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Thread: Do you complete one "unit" completely - or do you "jump around" -

  1. #1
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    Do you complete one "unit" completely - or do you "jump around" -

    Do you complete one "unit" completely - or do you "jump around" - and work on different phases of similar "units"?

    This question is sort of a follow-up to this thread:

    https://www.quiltingboard.com/main-f...s-t296642.html

    I am making tote bags for a a group - I've been wondering if it would be more efficient to complete one bag from start to finish -

    or to continue the way I am -

    which is that I frequently have several bags in various stages of completion. (Right now nine of them are waiting for the handles/straps - I am waiting for calm weather so I can seal/singe the polyester webbing before I sew them it to the bags.)

    I frequently try to get fabric lined up for several of them - because I make a mess getting fabric out -

    Then I sew up the center seam - and then it has to go the pressing station

    So things get pinned - sewn - pressed - usually I have bags in four or five stages of the process.

    When you are piecing - (assuming all the blocks are the same) - do you complete each block before going on to the next? or do you have them in different stages?

    Or is this question making no sense at all?

  2. #2
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    If all the blocks are the same, I will piece multiple blocks at a time. For instance, if I need 48, I'll probably do 12 at a time. If I'm doing it like that, then I only cut for 12. I do chain piecing, iron all 12 seams at one time at each step. Makes me feel like I have really accomplished something when I get those done.
    Sew a Little, Love a Lot & Live like you were dying!

  3. #3
    Super Member soccertxi's Avatar
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    I tend to be a 'jumper'..I get bored... and yes, I am still working on On Ringo Lake...SO many pieces! lol

  4. #4
    Super Member rryder's Avatar
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    I do some of each depending on the project and my mood.

    Rob
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  5. #5
    Super Member Irishrose2's Avatar
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    I jump around so I can chain piece as much as possible and have several things to take to the ironing board at once. I often have a project on at least two different machines. Right now there is a prayer quilt on the MW machine and a wedding quilt on the 301. I'm thinking of setting up the other 301 to start thread painting a horse panel. Is that jumping around enough?

  6. #6
    Senior Member Blueridgebeverly's Avatar
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    I would think the way you do it is more efficient since you are making multiples. Very nice that you are making totes for a group!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barb in Louisiana View Post
    If all the blocks are the same, I will piece multiple blocks at a time. For instance, if I need 48, I'll probably do 12 at a time. If I'm doing it like that, then I only cut for 12. I do chain piecing, iron all 12 seams at one time at each step. Makes me feel like I have really accomplished something when I get those done.
    With the quilt I am currently working on, this is what I am doing as well. It's pp'd so I'm rough-cutting elements then sewing all of 1 and 2 pieces; trimming; pressing; sewing the next piece; repeat. But as I need at least 64 of these 12" blocks I'm only doing a dozen or so quadrants at a time. I don't have enough room to have everything cut; then sewn; etc.

  8. #8
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    I tend to be an assembly line quilter and sewer. That's why I have so many UFOs. I have about 50 pack-n-play sheets all cut right now in a box, ready to start sewing. When I start working on them, I do about 10-12 at a time... chain stitching each step at a time. It's not interesting to make the sheets anyway and seems to go faster this way.

    And, I have 10 quilts sitting here... all needing their bindings.

  9. #9
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    I often make tote bags for gifts, usually 6-8 identical ones. I make the first one completely, to double check the size and that I like the pattern, then I cut & sew the rest assembly line.
    I guess I do something similar with a quilt top. If I'm not familiar with the pattern or not too sure about fabric placement, I'll make one block completely. Then I will create the rest assembly line. I seem to be more accurate this way and for some reason I hate having to go back and cut or make more of a specific patch. Like I made 436 flying geese, but actually needed 440. Drives me nuts.
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
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  10. #10
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    I usually do one at a time. But then most of my projects are scrappy so I don't gain anything in cutting multiples from yardage. i waste a lot of time picking out scraps to go with a block, but I like the variety.

  11. #11
    Power Poster Onebyone's Avatar
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    I make one block at a time. I don't care for chain piecing. I'd rather have one finished item then many unfinished piled up.
    I believe giving what I can will never cause me to be in need.
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    My heroes are working people, paying their own way, taking care of their children and being decent human beings.

  12. #12
    Super Member Wanabee Quiltin's Avatar
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    I tend to do as you do. I just finished 30 blocks from an Eleanor Burns pattern and I had 120 parts that had 3 pieces of fabric= 240 pieces to sew. I sewed all of one side, trimmed and pressed, then pinned the other side, sewed, and pressed. Then I went to the next part. I also was working on other quilts and cutting out too.

  13. #13
    Super Member GingerK's Avatar
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    It really depends on the pattern. I have learned that I do better giving myself reachable goals--like cut and piece 5 or 10 blocks--instead of doing all my cutting then all of piecing the individual units. I do have containers with 2 1/2 inch squares and HST's ready to go but they are for a couple of scrappy's and I cut and add to them on a random basis. I just finished the main components for a Swoon and since each block was a different colour, it made sense to do one block at a time.
    Never argue with an idiot. They'll drag you down the their level and beat you with experience.

  14. #14
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    PaperPrincess and I are on the same page. Paper Princess said, "
    I often make tote bags for gifts, usually 6-8 identical ones. I make the first one completely, to double check the size and that I like the pattern, then I cut & sew the rest assembly line." I do this too!!!

  15. #15
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    When making multiple unites of the same thing, I make one "practice" one first, since I can learn a lot from making that first quilt block or tote.

    After that I usually lean towards mass production over one unit at a time. There's some limit, though. If I were making 100 totes, I wouldn't do each step for all 100 before moving on to the next step.

    Sometimes I'll do all the cutting for a quilt at the beginning before sewing anything except the practice block, but sometimes it's more than I can stand to do and I move on before the cutting is done. The downside of not doing all the cutting for a quilt at the beginning is that I'll lose track of how much more I need to cut of each fabric. Then I'll end up with 46 blocks when I need 48 and have to pull out the fabrics and the cutter again. For some reason I really hate that, probably because I thought I was done when I wasn't!

  16. #16
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    I complete one stage for all the blocks in a quilt, and then move on to the next stage for all the blocks (this is after trying one complete sample block).
    Lisa

  17. #17
    Super Member jclinganrey's Avatar
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    I do a mixture of approaches; I do chain piecing when I'm working on a project with lots of the same kind of piecing and I also alternate from cutting to piecing to pressing, not necessarily in that order. I think of the song from Music Man, 'Pick-a-Little' because it's how I think of my approach to sewing; cut-a-little, piece-a-little, press-a-little, piece, piece, piece - - -

    Although I must qualify that by saying when I'm first starting on a project, I'll make up one block completely to 'audition' the fabrics and be sure I like how everything looks and adjust as needed.
    Jane

  18. #18
    Member sef0181's Avatar
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    With the projects I've worked on so far, I tend to cut everything at once (like you, I make large messes pulling out all the fabric). Then I usually start on the piece of a quilt that I'm most excited about, then finish the whole section(s). Then I usually work row to row (ie, the one I'm doing now has a complicated vertical strip, then like 12 rows of 4 blocks, so once I had the complicated vertical strop pieced, I've been doing each strip of rows in stages. Do the 4 blocks, attach the four blocks, move to the next row)

  19. #19
    Super Member Doggramma's Avatar
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    I jump around. I don't have the patience or discipline to finish one whole part. It's really frustrating with some recent more difficult patterns where they want you to cut out all the pieces before you even start. The frustrating part is I usually can't tell exactly which pieces go where on the pattern in case I want to swap out a different fabric.
    Lori

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  20. #20
    Senior Member Pagzz's Avatar
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    My preference is to do two blocks at a time, building my quilt top. When doing Bonnie Hunter's mystery I will do as instructed, but I personally like to build and make sure things are coming together well rather than assembling all parts at the end. even with making a test block, I usually have some regrets - wishing I hadn't pressed all hst to the dark or something like that... Another reason I prefer to make blocks a couple at a time is that as they accumulate on the design wall I can tweak colors.
    Peggy

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  21. #21
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    I made country dolls for many years to sell at shows and gift shops, maybe 5,000 in all. The only way I could get so many made was by assembly line. All bodies, faces done, hair completed, dressed and then tagged. If I had to jump from one thing to another I never would have gotten any made. Assembly line is the answer!!

  22. #22
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    I'm assembly line all the way. I've even done sampler quilt assembly line, when the blocks are not the same and I'm doing them scrappy.

    I can't stand doing one or two seams and then ironing.
    My name is Cathy - and I'm addicted to old sewing machines and their attachments.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by lindaschipper View Post
    I made country dolls for many years to sell at shows and gift shops, maybe 5,000 in all. The only way I could get so many made was by assembly line. All bodies, faces done, hair completed, dressed and then tagged. If I had to jump from one thing to another I never would have gotten any made. Assembly line is the answer!!
    Wow! About 100 years ago, I made similar dolls... about 2 or 3 dozen a year. You were really busy! Doing that many must have been a challenge!!

  24. #24
    Super Member EmiliasNana's Avatar
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    IF I'm making a quilt with numerous blocks all the same, I make all the elements at once and then assemble. (ie: The quilt I'm doing now has 8 flying geese and 4-4 patches in ea. block. I make them all at once and square them up) However, most quilts I make have multiple sections and lots of applique, so I cut all the applique pieces at once and separate by block in baggies, then construct ea. block separately.

  25. #25
    Super Member Fabric Galore's Avatar
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    I usually sew in an assembly line fashion. I will do all of my cutting out and then I will sew all of step 1, etc. I find it helps to keep me focused so I don't get confused.

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