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

  1. #1
    Senior Member leighway's Avatar
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    Been quilting long enough to know how....but don't.

    Ok..true confessions time. I have tried over and over when sewing blocks together, to have the back seams lay properly. I have ironed, I have used pins, I have held my finger over the seam until I was almost one with the machine and STILL, I'll have a seam that gets twisted in the sewing, so that when you turn it over, the first part of the seam allowance will point left and the end of the seam allowance will point right. It really bothers me, but not enough to rip every bloody block out and redo it.
    What's the secret? Or, is it really that most quilters have this problem?

  2. #2
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    I am so watching this thread. My seams do the exact same thing-

  3. #3
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    I have that happen occasionally, but I can usually feel it as I am sewing. In other words, I can tell if a seam is twisting, but I keep going anyways. It usually irons flat, so I don't let it bother me. Most of my seams stay where they are supposed to.
    Sue

  4. #4
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    It happens to me quite often and I don't care. As long as the front looks good and seams line up there I don't care if the occasional seam allowance gets flipped the wrong way. Hasn't caused a problem yet.

  5. #5
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    I know we have discussed the benefits of starch on this board quite abit. But I starch my fabrics , and that really helps the seams to behave . I starch my fabrics to force them to submit to my will. LOL. And torture the fabric a bit more by sticking it with pins and a hot iron. Some fabrics are more stubborn than others , but I can usually claim victory with starch and pins.

  6. #6
    Senior Member MdmSew'n'Sew's Avatar
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    I sometimes have that problem, but it seems to happen less often since I make sure I set each seam before pressing it to one side. Not sure if that is cause and effect, or just happy coincidence, but like the others said, as long as it doesn't affect the way the quilt looks and behaves, I don't fret over such a small thing.
    He who cuts his own wood is warmed twice, but she who makes her own quilt is warmed forever - SLR 11/7/2011

  7. #7
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    Try ironing the seam flat first before pressing to side. That seems to set the stitches and make seam flatter. I press to dark side of the fabric or alternate side I need to when joining seams. . Also when sewing put your top seam so that it pressed/lies to the left side and the bottom to the right . That allows the bottom seam to flow with the feed dogs and the top seam to be pushed/locked into the bottom. (make sense?). Also do not pin directly on the seam but rather on both sides of the seam after you have aligned up the seams by holding the pin straight. Pinniing directly on the seam will usually cause the seam to be off. Aslo I just heard at my LQS for their repair person to use you wider/regular sewing foot instead of you 1/4" foot when peicing. Just adjust you needle to make 1/4'seam. This allows the fabric to feed better/evenly thru the feeddogs .

  8. #8
    Moderator sharon b's Avatar
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    ssshhhhh ***looking left, looking right****** no one can hear ......

    I have that more often than I care to admit to ...... I just go with the flow I have set the seams, pins , look/feel the seams right before they go under the needle ... big sigh nothing seems to help ......
    To keep your mind fresh- learn one new thing a day !

  9. #9
    Junior Member An Arm Long's Avatar
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    Happens to me on every quilt, but with time it is less and less.
    Beth in Maryland

  10. #10
    Super Member SueSew's Avatar
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    Bigsister has an excellent point about the use of the feed dogs. I am using my 1/4" foot for all my piecing just to be sure I've got the accuracy, but my joining the pieces and blocks was easier, and straighter especially at beginning and end of the run, when I used a regular foot and moved the needle so that I could keep both feed dogs on the material. I don't quite get the top seam/bottom seam instructions but I will try it and figure it out. Anything but those lumps on the back of the quilt!
    SueSew
    "If it's messy, eat it over the sink!" Mom

  11. #11
    Senior Member alisonquilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lori S View Post
    I know we have discussed the benefits of starch on this board quite abit. But I starch my fabrics , and that really helps the seams to behave . I starch my fabrics to force them to submit to my will. LOL. And torture the fabric a bit more by sticking it with pins and a hot iron. Some fabrics are more stubborn than others , but I can usually claim victory with starch and pins.
    Your posts always make me laugh, Lori!

    I am with the people who say "The seams twist and I don't care" - I usually pin my block intersections, and try to have the seams going in opposite directions of course, but they do occasionally twist nonetheless. I just let them be...after giving them the hairy eyeball, of course...

    Alison

  12. #12
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    Yes ,I must admit this happens to me to. I just leave them.

  13. #13
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    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.

  14. #14
    Super Member Neesie's Avatar
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    I do much the same as Tartan, holding the seam with . . . okay, I just use the tip of a pin. Anyway, it the cross seam STILL doesn't lie flat, I finish the long seam, then go back and rip-and-redo that one spot.

  15. #15
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    Yep, happens to me too. I've never been able to spot an errant seam allowance after the quilt is finished, so I don't usually fix them.

  16. #16
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    It happens to me quite a bit. I just don't care about it. Like, at all.

  17. #17
    Super Member Wanabee Quiltin's Avatar
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    I also have a problem with this occasionally. I think whoever said to set the seam first is correct, I think it does work better. My quilting teacher always had us set the seam and I remember that they laid flat and I rarely had it twist. But later when I got really into quilting and was in a hurry, I didn't always set the seam. And that is when my problems started. Glad you mentioned this because now I will go back to setting the seams.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Linnie's Avatar
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    Just part of the process I guess

  19. #19
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    Happens all the time. I just go back and fix it. Dont know what else to do.
    Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind see.
    mark Twain

  20. #20
    Super Member virtualbernie's Avatar
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    And when all else fails, I clip near the unruly seam and within a hair's breath of the seam, leave the unruly seam where it is and press the rest of the seam to where it should be!
    Bernie

  21. #21
    Super Member Teddybear Lady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by virtualbernie View Post
    And when all else fails, I clip near the unruly seam and within a hair's breath of the seam, leave the unruly seam where it is and press the rest of the seam to where it should be!
    This is what I do.

  22. #22
    Super Member cwessel47's Avatar
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    If it happens in a place that makes a difference - and it does sometimes! - don't rip out the entire seam. Just the few stitches that turned the seam allowance the wrong way. It only takes a second or two. I want those seams out of my way when I hand quilt so I do it. I also finally purchased some Clover fork pins. They are quite expensive and I don't use them a lot, but they keep things going in the right direction like nothing else!

  23. #23
    Super Member jcrow's Avatar
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    Every single quilt I've made, it has happened. Not as much as it use to. Guess I'm getting lucky. I have never ripped out a seam because of it. They have never caused a problem before. I only notice them when I flip my block over. After it's quilted, I can't tell the difference. I'm never going to be a perfectionist when it comes to quilting. I love to quilt and I make mistakes and if they are big mistakes, I fix them, otherwise, I just keep going and enjoy the process. I only give my quilts away and not one person has ever said anything but nice things about my quilts. And I've made over 30 quilts and given most away and most have twisted seams.
    "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"

  24. #24
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    I think what happens to me is that there's a slight bump where the throat plate meets the bed of my machine. If the loose edge of the seam on the bottom goes first, it can catch on this bump and flip. When I have a long seam with lots of intersecting seams, i sew a bit slower. When the seam intersection has just passed this bump, I take my stiletto and drag it under the fabric to make sure that the seam is going in the right direction. If it's facing the right direction when the seam is totally on the throat plate, the feed dogs will do the rest.
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
    Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

  25. #25
    Super Member burchquilts's Avatar
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    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...
    (`v)
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