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Thread: Frustrated & Heartbroken

  1. #1
    Senior Member stitchinbee's Avatar
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    I know it sounds extreme, but I had a less than good day today. I had started a quilt that I have been yearning to do, Stacked Coins. Simple enough, right? Wrong! Everything went together nicely and without incident, I was pleased with how easy it seemed to be, until... I started joining the colums with the sashing. Can you say "WONKY"? Yes, it is horrible, so I put it down, put my things away and stashed the quilt top as far out of sight as I could. Does anyone else every get this upset over things like this? Anyhow, if anyone can offer me some tips on how not to get "wonky" into stacked coins, I would dearly appreciate it. (Visualize 4 columns looking like an upside down "U" that slopes down from left to right at the bottom.)

  2. #2
    Junior Member Xtgirl's Avatar
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    Did you sew your strips together in the same direction? That would cause some wonkiness...I'm not visualizing well so I could be not understanding what youre describing.But I was told if you piece in the one direction without changing direction every other strip they will not stay straight. Best of luck!

  3. #3
    Junior Member Xtgirl's Avatar
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    Edit..double post

  4. #4
    Senior Member stitchinbee's Avatar
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    i say frustrated and heartbroken because right now i feel as if i never want to quilt or sew ever again.

  5. #5
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    Can you say ANGRY?

    Take two aspirin and look at it again another day. I am not trying to be funny I speak from experience.

  6. #6
    Super Member nursie76's Avatar
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    I understand frustrated! But please don't give up! Everything is a learning experience. Just put this one aside and work on something different for a while. {{{Hugs}}}

  7. #7
    Super Member BKrenning's Avatar
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    It sounds like you sewed the strips all the same direction instead of alternating or possibly ironed instead of pressed your rows. Also, if the fabric wasn't pre-washed &/or starched and on the thin side--it will stretch & warp when a hot iron touches it or some of the really thin stuff--just by handling it too much.

    So--point #1 would be did you prewash & starch your fabric before you cut it especially if it was the thinner stuff?

    Point #2: Did you alternate sides when sewing the strips together?

    Point #3: Did you press (not iron) the seams all the same?

    Point #4: Are you having trouble with the ruler slipping so that your blocks are out of square when you subcut the strips?

    Are you a new quilter?
    How accurate or at least consistent is your seam allowance?

    Don't give up. Maybe today was just not meant to be a sewing day.

  8. #8
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    What do you mean by a stacked coins? I am planning on making a coins quilt and wonder if it is the same thing. I don't want my to be wonky. I want to learn from your experience.

  9. #9
    Super Member Amythyst02's Avatar
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    Since I have sewn for many years, clothing can sometimes be the most frustrating thing. You have the directions right there in front of you, and yet its all wrong. Quilting is still very new to me, but I am relating it to the same as making clothes. When I get upset, frustrated, and just plain want to throw it out the window, its time to get up and look at it tomorrow. You will be surprised at how different things will look the next day. All of a sudden, it just hits you what you were doing wrong.

    And honestly you have the best source of help right here on these boards. These ladies will make it all ok...

  10. #10
    Junior Member Scotlass's Avatar
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    You have been given some good tips on what might of happened, I suggest you do something that makes you happy (whether it is quilting or something eles) and take another look at this top with fresh eyes another day. It may be a simple fix......Good luck and don't give up!

  11. #11
    Power Poster Annaquilts's Avatar
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    I actually find sewing strips in a coin fashion hard. My husband paperpieces onto a piece of addign machine paper. then trims the edges parallel to the paper.

  12. #12
    Super Member EasyPeezy's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear about your frustration. Stacked coins would be like piano keys.
    When I sewed my piano keys I pieced them by pairs then sewed pairs
    together and so on until I got the length that I needed. Starching and
    pinning helps. However you have already sewed your pieces now.
    So...let's see. How far off are the stacked coins from left to right? Can
    you measure that? Maybe you could rip them in the middle and again
    halfway each. Then turn them so there would be less distortion.
    Does that make sense?

  13. #13
    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    My guess would be trouble keeping the seam allowance 1/4" all the way across. I tend to be less attentive toward the end of a strip. I don't think the short length of a coin would distort that much if you sewed all from the same side. I'm sure I sewed the ones for the back of my Carpenter Star all from the left to right. I did strip piece them, so that cut down on that slight curve at the end of a seam.

  14. #14
    Super Member annesthreads's Avatar
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    I know your "extreme" reaction so well! I hope that after a night's sleep you'll be feeling a bit better, but just leave the wretched thing until you know you have some perspective on it, however long that takes. Until you get to that point, any more work on it will be counter-productive. I've learned that the hard way! In the meantime, have you got something else you can work on - something you enjoy, that soothes you?

  15. #15

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    I have been there and done that. I found out after checking my seams when I start out at a 1/4 inch by the time the end of the seam comes it is less than a 1/4 of an inch. You get into a hurry and it slides to the left on you. Recheck you seam allowances and I think you will do better. I did.

  16. #16
    Super Member orangeroom's Avatar
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    Stitchinb,
    Many of us have felt that way. I currently have at least one quilt that I've put aside for now. My reason is that I had relatives say in a disgusted way 'Ugh, who is this for?" I was making it for them. Not any more. They will not receive a quilt from me in the future.
    Good luck. I'm sure it has something to do with the direction your rows have been sewn in. Eventually you'll pick it up and use your seam rippers and fix it.
    Orange

  17. #17
    Super Member 117becca's Avatar
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    I also understand. I am another one who puts it aside and comes back to it later. To get a better 1/4 inch seam allowance, I bought one of those magnetic seam guides. It has really helped me to keep me seams straighter - esp when i'm sewing on the binding(more layers, and they're thicker due to the batting)

  18. #18
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    PLEASE post a picture. I have one that needs the solid columns added and I can't see how to get a straight line without cutting too much off.

  19. #19
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    I'm sure most, if not all of us have had a project that has made want to give it all up. set it aside for a while. your problem is probably from the direction the seams were sewn. common mistake. sit down some night and "unsew" for a while. when you start over, alternate seam directions and it will be fine.

  20. #20
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    This can actually be a difficult quilt for the very reason you mention. Could you post a photo?

    If the strips aren't too wonky, I would start by starching and blocking the strips into submission. (Sharon Schamber has some good videos on Youtube about how she stretches and shrinks wonky blocks to fit.) If they are still wonky after starching, I would look for a few places where I could separate and re-sew to "adjust" the strips. Worst case, I would look for a way to cut off any excessive wonkiness. *Only* after a lot of starching, though, to stabilize as much as possible!

    Have you already cut the sashing strips? Next time I would *heavily* starch the fabric before cutting the sashing strips. This helps keep them from getting wonky too.

    A book I have recommends not cutting the sashing strips at first. It recommends cutting a straight edge on your sashing fabric, then sewing your stacked coins strip to it before cutting the sashing fabric to size. They say this helps control the wonkiness. (Personally, I think heavy starching would help more.)

    Very worst case, I would cut down the strips and make several crib quilts.

  21. #21
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    When I have a long piece of different fabrics to sew I sew them in sections. This keeps the weight of the row from pulling on the sewn fabric when sewing each separately. If I have row of blocks I sew the blocks together two at a time, then into two sections, then join the sections together.

  22. #22
    Super Member running1's Avatar
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    Sigh... I think we've all been there at one time... please rest a while and then read all these wonderful ideas... one will seem right to you!! Hang in there!!

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