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Thread: Half square triangle are all cockeyed

  1. #1
    Super Member jcrow's Avatar
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    Half square triangle are all cockeyed

    I am making Jenny Doan's Big Star quilt and doing her way of making half square triangles. I already sewed the 10" blocks 1/4" around the edges of enough blocks to make a king size quilt. That is all done.

    I cut apart enough of them to make one star and starched each half square block, put it on The Steady Betty and ironed the sewed edge while it was closed and then opened it and pressed it open. Every single one was so cockeyed all around the edges and down the sewed middle line.

    Should I have waited for the starch to dry first before i ironed it? What am I doing wrong? Isn't the bias at the edges and not the center? The center was so crooked. I need help. I just ruined one star block and will not press another one until someone helps me. Please help me. Thanks.
    "Be yourself...everyone else is taken."
    Strong people don't put others down...they build them up."
    "Remember that your instincts are more important than rules"

  2. #2
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    I usually get better results starching my fabric before I cut it, rather than after is is sewn into a block. Unless you soaked it not sure why you would get the distortion. Is it oversized? If so you could trim it down

  3. #3
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    Is your stitch length to tight? The bias will be on the edge and those can get wonky if you are not careful. I am starching my Spiderweb blocks and they have bias edges too. I mist and then iron while damp so that shouldn't matter. The good news on bias edges is, all the intersections will match because they streeeeetch. I will just quilt the heck out of my Spiderweb top to iron out any wonky-ness.
    Hopefully someone who has made the same pattern will have some pointers for you.

  4. #4
    Super Member jcrow's Avatar
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    I soaked it. So I should spray it with starch before I cut it? Should I let it dry before I cut it? Iron it after I starch it before I cut it? Let it dry and then iron it before I cut it? I am afraid of ruining another block.
    "Be yourself...everyone else is taken."
    Strong people don't put others down...they build them up."
    "Remember that your instincts are more important than rules"

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    I didn't know her method so had to watch youtube ... very interesting way to make hst. Did you 'iron'? or did you 'press'? If you ironed then you may have stretched the fabric.

    I use the grid method for my hst.
    I.E. http://www.patchwork-and-quilting.co...triangles.html

    I hope it all works out.

  6. #6
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    I think pressing damp material causes it to stretch, which seems to be what happened to your blocks. I firmly belong to the "make it big and cut it down" club. I once used precut squares and after I got the HSTs made I starched, pressed and trimmed them. You will lose quite a lot of finished size in your king size quilt, but maybe you could just make more, or add on a boarder. At least they would not be totally wasted.

  7. #7
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    That's the down side with this method of making HST, the sides are all on the bias. The only way i've been satisfied with the results is to starch the fabric a lot BEFORE cutting the squares and doing the stitching around the edges.
    If you already have others cut, I would starch heavily and press using your steady betty to get them square, before joining them to other squares.
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
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  8. #8
    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    I starch my fabric as I press it after it's laundered. If I'm only using part of the fabric, I only press that part of it. After it's stitched I press the seam with a dry iron, open it up and press the block with a dry iron.
    When I do the first starching, I spray it evenly and press immediately until it's dry.

  9. #9
    Super Member GrannieAnnie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcrow View Post
    I am making Jenny Doan's Big Star quilt and doing her way of making half square triangles. I already sewed the 10" blocks 1/4" around the edges of enough blocks to make a king size quilt. That is all done.

    I cut apart enough of them to make one star and starched each half square block, put it on The Steady Betty and ironed the sewed edge while it was closed and then opened it and pressed it open. Every single one was so cockeyed all around the edges and down the sewed middle line.

    Should I have waited for the starch to dry first before i ironed it? What am I doing wrong? Isn't the bias at the edges and not the center? The center was so crooked. I need help. I just ruined one star block and will not press another one until someone helps me. Please help me. Thanks.

    If I'm following you, you end up seaming on the bias. Cut just two HST at a time and they'll be on the straight grain and much easier to deal wiht.
    Bad Spellers of the World
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    Super Member jcrow's Avatar
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    Thank you. I will starch them before I cut them. I drenched the first ones and think that is where I went wrong. I'll use Best Press instead and do a light spray of it. Thanks for the advice. Much needed. Don't like this way of making half squares. I'll never do it this way again.
    "Be yourself...everyone else is taken."
    Strong people don't put others down...they build them up."
    "Remember that your instincts are more important than rules"

  11. #11
    Senior Member Donnamarie's Avatar
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    In the future if you plan on making any half square triangles, quarter squares, and geese it is worth purchasing this CD called 'Triangulations 3.0' by Brenda Henning (Bear Paw Productions). Each unit comes is several sizes. You can print out the image and sew and cut on the lines. They come out perfectly. The CD is <$30 but is totally worth the money. It is like the 'trianglations on a roll' but you get so many sizes on the CD. I will probably use this forever or until something better comes along the way. Good luck!

  12. #12
    Super Member jcrow's Avatar
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    Yes, I already sewed all the 10" squares around the edges 1/4". So I have to go from here.
    "Be yourself...everyone else is taken."
    Strong people don't put others down...they build them up."
    "Remember that your instincts are more important than rules"

  13. #13
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    I would starch alot before cutting the fabric.

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    Super Member virtualbernie's Avatar
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    I starch my fabric really really well before I cut then I NEVER put any more moisture on the block. Make a practice block then spray it and watch it curl up. Then when you press/iron the block it gets stretched because the fibers are relaxed. So my mantra is: Starch like crazy before cutting and use a dry​ iron thereafter.
    Bernie

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    Super Member DOTTYMO's Avatar
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    Unfortunately you stretched by soaking after cutting. If they are sewn but not cut startch quickly. Just dry spray.
    Finished is better than a UFO

  16. #16
    Super Member chairjogger's Avatar
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    sounds like your pressed too hard and stretched your fabric.. this is the only way I do pinwheels and love the idea.. she does warn not to iron but press the fabric and hold the steam.. no steam.. so sorry this has occured. Bet you want to cry..

    I still stand by her tips.. quilted over a dozen pinwheel quilts for charity using her method.

    PS I do make sure the squares are "squared up" before sewing eachone together.. maybe that is the tip too..

    Best of luck to you.
    Ell

    Oh, and I have never starched fabric. Are you not ironing before you match together before sewing? Oh boy.. such a sad thing to happen..
    Last edited by chairjogger; 02-28-2013 at 02:42 PM.
    Sometimes you just have to sit in a chair and jog in order to get anywhere.
    Ell

  17. #17
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    I use Best Press when starching. I put it in a 3 oz. non-aerosol hair spray bottle purchased from Sally's Beauty Supply. You can spritz a small area with a fine mist instead of soaking it with starch from regular spray bottle. This way the Best Press goes further, too. Don't iron down the length of the seam. Carefully finger press the seam open or use one of those little wood pressing tools, lower iron onto the area and hold in place a second. Once I have everything laying as it should I give the seam a light spritz and press again dry and to set seam in place. Takes a little time but I enjoy the crisp results.
    Cheryl Robinson
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  18. #18
    Super Member jcrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silver Needle View Post
    I use Best Press when starching. I put it in a 3 oz. non-aerosol hair spray bottle purchased from Sally's Beauty Supply. You can spritz a small area with a fine mist instead of soaking it with starch from regular spray bottle. This way the Best Press goes further, too. Don't iron down the length of the seam. Carefully finger press the seam open or use one of those little wood pressing tools, lower iron onto the area and hold in place a second. Once I have everything laying as it should I give the seam a light spritz and press again dry and to set seam in place. Takes a little time but I enjoy the crisp results.
    I like your advice. I think I will try it. Thank you very much. Thank you all very much. I now know I soaked my fabric and did more than press the fabric. I moved it around. I will not do that again. I am using Best Press for now on. Thanks again!
    "Be yourself...everyone else is taken."
    Strong people don't put others down...they build them up."
    "Remember that your instincts are more important than rules"

  19. #19
    Power Poster twinkie's Avatar
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    I agree with stretching the fabric.

  20. #20
    Junior Member daisylil's Avatar
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    I hated making those untill i got the strip tube ruler , they are soooo easy to make in huge numbers i'll confess i'm hooked

  21. #21
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    I would never make HST the way Jenny does. Sure you get four at a time with no waste, but they are all bias edges. There are a lot better ways to make HST with straight edges.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nancyw View Post
    I would never make HST the way Jenny does. Sure you get four at a time with no waste, but they are all bias edges. There are a lot better ways to make HST with straight edges.
    I agree about all those bias edges. I prefer other methods that give straight edges..... But remember she is pushing precuts so must find ways of using them in the most effective ways.

  23. #23
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    Eleanor Burns shows how to make 8 at a time with squares and sewing an x. No bias edges.
    Use 6 in sqs for 2 1/2 and just add 2 in for each size larger. 3 1/2 use 8 in squares.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  24. #24
    Super Member quiltmom04's Avatar
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    I generally oversize and then trim my HST to size. If you like that method of making them, if it were me, I'd make the square bigger, say about and inch bigger , and them trim the squares to size.

  25. #25
    Super Member G'ma Kay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maverick View Post
    I didn't know her method so had to watch youtube ... very interesting way to make hst. Did you 'iron'? or did you 'press'? If you ironed then you may have stretched the fabric.

    I use the grid method for my hst.
    I.E. http://www.patchwork-and-quilting.co...triangles.html


    I hope it all works out.

    Hey Maverick, where do you get the grid paper for this process?

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