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Can anyone else relate to this?

Can anyone else relate to this?

Old 07-25-2022, 10:10 AM
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Location: The Deep South near Cajun Country, USA
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Originally Posted by MeadowMist View Post
Here’s a picture of one of my squares that “passed inspection,” so this is one of my better ones, lol. But now that I’ve taken a picture, the flaws are even more obvious so I will be redoing this one. Blowing up the squares definitely makes things more visible; I think if I did this to all of them I would be redoing 100%.
I'm not sure why you think this is so bad. If your block is to finish at 3 inches, then the unsewn block has to be 3 1/2 inches to allow for seams. What does it look like when you place the ruler where you have the 1/4 inch available for seams for all the edge and the part that will be left is centered in the ruler?
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Old 07-25-2022, 11:36 AM
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It looks to me like it's as much a stitching/seam allowance problem as a cutting problem. Starch, starch, starch. For some patterns, my fabrics are like little pieces of paper but it controls bias and helps with accurate seam allowances. Accurate stitching is hard for me so I use one of those barrier type seam guides. I mostly use my vintage machines for piecing so I use a magnetic guide.

I have also learned to square up as I go. Every block for sure and if it's a complex block with lots of units, I square up every unit. No one told me this and I struggled for a long time. Once I started squaring up as I go, my blocks got a lot easier and more accurate.

I would also suggest pressing your seams open. I've had pressing them to the side make my blocks off just a bit. Remember, if you have 4 seams and each is off 1/16" that means your finished block could be off a full quarter inch.
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Old 07-25-2022, 12:03 PM
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As long as my points are pointy, and your points are, I'm fine with the rest of the block. Don't overthink it so much. If you really want prefect then paper piece the block. I find paper piecing gives me perfect blocks every time. Takes longer but no frustration.
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Old 07-25-2022, 01:35 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2018
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If you are looking for perfection and don't want to over cut your pieces to square up after, then starch the heck of of them before using, then place a tiny dab of Roxanne glue at all strategic places before sewing. There are videos on this. Also understand that many sewing machines don't pull the top and bottom fabric evenly, so you have distortion there. Starching helps this, and the dab of glue fortifies it.
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Old 07-25-2022, 01:56 PM
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Also, here is a video that might be helpful. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=haxC...nnel=GEDesigns
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Old 07-25-2022, 04:28 PM
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I feel your pain as I am know by a couple of my quilting buddies as pretty imprecise. I own that. I'm not aiming for entries into competitive quilt shows, hope to get something into one of my guilds at least. And you've gotten great advice for lots of improvements--which I've incorporated and found improvement. But I quilt as a way to create and love to sew. I quilt for others and can tell you that there are many, many quilters that are still improving than there are those that have excellent seams, pressed the "right" way, etc. But each quilt has their own character, which is what I love about quilting.
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Old 07-25-2022, 08:51 PM
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 72

I learned from watching Lessa Siegele's episode on The Quilt Show to make units a bit oversized and then trim them down (yes, trim each unit - it really doesn't take a huge amount of time when you do it as an assembly line). Trying to cut precise patches and sew precise seams has NEVER worked for me in 25 years of quilting. Lessa's technique works!

For those interested, it's episode 1801 on The Quilt Show. (It's a monthly subscription but has been worth every penny to me)


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Old 07-26-2022, 01:13 AM
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I feel your pain. but it takes a big error for me to rip, so I just keep the small errors and put them together. sometimes you can fudge it a little in the seam alloances and noone will know the difference. I'm wondering about your ironing technique, esp as you say all your 1.5" sewn-together blocks turn out diffeerently. if you feel like you are sewing them the same, are you ironing them the same? I hate pressing my seams open, but it does provide more accuracy, since you may get an overexaggerated bump or a skew in the fabric when you press to the side. If you are frustrated with the block swooping down on the far side, then maybe this will help
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Old 07-26-2022, 02:37 AM
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Make larger then cut down. This is the only way that I can get "perfect everytime." Unless I am sewing for a Quilt Show, mine are never perfect.
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Old 07-26-2022, 02:57 AM
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I agree with everything that's been said so far. I will highly recommend the use of starch! I don't think it can be over emphasized enough. I use Sta-Flo brand liquid starch and I use a 50/50 starch/water mix. You may want to be heavier on the starch if you're cutting small units.

I also think using the same ruler throughout your quilt is critical. Granted, we usually need different sizes/configurations of rulers throughout a quilt so make sure they are all of the same brand at least.

It may also help you to use a small piece of painters tape on your ruler when cutting. This will help ensure that you are cutting each unit the same size vs on strip 'on' the line; one 'before'; one 'after' the line.

Lastly, relax. As everyone else has said, unless your goal is competition quilting, continue with what you are doing and enjoy the process.

Good luck.
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