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Thread: Going out of my head with matching chevrons!

  1. #1
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    Going out of my head with matching chevrons!

    Been working on this and it's been driving me absolutely batty. I have meticulously pinned and ripped and pinned again and I still end up not matching exactly. No idea what the "trick" could be, but I've actually started hand-basting the seams in an attempt to match them better. Anyone out there have any ideas/hints regarding this nightmare?
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    Last edited by QuiltnNan; 05-10-2019 at 05:47 AM. Reason: removed venting

  2. #2
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    There were some seams in this year's Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt, involving chevrons, that I couldn't figure out how to match up. It ended up being guess work, hit and miss. I hope someone will be able to help you!
    Lisa

  3. #3
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    you might try marking the piece at 1/4 from the two corner edges, do the same on the other piece. Then you can match those two dots. I'm too lazy to do that. so like you, i do the trial and error
    Nancy in western NY
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  4. #4
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    I did the BH quilt this year too and despised the chevrons. And then I started this quilt and was not happy to realize all the chevrons in it. I thing chevrons are my least liked blocks!

  5. #5
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    I actually started hand-basting the intersections and then will go back and sew the blocks on the machine. What a pain!
    Last edited by QuiltnNan; 05-10-2019 at 06:11 AM.

  6. #6
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    The trick is to make sure the templates are designed so the seams will match up. looking at yours, you are not going to get them to match up unless you don't match up the edges, and that might give you grief somewhere else.

    The angles on your non-chevron block would need to be slightly different for it to line up correctly. The yellow part is a bit too large on the wide end.
    My name is Cathy - and I'm addicted to old sewing machines and their attachments.

  7. #7
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    Yep, Cathy - it's driving me nuts. This entire pattern has been a headache. The instructions also had me make HST's by using 2-7/8" squares sewn on the diagonal. Directions never said what size the finished HST's should be, so I "assumed" 2.5". Meticulously trimmed 500+ of those suckers only to find later after sewing 4 of them together they were supposed to measure 3.5" square! So guess who will be trimming all these 2.5" HST's down to 2"? Yep, me. I guess if I have learned one lesson it is that I should make one of each block prior to going ahead and constructing all of the pieces and then learning that problems exist.

  8. #8
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    Sounds like the instructions could have been written better.

  9. #9
    Power Poster Onebyone's Avatar
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    I have learned with a block with lots of angles a specialty ruler is the best way to go with the pattern being written for the ruler. Looking at your block I don't think you can make it work as is, the right side looks way off as sewn. Glue basting to match my seams before sewing works for me.
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  10. #10
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Onebyone View Post
    Glue basting to match my seams before sewing works for me.
    That's what I do also, and here's how I do it:

    Put your patches right sides together. On the top fabric, stick a pin in the very center of the seam (right between the fabrics), 1/4" away from the raw edge. Slide the fabric up the pin so you can see the bottom fabric, and stick the pin in the very center of that seam, 1/4" away from the raw edge. Put a drop of Elmer's washable school glue in the seam allowance and press to set the glue. Remove pin and stitch seam. If you like to press your seams open, simply run a stiletto between the seams to un-glue them.

    One of the things I've discovered is sometimes, even if you use a 1/4" seam, you have to move one of the fabrics in or out by 1/16" or 1/8" to get the seams to match.
    Last edited by Peckish; 05-10-2019 at 08:09 AM.

  11. #11
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    Is this the effect you are trying for?

    For the first section - is your template/pattern right?

    My units have turned out better when I would mark each piece where I have placed a dark circle and then matched the dots.

    I do lop (cut) off some of the long tails on the unit - but I usually leave about 1/2 inch seam allowance on them. They are easier for me to handle and usually turn our better when I leave that extra amount on the tails.

    The chevron - I would deal with it in whatever manner I usually do flying geese units - some people use squares and trim - some people use the "exact" shape - I would probably do squares and trim.

    the difference being that the center ends up being a parallelogram instead of a triangle.
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    Last edited by bearisgray; 05-10-2019 at 08:39 AM.

  12. #12
    Power Poster RedGarnet222's Avatar
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    I think I would redo the offending side of the block so it matched up. I think they shorted the angled tip to end at the wrong place. It looks like you could re-draw the temple by laying a piece of templet plastic over the old one and re-drawing the angle. Do this for both pieces add the seam allowances and then it should match up perfectly.
    RedGarnet222

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  13. #13
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    The star point was a template and paper pieced. The chevrons were squares and then trimmed to 2"x3.5". I am wishing I hadn't trimmed them and waited until they were pieced together w/the star points. Oh well, I guess you live and learn.

    Thanks for all of the responses - greaty appreciated.

  14. #14
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    ​Looking at the corner section, it looks like the seam allowance is closer 1/2 then 1/4 inch. Since the match is about 1/4 inch off, that might be your problem.

  15. #15
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    What is the "finished" and "unfinished" size of each unit supposed to be?

    After looking at the picture more carefully - it looks to me like the left side of the chevron unit was cut narrower than the right side.

    I measured the unit "on-screen" - and even allowing for seam allowances, I am thinking that the left side is cut about 1/4 inch narrower than the right side of it.

    How are you making the chevron units?

  16. #16
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    Each side of the chevron was 2"x3.5 and when sewn together block measured 3.5" square. Maybe it looks like the left side is narrower because it has already been sewn to the star point w/1/4" seam? I think I have learned that in the future I should actually make an entire block in its entirety before cutting and sewing all of the units. I am thinking that had I not trimmed my chevrons prior to sewing them to the star points I could have trimmed them After sewing them together and saved a bit of the unevenness. But I truly appreciate everyone's hints/impressions, as I am not a pro-quilt maker and have major issues with math/measurements and am totally open to learning from others and greatly appreciate the feedback. This is such a wonderful board and everyone is very generous in trying to help others.
    Last edited by QuiltnNan; 05-10-2019 at 11:21 AM. Reason: shouting/all caps

  17. #17
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    I think it looks bigger because it was paper pieced and that's where I trimmed it. In my mind, I'm thinking that since it was paper pieced That piece should be perfect and something's off w/the darned chevrons.
    Last edited by QuiltnNan; 05-10-2019 at 11:21 AM. Reason: shouting/all caps

  18. #18
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    Theoretically then, your pieces should match up.

    Are you matching orange dot to orange dot?

    I don't see puckers or gathering on your seams - so I am also puzzled.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peckish View Post
    That's what I do also, and here's how I do it:

    Put your patches right sides together. On the top fabric, stick a pin in the very center of the seam (right between the fabrics), 1/4" away from the raw edge. Slide the fabric up the pin so you can see the bottom fabric, and stick the pin in the very center of that seam, 1/4" away from the raw edge. Put a drop of Elmer's washable school glue in the seam allowance and press to set the glue. Remove pin and stitch seam. If you like to press your seams open, simply run a stiletto between the seams to un-glue them.

    One of the things I've discovered is sometimes, even if you use a 1/4" seam, you have to move one of the fabrics in or out by 1/16" or 1/8" to get the seams to match.
    I use a glue stick. Put a little smudge on the bottom fabric and roll back the top fabric until it matches. Then just finger press it down. I haven't had a problem since I took a class that showed this.

  20. #20
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    A lot of good advice here. What is the name of the pattern you are doing? I use Peckish's method of pinning where it is matching and then carefully sewing and still don't always get the best fit. And, I agree with the theory about not trimming the block down until all pieces match up and are sewn. It sure makes it a lot easier to square up.
    Last edited by Barb in Louisiana; 05-10-2019 at 01:18 PM.
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  21. #21
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    In the first picture of the block it looks like a generous 1/4 inch seam. Measure the back side to make sure there is only 1/4 inch of fabric.

    Check the ruler you are using for cutting that it is accurate. I had to adjust my cutting methods as the pieces were shy of the true measurement. Funny how those little bitty lines add up.

    Did the needle on your machine get accidentally moved off the center needle position?

    Yes, to use a g*lue s*tick to match those pesky seam lines.

    ETA: There was a link on the last line so I added the two **.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedGarnet222 View Post
    I think I would redo the offending side of the block so it matched up. I think they shorted the angled tip to end at the wrong place. It looks like you could re-draw the temple by laying a piece of templet plastic over the old one and re-drawing the angle. Do this for both pieces add the seam allowances and then it should match up perfectly.
    This is what I would do, too. As Macybaby also said, I think the angle is wrong.
    Last edited by Friday1961; 05-11-2019 at 04:45 AM.

  23. #23
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    I was going to mentioned what Peckish said.
    How frustrating for you!!! I hope it all works out.

  24. #24
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    One thing that has not been mentioned is asking the pattern maker if there have been corrections (errata) to the pattern. If it is on a website, there is usually a section for this. Also others way have written on the pattern-maker or publisher's website. If you are having problems, others probably have too.

  25. #25
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    this might not sound a big deal but when I was first making quilts like this, the Civil War ones, 5 1/2 blocks and it would never come to size. My teacher told me to use Aurifil. Its only 2 ply and having one less strand makes a difference. Plus it has lower lint. for these I'd probably treat them like half square triangles, increase size a little so that you can match the seams and the square the blocks to the right size.
    Judy

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