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Thread: Help! I pin and my blocks shift

  1. #1
    Super Member JJean's Avatar
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    I am having some trouble keeping my blocks lined up. I pin in various directions etc. and sometimes my blocks shift a bit so that the seams don't line up. Any surefire tricks out there?

  2. #2
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    Take smaller bites of fabric with the pins and pin in more places. Keep the pins lined up with the intersecting seam lines...perpendicular, angled, etc...

    I prefer to glue baste instead of pinning...when the bottle runs out, you can refill it with Elmer's brand school glue.

    http://blog.fabshophop.com/blog/?p=1649

  3. #3
    ladybugquilter's Avatar
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    I pin my seams baste a few stiches, open up the rows, make sure all is lined up, then close the row back up, repin, and sew. Hope this makes since. :wink:

  4. #4
    Super Member JJean's Avatar
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    Thank you all. I keep hoping to figure it out. I'm getting too close to my seam ripper. My latest quilt has 156 blocks and I'm almost finished. I feel like the old dog that can't learn new tricks.

    All goes smoothly for several blocks, then I have one that "moves." It looks like the feeddogs are pulling the bottom layer just a bit. Basting or gluing the beginning stich-line would stop the fabrc from moving. Thanks again.

  5. #5
    pookie ookie's Avatar
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    When seams match up exactly, I use Clover Fork Pins. You can see what they look like here:
    http://www.amazon.com/Clover-Fork-Pi...6449121&sr=8-1

  6. #6
    Power Poster SulaBug's Avatar
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    Thank you everyone, for the
    great sites of glue & pins!! :D
    I keep learning something new
    each day!! HAPPY DANCE!! :D
    :D :D :D

  7. #7
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    here is al ink on "easing seams in".. scroll down a bit to find it..

    http://www.patternsfromhistory.com/b...t/beginner.htm


  8. #8
    Super Member Olivia's Grammy's Avatar
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    I try to place my pins in the seam line,sometimes even at a slight angle.

  9. #9
    Super Member Darlene's Avatar
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    When Fons and Porter pin seams they put the pin point right in the top seam, lift and poke the pin in the bottom seam it works well every time. Hope this helps.

  10. #10
    Junior Member rndelling's Avatar
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    This topic came up awhile back and someone said that they pin on both sides where blocks meet and then place a pin just a hair before those 2 pins. I tried it and it works for me every time. No more shifting and moving as you sew down the row.

  11. #11
    Super Member Deb watkins's Avatar
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    At the Mancuso Quilt show in Philly this October, the instructor of one of my classes uses the Red label double sided sticky tape on the inside of the seam, not stitching through it, but just hold the places where the seams must meet, and putting pins on the other are of the block

  12. #12
    Senior Member AtHomeSewing's Avatar
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    I'm so glad this came up. I thought I was the only one who struggles with this.

    I have tried regular pins, fork pins, basteing glue, and I still have a harder time that I ought to. It only seems to get worse when I pin. :? Machine Batsting or Glue work, but only sometimes. :? I honestly think I need an entire class on matching seams! :roll: If I could get beyond this, I might actually get more quilts completed!

    I'll try the tape idea, Deb, do you have any more information on Red label tape? I don't know what that is. And I'll also attempt pinning the way that rndelling's has described. Am I hopeless?

    Thanks everyone for the ideas. :)

  13. #13
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    It might be that your sewing machine is feeding the fabric unevenly -

    Do you have a walking foot? That might help.

  14. #14
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    I have a fancy shmancy cost-a-fortune machine, complete with the sweetest 1/4" foot i've ever used. You'd think i could've thrown my pins into the gahbahge.

    HAH!!! HAHH! and DOUBLE-HAH!!! :lol: :lol: :lol:

    some days, i need pins, staples, two glue guns and a roll of hundred-mile-an-hour tape. :lol:

    just this morning, for example, i had to resort to this to get my stinkin' pieces to match properly ...

    point being? it all boils down to the Dirty Harry question: "Are you feelin' lucky today, Punk? Well? Are ya?"

    today was NOT my lucky day. :lol: :lol: :lol:
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  15. #15
    Super Member LucyInTheSky's Avatar
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    What I had found helpful is that I sew over the pins. When I first started, I used pins like Patrice showed in her pictures. Then in a quilting class, they told me that if I get IBC silk pins, they're much smaller pins and I can sew over them. I have lost a few pins over the years, but overall this has worked without incident.

    I've found that this has been helpful in keeping my seams matched up. Before, I would pin, everything would be perfect, then I would pull out the pin right before it went under the needle, and that was enough to mess up my piecing and get not perfect corners. Whereas now, they pretty much stay in place.

    Also, make sure your seams "nest" with each other, where you press them in opposite directions. That makes things a lot easier too.

  16. #16
    Power Poster Rhonda's Avatar
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    This is the surefire way to keep those seams from moving. Use a needle and thread and tack (sew a stitch or repeat twice in the same place) across the seams where your sewn seam will go through. This way the seam will sew over the tack and you won't have to take it back out.

    Anytime I decide to get in a hurry and use a pin I end up having to rip out the seam and start over with a tack. It is a stitch in time saves nine!!

    I like to tack the sides as well instead of pin then you don't have to take pins back out. But pinning where there are no seams works too.

    It takes a few minutes more to do this instead of pin but I think it is worth it! I lay everything out in rows then turn one row face down on the row beside it and then go through and tack each pair of blocks together. Then I stack the pairs in order and run them through the machine flag style. Saves some time. Then snip and iron.
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  17. #17
    Super Member joeyoz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pookie ookie
    When seams match up exactly, I use Clover Fork Pins. You can see what they look like here:
    http://www.amazon.com/Clover-Fork-Pi...6449121&sr=8-1
    Wow. I've never seen those before. thank you for the info. Now I have to go find some. (Like I don't have enough pins already) LOL :lol: :lol: :lol:

  18. #18
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    1.=are all your seams measuring the same? my friend was having issues, and so i watched her sew, and she tended to be narrow at the top of the seam and wide where she finished...(she was letting go of the fabric near the end of sewing, so the fabric would kind of go wide..) does that make sense?
    2.= are you pressing them right?
    3.= Swing by, i will help ya! I am outside of Detroit! :mrgreen:

    i pin my seams almost in the seam..if i was doing something that had alot of seams..i match up the seams first, in stead of lining up the end first..

  19. #19
    Senior Member AtHomeSewing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PatriceJ
    ...

    some days, i need pins, staples, two glue guns and a roll of hundred-mile-an-hour tape. :lol: ...
    Okay, I get it, I'm not tyring hard enough. I'll pick up some duct tape! :D :D

    Seriously though, there have been some great tips offered. Thank so much I'm going to try them ALL. :)

  20. #20
    Super Member Deb watkins's Avatar
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    It is the 3M scotch tape, double side, but the instructor was very specific to say that it was the red plaid label. He pins the quilt, but does the tape right on the seams, but not where he is stitching. When he is done, he removes the tape. I took the Bird of Paradise paper piecing class from him. Amazing.......some of the pieces of fabric when we were done were no more than 1/8 of an inch.

  21. #21
    Super Member JJean's Avatar
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    Yep. I'm ironing, lining seams up and pinning. It doesn't happen each time.

  22. #22
    Senior Member AtHomeSewing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deb watkins
    It is the 3M scotch tape, double side, but the instructor was very specific to say that it was the red plaid label. He pins the quilt, but does the tape right on the seams, but not where he is stitching. When he is done, he removes the tape. I took the Bird of Paradise paper piecing class from him. Amazing.......some of the pieces of fabric when we were done were no more than 1/8 of an inch.
    Thanks Deb, I'll try that...and if the Red Label double-sided doesn't work, I'll try the duct tape method! :lol:

    And Rhonda, I will definitely be trying your method as well. One way or another this is a battle I've got to win!


  23. #23
    Super Member dglvr's Avatar
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    Thanks Watterstide for that site. Great stuff

  24. #24
    Member Aileen's Avatar
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    I had the BEST quilt teacher when I first learned to quilt. Besides looking at those sites, there is one other tip that is not mentioned. I iron one seam one way and the other seam the other way and then when I go to place the two seams together "you feel for the two seams to butt up together" then pin the seams on either side. It takes a little practice but I guarantee you will see that you have perfectly matching seams every time! Hope this helps.

  25. #25
    sewin'sam's Avatar
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    I use the fork pins too. They really help keep the seams together. I pin one pin in the seam then replace it with a fork pin so it holds down both sides of the seam. Does that make sense? I start at the right end, pin the edges tog., then the next seam & work over to the left side of the blocks. (as I'm looking at it) Hope that helps & didn't confuse you more?? :roll: I also use a "hump jumper" If the seam is real thick & the machine doesn't want to go over it smoothly, I use the jumper to help it over. I think I bought them at either Clotilde or Joann's? 2 in a package. That helps keep the machine from 'pushing' your fabric. It's actually called a Jean-a-Ma-Jig-$3.48 @ Clotilde.com.

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