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Thread: Can this marriage be saved?

  1. #1
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    Can this marriage be saved?

    I made this rather muddy quilt thinking it would be much cuter when done... I know what I did wrong in the sewing -- I must have sewn each strip the same direction, at least most of the time. Now it varies nearly 2" from side to side and is obviously twisted.

    I don't know how to tell those seams which, if I ripped them out and sewed the other direction, would help fix this. Most of the distortion seems to be one one side; I even thought about cutting 8-10" off the width, but am not sure even that would help.

    I would love to rip out some seams and magically save this mess, but I'm not sure I can. Has anyone else done something like this and been able to save it?
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  2. #2
    Super Member laurafet's Avatar
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    I would try to press it out with a steam iron before doing any ripping. Sometimes a little bit of stretching helps.

  3. #3
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by laurafet View Post
    I would try to press it out with a steam iron before doing any ripping. Sometimes a little bit of stretching helps.
    I too would try some good pressing along with some Best Press ...... and blocking it in place.
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  4. #4
    Super Member QuiltnLady1's Avatar
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    I press it first with an iron like Laurafet said. Starch sometimes helps flatten things. I have also used a damp piece of muslin placed over the top -- when the fabric gets a little damp you can frequently straighten things out.
    QuiltnLady1

    When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuiltE View Post
    I too would try some good pressing along with some Best Press ...... and blocking it in place.
    Every seam has been pressed. I admit to ignorance of what blocking consists of. . .

  6. #6
    Super Member ArtsyOne's Avatar
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    I thinks that's what I would do too, but I would first saturate the top in a sink of hot water, roll it up into a thick towel and pound on it with your fists to get most of the water out. Think of it as blocking a sweater. If you have a space with carpet that is large enough, lay out a bed sheet and then the wet quilt top. Pin the top through the sheet and catch the carpet. Pull the edges as straight as you can and then just let it dry thoroughly. Good luck!!

    PS - the above process is called blocking
    A fabric stash is always missing that one fabric needed to finish the quilt on which you're working.

  7. #7
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee in Richmond View Post
    Every seam has been pressed. I admit to ignorance of what blocking consists of. . .
    When pressing ... you may be able to stretch (only slightly) to straighten, as mentioned by Laurafet. Blocking is basically the same, just that when you press and stretch you pin it in place til it has cooled and dried. Using the Best Press will help with the blocking process, as it not only moistens, but then the starch holds it still too.

    Another thing that could have caused your distortion ... did you press? or iron?
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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  8. #8
    Super Member IrishNY's Avatar
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    or you can do the lazy way that I confess I might, depending on how noticeable my soluution would be - trim some off each side to make it as square as possible, quilt and bind. Sometimes 'good enough' actually is.

    Hope I don't get drummed off the board by the quilt police for my heretical suggestion. lol
    I'd rather be at the lake

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  9. #9
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    Actually if you had the strip stick you could probably straighten the whole thing out by just repressing. I use mine when I have to press long straight seams like that. http://thestripstick.com/

  10. #10
    Super Member Dina's Avatar
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    You know, I think I wouldn't worry about it. I would just quilt it and pretend it was one of those wonky patterns that was very hard to do! It is a beautiful quilt top!

    Dina

  11. #11
    Super Member tesspug's Avatar
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    The wonk seems to be with the butterfly strip next to the green to the other end for nine strips. I would block it as said before and if that didn't work, I would take out some of those strips and turn them or add them on the end. But I bet the blocking will take out almost all of the wonk.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dina View Post
    You know, I think I wouldn't worry about it. I would just quilt it and pretend it was one of those wonky patterns that was very hard to do! It is a beautiful quilt top!

    Dina
    I could get away with just binding, etc., if it weren't for the rows which are made up of 2" (finished) squares. That's how I discovered the problem in the first place. The squares are so distorted.. So far I took one especially bad row apart and sewed it the other direction. I could tell how to sew only because the 2" squares row would either have the seams open (the top piece) or all over the place (the under side). I think it is also the top thread that is easier to pull when ripping. I will pick one more "bad" row to re-sew and if that doesn't help I will put it away for Maybe Some Day.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by tesspug View Post
    The wonk seems to be with the butterfly strip next to the green to the other end for nine strips. I would block it as said before and if that didn't work, I would take out some of those strips and turn them or add them on the end. But I bet the blocking will take out almost all of the wonk.
    That's the strip I took apart as looking the worst. I have to admit to several quilting infractions with this one -- there are some 50% or more polyesters in the solid colors, and I KNOW they don't behave like cotton (but I still seem to think I can overcome this; wrong again), and some of the cottons are a looser weave, which I think affects how they handle. I probably did iron rather than press at times, too. In fact I'm sure I did. I have gotten away with bad habits long enough to get careless. Right now I am trying to trim wayward 2" squares along one side to see if I can straighten it up that way, then block. It's like trying to wallpaper an old or badly built house -- SOMETHING has to be declared straight in order to proceed. Thanks for your ideas.

  14. #14
    Senior Member pyffer3's Avatar
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    I did not know that when sewing strips together you should alternate sewing directions. Newbie, no one around to teach me a thing. I just finished a strip type top of blacks/whites and I guess I got lucky as it didn't look crooked. I'll post pics when I finish quilting. I think I would just try and quilt it like it is and donate it if you don't want to give it to someone like it is. I for one think it is darling and would love to be the recipient of any "wonky" quilt that someone made for me. Afterall, isn't it the thought that counts?

  15. #15
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    Hot iron and steam will take care of the twist. If you already pressed the seams to one side, try pressing them to the other side. That usually works for me.
    Got fabric?

  16. #16
    Super Member Dina's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scissor Queen View Post
    Actually if you had the strip stick you could probably straighten the whole thing out by just repressing. I use mine when I have to press long straight seams like that. http://thestripstick.com/
    This strip stick is new to me, but it sure makes sense. It looks like I could even make my own. I am going to put my thinking cap on here....

    Dina

  17. #17
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Wow about the strip stick! I just ordered both sizes. I *love* strip piecing, and this will make it even easier for me.

  18. #18
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    Huh. I've been using a folded strip of flannel sheeting as a "strip stick" lol.

  19. #19
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    It's a cute quilt. In my opinion, you can't press curves like this into submission. When you complete the quilt and wash it, it will go awry again. Ask me how I know...

    Seam rip out every other column of the quilt and sew it back on from the opposite end of the column. That should reduce the curving significantly.

    Personally, I would probably hate all that 'undo' and 're-do', but have found that fixing a mistake like this firmly embeds a loathing for that mistake in my psyche, so I am very careful NOT to make the mistake again.

  20. #20
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    blocking it might help. spray it wet and pin it until it's square again, let dry. good luck.

  21. #21
    Super Member pattypurple's Avatar
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    I have a really off the wall idea. How about cutting the top into big blocks, adding smashing around all 4 sides and seeing back together? I think black smashing would make it pop and the curves, if noticeable, wouldn't be so bad.
    I Quilt Therefore I Am

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  22. #22
    Super Member patski's Avatar
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    I'd press it then quilt it! Its' a kids quilt and they will love it not judge it! No quilt police here!!
    Patski
    always learning

  23. #23
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    Black "smashing"? That gave me a fit of giggles, lol! Must be autocorrect! I like it. I'm gonna call it smashing from now on. Hee hee.

  24. #24
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    I have had this problem with a quilt that I was supposed to" just quilt it out". It will not quilt out. Hers was 10" longer on one side. Like you said you can take apart some of the rows and sew them back together for the opposite direction. You will not have to take all of them apart. I took some apart in middle, left side, and right side and then mixed them when I stitched them back together. It worked. Good luck.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Spudgm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pattypurple View Post
    I have a really off the wall idea. How about cutting the top into big blocks, adding smashing around all 4 sides and seeing back together? I think black smashing would make it pop and the curves, if noticeable, wouldn't be so bad.
    I was wondering the same thing. This would give you the ability to square the blocks up to a uniform size and then you could either sew them together or put sashing between.
    -Life is like a quilt...bits & pieces, joy -and- sorrow, stitched with love- http://spudgrandma.wordpress.com/

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