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Thread: Been quilting long enough to know how....but don't.

  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by burchquilts View Post
    I'm a complete weird-o fanatic about this. When I learned to quilt, my teacher insisted our backs looked as good as the front (her thinking being that if the back was all in order, the front would reflect that). I was also taught to press my seams open & I do. Plus I press every seam as soon as I sew it (no finger pressing for me). I rarely have my seams flip. I mean, it may seem like a lot of extra work to do it like I do but I think it pays off. Just my opinion...
    I could have written this post! Must be in the 'county water' (I live just south of burchquilts) to be a little 'anal' about our quilting. I could probably count on one hand the # of times my seams have twisted. I never realized this was so common. I use a stiletto when needed. I press with an iron to set every single seam and then open to the correct side (some blocks make a huge difference which way it is pressed. Not always toward the dark.) and press again. This is one of the first lessons I learned years ago when I started making blocks. Always use a small dry iron to press the stitches, then press open. I also press all my foundation seams. Nice, crisp seams. Makes a difference I think on how the blocks end up looking when all done. I starch only the fabrics that have been washed first. When I have 2 seams meeting for points, I pin at a 45 degree angle from the right side to the left, then pin straight across that pin starting on the left going to the right. I will re-iron a seam if 2 seams were in the same direction, so they end up facing opposite directions. Butt them up tight and pin. If my points were 1 stitch off from being exact, I will rip out as much needed to get it back on track. I think I see too much since I started wearing glasses to sew.

  2. #27
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    I pin and use a cuticle stick to hold things in place. I do not like bumps that occur, because I was told it creates a weak spot in the quilt. I'm not the quilt police but it does get on my nerves when I do that. Most of the time i rip out those few stitches, because I think if I rip it out I'm less prone to doing it again
    Create something beautiful from scraps.

  3. #28
    Super Member 0tis's Avatar
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    Yep I do the same - sometimes I will snip those "wrong-way" seams. I try to get them right but sometimes it just doesn't happen.

  4. #29
    Senior Member QuiltingCrazie's Avatar
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    I used to have that problem once in a while it rears its ugly head now. I started adjusting my sewing....for example if most of the seams were pointing towards the feedogs I simply flipped it and sew in up side down after I pin. I also look as the seams approach the foot and double check they are laying flat. I can't stand ripping and resewing but will do it every time because that is one of the things that bothers me in my projects so I try to avoid that. Now if when going over that seam if my stitch length would stay consistent I would love that!! Sometimes it goes long....sigh...
    *Rachel*

  5. #30
    Junior Member nantucketsue's Avatar
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    Happens to me all the time. If it is going to cause a problem I just snip it.

  6. #31
    Super Member duckydo's Avatar
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    It happens, when it does I just snip it and press it so it lays the right way, so that it is not such a large bump to quilt over. I agree setting the seams seems to help, no pun intended... LOL

  7. #32
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    I hate when this happens so here is what I do. When I'm setting my seams before pressing them to one side, if there is a seam where the seam allowance is pointing the wrong way on the bottom side, I put a tiny spot of Elmers school glue just at that spot. When you then press the seam to one side, that little sucker is glued down and will not give you a problem when you sew over it. The glue washes out, the frustration is gone and it's quicker that re-sewing any twisted seams. I usually repair seams when I do them twisted and it bugs me every time so this way cuts my stress level!

  8. #33
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    I have this happen sometimes to but I don't let it bother me. The front looks good, then I am fine. I do not spray starch any thing on my quilt. I love the softness of the fabric and batting. I tried it one time and sewing with "cardboard is not my thing. In all the years that I helped My Grandmother make quilts, not one time did I see her starch her quilt blocks or quilts. Just enjoy the the quilt making. There is only one who is perfect!
    Gloria

  9. #34
    Super Member coopah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Comice View Post
    I am so watching this thread. My seams do the exact same thing-
    I'm with you on this Comice! I discovered that the front part of the machine that opens for the bobbin had a gap in the height from the plate with the feed dogs. i was able to put a shimabout 1/8 inch) under the section that was lower. So now the machine lines up fine, but I still get the twisted seams. I just iron them into submission. No ripping out or I'd never finish a quilt! Besides, I'll be dead and gone before someone tries to check the inside of my quilt!

  10. #35
    Super Member SueSew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by burchquilts View Post
    I'm a complete weird-o fanatic about this. When I learned to quilt, my teacher insisted our backs looked as good as the front (her thinking being that if the back was all in order, the front would reflect that). I was also taught to press my seams open & I do. Plus I press every seam as soon as I sew it (no finger pressing for me). I rarely have my seams flip. I mean, it may seem like a lot of extra work to do it like I do but I think it pays off. Just my opinion...
    I so admire your precision! One of the quilters in my open class showed us one of her WIP's - a very pointy complicated kind of log cabin - and the back was beautiful! My quilt backs were not so pretty - flipped seams, ravelley fabric, trailing threads etc . (Of course I am not in quilt shows and going to be a judge like she is) I wanted everyone in class to admire the back of her quilt. Now I am trying hard to make my backs better. I bet you find it easier to quilt the top knowing your seams are in order.
    SueSew
    "If it's messy, eat it over the sink!" Mom

  11. #36
    Super Member AZ Jane's Avatar
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    Love the Clover fork pins. Costly?? Depends on how much the twisted seams bother you.
    Better to do something imperfectly, than nothing perfectly.
    Done is better than perfect.

  12. #37
    Senior Member leighway's Avatar
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    All the replies to my question have been greatly appreciated and I've learned something. I just love to quilt and I'll try harder using a stilleto to get my seams straight but in the end, by the time somebody checks the inside of my quilts, I'll be off-planet. I feel better knowing I'm not being a complete failure by not having my seams straight. And kudos to those who do fastidious work. I really admire the quality of precision as I careen my way though life. But, try as I might, I'll never be one of the precise ones. And that's just perfect for me. Isn't it wonderful to be a quilter?

  13. #38
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    I find that if there is even a slight ridge on the machine where it meets the cabinet I have a problem. A piece of green label Scotch tape placed over the ridge stops the problem. Cheap, easily replaceable when I have to change the bobbin and makes a real difference.

  14. #39
    Super Member Marysewfun's Avatar
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    I'm glad this came up - being a new quilter, I just figured (sigh!) it was one more hurdle I would have to learn to get over.

    Marysewfun
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    Have a great day!

  15. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tartan View Post
    I always sew with the seams allowances to watch on the top. I iron and starch my rows before stitching them together and I usually place a pin on a 45(across both allowances) if I have a tricky spot. I am careful when I approach the pin and remove it and hold the seam allowance with my stiletto. If I find the occasional twisted seam, I remove a few stitches and fix it.
    Ditto for me too tartan! Exactly how I do it.
    RedGarnet222

    "Take your needle, my child, and work at your pattern ... It will come out a rose by and by. Life is like that ...one stitch at a time, taken patiently."
    *Oliver Wendell Holms

  16. #41
    Super Member LynnVT's Avatar
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    Oh, yeah, it happens. Problem comes not just in a quilt you are finishing, but when you are going to send a block to a swap. Must admit I'm paranoid about one of my blocks going to someone who is super finicky about it. Love it when someone send me a block that isn't absolutely perfect. I relate to that.

  17. #42
    Super Member Latrinka's Avatar
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    Happens to the best of us! Just be careful with that finger, I used to think it couldn't happen, until the needle went clean into my fingernail and out the side of my finger! YIKES!
    If a woman's work is never done....why start?

  18. #43
    Senior Member Gabrielle's Mimi's Avatar
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    Here are a couple of things to try:
    1. press well using starch
    2. use the double pins (they look sort of like the letter U with a squared bottom...you put them in and both seam allowances are caught) I think Clover calls them fork pins
    3. take a seam ripper and release 1 or 2 stitches and the seam allowance will spring back to where it's supposed to be
    4. keep a seam ripper by the sewing machine; try to sew so that the seams on the underside are pointing toward you and the seams on the top are pointing away from you. If you can't do this, as the seams approach the needle, use the ripper to guide the underside in the the right direction.
    5. piece with your walking foot if there are other seams that get sewn over
    6. if all else fails, just press the seam allowance hard with the iron and/or snip the offending seam if it looks lumpy on the front!
    Last edited by Gabrielle's Mimi; 04-27-2012 at 08:42 AM.
    Create with joy in your heart!

  19. #44
    Super Member catmcclure's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leighway View Post
    What's the secret? Or, is it really that most quilters have this problem?
    The secret is the plate on your sewing machine. There is a tiny lip where the metal throat plate meets the machine. If the seam is laying toward you it will feed through this area fine. If the seam is laying toward the needle, when it hits that lip it will catch just enough to turn the way the seam lays and you end up with the seam (or sometimes just half of it) sewn wonky.

    The fix is to put a piece of tape over the edge of the throat plate to smooth out and eliminate the little lip or bump up.

  20. #45
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    I had this problem because there was a "lip" between my sewing machine and the acrilic table, so now I just tape an index card there so the material slides over a flat surface and does not get caught on that lip.

  21. #46
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    I just take my smallest scissors and cut the seam to the stitches and let each side lay in the direction it needs to. I'm sure this isn't the "right" way, but it works for me.

  22. #47
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    When this happens I just rip the few stitches, flip the way it should go and re sew. Only takes a few seconds.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

  23. #48
    Super Member grandme26's Avatar
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    The harder I try to keep this from happening the more it happens, so now, I just sew and forget it. As long as my points and seams match I am happy.
    Grandmeto6 aka Judy

  24. #49
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    Love all the tips! Especially the one about sewing so that the feed dogs do most of the work in keeping the seams aligned. Never thought of that before! I told my husband that I've done more ripping out since taking up quilting than I ever did sewing garments. Will give these tips a try.

  25. #50
    Super Member hairquilt's Avatar
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    I seem to do better with pressing my seams open & using a pin thru the seams! 90% better than before when I pressed to the side!

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