother!
    "I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand." -Confucius


  5. #5
    Power Poster
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    Mar 2011
    Ontario, Canada
    If you have lots of the material, I think you would match it like you would for OBW. Find a feature on the fabric edge that repeats and put a pin in it. Find the same feature on the second fabric edge that matches. Lay them side by side after they are matched and check the design. If it is perfect, draw a chalk line 1/4 inch out from the sewing line. Match up the pieces and sew them. Caution: Some fabrics are not printed perfectly, some fabrics match down the fabric but not left to right. With the fabric you have chosen, I agree with others that sewing it unmatched would probably not be noticeable. Your backing fabric is a very pretty match for your lovely top!

  6. #6
    MTS is offline
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    Nov 2010
    Elmer's Glue.

    I've done this with borders many times - and the end result is always worth the effort.
    I personally find non-matching patterns on borders very distracting.
    My eye always tends to focus right in on it.
    But that's me.

    It's similar to the way I do the corners with multiple mitered borders - especially ones where you want the fabric patterns to match up.

    For borders (and backings, too, if you want) - you didn't mention which it was for.
    (Actually, even if you needed to match smaller pieces for use within the quilt top, this would work as well.)

    Match the two pieces up with an inch or so overlap.
    Then turn one of the matched edges under, making sure it's straight and even across, and then press for a sharp edge.
    Overlay this on the other piece until the pattern/design matches up perfectly.
    You can pin it a bit further back to stabilize the two pieces if you want. I did that the first time but haven't since.

    I then put a thin line of glue under the edge (really, it could be on the folded part or the 2nd piece of fabric ), and then wiggle the two pieces to make sure they're still matched up.
    Press where the two pieces meet to set the glue.

    Gently fold back the top piece (the one with the pressed seam) and sew on the crease line.
    You can baste it first if you want to make sure and then go back with smaller stitches once you're satisfied it's exactly how you wanted .

    Trim the seam allowance back to 1/4", and now you have one piece of fabric with a continuous flowing design.

    I used the same method on this quilt matching up the seams in the corner blocks and mitered borders:
    Last edited by MTS; 03-24-2012 at 08:45 AM.

  7. #7
    Super Member
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    Aug 2011
    metro Portland, OR
    What a beautiful piece. The large print is really lovely.
    I choose to give my life away for things that last forever

  8. #8
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    Jan 2009
    There are all kinds of tutorials and discussions on other message boards about this. Just Google matching prints at seams to find them. Here's an example. http://sewaholic.net/how-to-match-prints-along-seams/
    The Earth without art is just "Eh".

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    Nov 2011
    MTS has given great instructions. A note, the "repeat" in the pattern might be 6" 12" 18" or some other number. To determine, find a flower edge or center, some point that you can identify, and mark it. Go down the edge to a repeat of that point and mark it. If you measure that, every repeat will be that size. I do turn under and press a seam allowance on the first piece, then slide it up or down (a bit away from the edge of the second piece) and match. The match on the repeat might be several inches in from the edge! It can waste a bit of fabric, but if you are picky, it is worth it. I haven't glued before, but I will file that away MTS, for future reference, it is a good tip. Linda

  10. #10
    Senior Member omaluvs2quilt's Avatar
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    Nov 2011
    Las Vegas, NV
    Yep, good advice by MTS and the glue works wonders. I always try to do this as long as I have enough fabric...it works for backings too as long as you have enough and are careful where you cut each piece.

  11. #11
    Super Member hperttula123's Avatar
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    Aug 2010
    Northern Wisconsin
    That is such pretty fabric. I've never tried to match them up before. I would do a strip of a solid in there before I would attempt that. There might be an easier way that what I have going on in my head, but I just don't like ripping stitches. I wish you the best of luck.
    enjoy your life...it's the only one you have!!!

  12. #12
    Super Member jcrow's Avatar
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    Jan 2011
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    Your backing fabric (I think that's what you said) is very, very pretty. I love when the backing fabric is pretty. I can understand why you want it to match up. It's large floral flowers. It would look so nice to get them to match up. You've gotten some great advice. I like the glue advice. That's what I would try because you can always change it if you goof up a bit.
    "Be yourself...everyone else is taken."
    Strong people don't put others down...they build them up."
    "Remember that your instincts are more important than rules"

  13. #13
    Super Member jemma's Avatar
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    Jul 2010
    adelaide /australia
    thanks mts--ive filed that one away

  14. #14
    Power Poster
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    May 2008
    I like to match the pattern, also - even on the backings.

    However, if there isn't enough fabric available to do so, then I will resort to putting strips between the pieces - so that then the non-match won't bother me.

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