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Thread: Help me get the wonk out of this fabric

  1. #1
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    Help me get the wonk out of this fabric

    I am going to make a fractured quilt. To do it, I need 4 identical fabric motifs, in my case I'm using a panel. Similar to a stack-and-whack or an OBW, the fabric design has to match (ie large blue flower in exactly the same place on all 4 pieces of fabric when laid on top of each other).

    My problem is that the panels are ALL wonky. They're square at the top, but around the middle they all start veering off toward the right. There is no way I could cut strips out of them and match the strips.

    The fabric is pre-washed & dried. I then starched it and ironed it (I ironed lengthwise with the selvage only).

    I tried stretching them on the bias to get them back into shape and an hour later they're wonky again.

    I tried to match sections and put a single stitch in that section and tying it, but I'm getting great big puckers everywhere.

    Any suggestions??
    May your stitches always be straight, your seams always lie flat, and your grain never be biased against you.

    Sue

  2. #2
    Super Member sewbeadit's Avatar
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    Boy, I don't have any, it sounds like you are going to be out of luck using that fabric. If it isn't on the straight of grain or if it is not printed properly for the straight of grain, I don't know how you can fix that. Good luck though, I hope someone can help you out.
    Sewbeadit
    W. Washington

  3. #3
    Super Member EasyPeezy's Avatar
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    If you've tried the bias stretch thing and it comes back wonky I'd say ditch it and use a different fabric. It might come back and haunt you specially for what you're planning. You can always find a different project for the panel. JMHO.

  4. #4
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    start in the center---line up the designs---pinning them together so the match perfectly- then smooth the fabric out from them--your outter edges will have to be re-straightened-but your motifs should be lined up- problem with using panals is they are seldom printed exactly alike- and once fabrics have been pre-washed the wonky-ness really becomes apparent- in some cases it is better to forgo the prewashing part---but too late now- the only thing to do is line up the designs---but it may still be impossible-they may not even be the same size anymore- putting them together and pinning them will show you if their size is off too.
    good luck.
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  5. #5
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    Don't have an answer for you. Will be watching to see if someone else does. Good luck. BrendaK
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  6. #6
    Super Member raptureready's Avatar
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    Have you tried wetting the fabric and pinning it to something to block it? Sort of like you would with knitting or crocheting. Wet it, roll it in a towel to partially dry it then pin it to something sturdy or tape it to your vinyl floor (making sure it's straight) and leave it there until it's TOTALLY dried.
    If no one ever experimented we'd all still be making 4 patches.

  7. #7
    Super Member GingerK's Avatar
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    Yes, I'd try what Raptureready suggests. If you have an ironing board cover with a measuring tape cover, it would be even easier. Lay and straighten the first damp one and pin down very well. Then position, straighten, stretch as needed, the second on top of it and pin, and so on. Remember that wet fabric will stretch very easily. Try it with one set of 4 squares and see what happens.

    I had a baby panel that had a terrible WOW in the middle and this technique worked for me.
    Never argue with an idiot. They'll drag you down the their level and beat you with experience.

  8. #8
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    Do you have a ruler big enough to cut the pieces you need in one cut? If you do, lay your ruler over the motif you want to cut. Put Glad Press & Seal over the whole ruler top. Use a fine sharpie and exactly trace the motif on the glad plastic and this creates a template for cutting exact matching sections. Then cut out your sections one at a time. You will get the exact repeats but you would still have to tape the wonky sections to your cutting mat to get straight lines to sew? I don't know if it will work on your wonky panels but do a dry run with one panel and see before cutting anything. As others have said you may need to change your fabric choice.

  9. #9
    Moderator sharon b's Avatar
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    I would also suggest when pinning to just push the needle straight down until it is all lined up- don't bring the pinpoint back up through the fabric
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  10. #10
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    Good luck. Every panel I've bought is exactly as you describe. Frustrating to say the least!

  11. #11
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sunnye View Post
    Good luck. Every panel I've bought is exactly as you describe. Frustrating to say the least!
    Terrific. At least I don't feel like the red headed step child, this is the first panel I've ever purchased.

    OK Ladies ... wish me luck. I'm headed into the darkest depths of the "back room" dungeon of horrors to wet and stretch this stuff into submission.
    May your stitches always be straight, your seams always lie flat, and your grain never be biased against you.

    Sue

  12. #12
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    This would by my suggestion too. Pin it like you would for a stack and whack quilt. Takes time but will be well worth it.
    Quote Originally Posted by sharon b View Post
    I would also suggest when pinning to just push the needle straight down until it is all lined up- don't bring the pinpoint back up through the fabric
    When life gives you scraps, make a quilt.

  13. #13
    Senior Member dunngriffith's Avatar
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    Looks like you tried everything I thought of. Sorry it is wonky- so frustrating! Have a merry Christmas!

  14. #14
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    I agree with your commentors that suggested blocking the panels...get the straightest one, do that first, pinning to SOMETHING with a grid... ironing board cover, gingham, whatever...now spray it with spray starch, heavily.....let dry and then unpin....did it stay straight? okay, then you have your measurement...now block all the other panels to that measurement, starching well.... if it did NOT stay the shape you blocked it, you are probably stretching to much one way or the other, re-wet and try again, a bit smaller.....starch is your friend whenever fussy cutting anything....

  15. #15
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    i believe using the panels will give more frustration that you want to deal with

  16. #16
    Super Member valleyquiltermo's Avatar
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    I just don't buy panels for that reason.
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  17. #17
    Super Member jitkaau's Avatar
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    I would be trying that technique with a different choice of fabric. It sounds like it is going to be too much of a hassle.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Jo Belmont's Avatar
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    The only thing I could come up with if you definitely want to use that particular fabric (I fall in love with mine too), is to put a good fusible stabilizer on the back of it. Then cut your perfect shape from it and it should stay that way. Of course, if you're using this for a quilt, it could be a tad stiff, however a wall hanging could even be enhanced by the added stability.

    Let us know how you do.

  19. #19
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    It's not you, panels are notorious for not being square. My suggestion is to use a different fabric if possible. No need to agrivate yourself and this is what this fabric may end up doing.

  20. #20
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    Thinking you will have to use this material on a project where it doesn't really matter.

  21. #21
    Super Member LindaM's Avatar
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    For the fractured flowers technique, it is not so critical that they are exactly the same, as for OBW. And, you don't have to cut the squares on the grain ... you're using the gridded fusible for this? That will keep things straight for you!

    But I'd still try to block them to get them behaving as best you can.
    Linda
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  22. #22
    Super Member Cottontop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ckcowl View Post
    start in the center---line up the designs---pinning them together so the match perfectly- then smooth the fabric out from them--your outter edges will have to be re-straightened-but your motifs should be lined up- problem with using panals is they are seldom printed exactly alike- and once fabrics have been pre-washed the wonky-ness really becomes apparent- in some cases it is better to forgo the prewashing part---but too late now- the only thing to do is line up the designs---but it may still be impossible-they may not even be the same size anymore- putting them together and pinning them will show you if their size is off too.
    good luck.
    I agree and also with "Raptureready". These are stamped and not woven, so squaring is nigh on to impossible...hope these methods work for you.
    Cottontop
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  23. #23
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    The block you describe is possibly called *FourPatch Posey* (google that). The technique for OBW and stack and whack and poseys regarding pinmatching the layers of fabric is pretty much the same... and you do NOT wash the fabric first.. its a BIGGIE... not washing it.. as it distorts the prints and you cant pinmatch them. You could try the suggestions on trying to reshape your fabric with steam and whatever.. but if it was me i would use the panels for something else... and get four layers of new fabric...... hard as that sounds.

  24. #24
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    When i google fractured flower, i see that someone did publish a variation of using a fourpatch in stack and whack technique, i.e. the difference being in poseys all the same corners go towards the middle, in the fractured-flowers they are all kept vertical in their same orientation... Interesting.
    But... still... the washing and ironing may have changed your fabric enuf that you could think of using it for something else, and trying again on the fabric choice....

  25. #25
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    The only way I have been able to get the "wonk" out is to wet the piece(s) and pin them to something flat and then let them dry. Joann's has a corrugated board that folds up for dressmakers but works for this because it has a grid on it and you can place a panel on it and stick pins in it to line up the design. I usually don't wet the fabric with water, I use fabric finish (like spray starch but not as stiff). Line up and pin the first panel in a few places then repeat with the additional panels. I have been known to take a blow dryer to it to be able to get on with my project!

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