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Thread: Help--My Quilt is Crooked!

  1. #1
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    Help--My Quilt is Crooked!

    Hi everyone! Iíve been sewing on and off for over 40 years but only quilting for the last few months and loving it! However, I think I might have been overly ambitious in a recent quilt project. The quilt has 18 10Ē square blocks with sashing in between them. The blocks are made of ľ HST (I hope that makes sense). I just finished the quilt top and although the measurements are perfect both vertically and horizontally, it doesnít fold or lay squareóitís somehow crooked. Out of desperation, I laid it on my tile floor which I know is square and sure enough, about half way down, it starts to migrate to the left. What in the world did I do wrong??

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    try best press and iron with seam
    Create something beautiful from scraps.

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    Gay
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    Senior Member Gay's Avatar
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    If all your longer sashing strips are the same measurement, I would think that you had sewed all beginning at the same side and the fabric is stretching a little.

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    Ohhhh, I have. This is crooked beyond pressing it out....it looks like my dog's hind leg. It's swooshed to the left side by about 1.5"

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    Did you use corner squares with your sashing strips? If not, it's possible that's where the quilt went off kilter. Corner squares actually keep everything in line when adding sashing, because you match the corner points of the squares on each block. Grab opposing corners and pull it into square to try and block it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Libits View Post
    Ohhhh, I have. This is crooked beyond pressing it out....it looks like my dog's hind leg. It's swooshed to the left side by about 1.5"
    If it's beyond squaring up, the solution may be as simple as taking off the sashing strips where it all starts to go wrong and re-sewing them on. Before sewing them on, put little tick marks on the edges where the corner squares would be if there were corner squares, and let those be your guide to matching to the ends of the blocks. That technique should keep it all straight the same way corner squares do. Good luck, good question here.

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    Ya know what? Although I havenít made many quilts, every time I finish one, I realize Iíve learned something. Sometimes I learn something noticeable and sometimes I learn something no one will ever know but me. But I learn and this time is no different.

    With this quilt, what Iíve learned is:


    1. Just because fabric is in the quilting section doesnít mean it should be used for quilting
    2. Donít buy fabric just for looks


    I think both of those might be my problem. The quilt is for my future son-in-law, a former marine. Itís a patriotic quilt with red satin, deep blue cotton (with little silver stars) and a white fabric with a silver thread running through it. That fabric is a bit stretchy and we know that satin and cotton is not.

    Iím going to apply the outside border and finish the quilt anyway and hope that I donít find a burning rotary cutter outside my front door from the quilt police. It isnít terribly noticeable unless itís pointed out and I know heíll love it because so much love went into it.

    But Iíve learned!

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    You might be able to block it back square if the top measurements are correct. Lay out the quilt top again on the floor and tape the edges down with painters tape. Mist the top as it lays in the correct position and leave it to dry. I hope all your fabric was washed before though as misting unwashed fabric could cause a bleed.

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    Super Member EasyPeezy's Avatar
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    You can straighten it before you add the border. You've been sewing for years
    so it should be easy to do. Just like you make a sleeve fit in an armhole...
    baste along the long side (small stitches) and then pull the thread until it
    is same length as the other side...even out the excess and add the border
    and voila. Hope it's clear.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Libits View Post

    Iím going to apply the outside border and finish the quilt anyway and hope that I donít find a burning rotary cutter outside my front door from the quilt police. It isnít terribly noticeable unless itís pointed out and I know heíll love it because so much love went into it.

    But Iíve learned!
    I made the same decision today with a quilt that turned out less than satisfactory. I donít think the recipient will notice.

    What I learned is that Iíll never make that pattern again. LOL

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    Junior Member stitch678's Avatar
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    Try blocking it before adding further ( borders). Just wet it down, force it into shape, and let it dry flat. This will not fix the problem entirely, but will make it much better. A marine is bound to notice a non straight line!

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    A marine is bound to notice a non straight line!
    Oh boy... Hadn't thought of that. My daughter is the neat-nik so she'd be the one to fold and put it away (the problem is only visible when folding it) and, luckily, she thinks irregularities in anything are charming. Must be why she loves me so much, lol.

    I did tape it down on the floor and steam ironed the troublesome parts. It's drying now. It looks to be a bit better.

    Name:  Crooked Quilt.jpg
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    Well done and great top!

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    Can anyone shed any light on what I did wrong to begin with to cause this problem? As I said earlier, the red is satin and frays horribly so I did a zig zag after the initial seam was made. (I hope my inner-self slaps me in the head if I ever buy satin for quilting again.)

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    Power Poster Onebyone's Avatar
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    I had a quilt top that was crooked much more then yours. After quilting, washing, and drying it was never noticed. Not even at guild show and tell and believe me my close quilting friends would have said something about what did you do to make that happen? LOL
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    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I am glad you learned not to use satin again.

    I would quilt it up and be done with it.

    Very beautiful flaws and all.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

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    When you do consecutive rows of sewing all in the same direction, the fabric creep a bit on each row. This is why when quilting a quilt sandwich with straight lines, it is recommended to change directions every other row or your square quilt can become a parallelogram.

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    I do not worry about perfection in my quilts. If I did I would never finish one.

    As far as yours goes, I would not worry if it does not fold square. Quilts are meant to be used and loved, not kept folded up on a shelf. At least the ones I make are meant to be used.
    Attending University. I will graduate a year after my son and year before my daughter.

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    Using 100% cotton in your quilts means the fabric will be malleable. Personally, I don't use anything else.

    Please don't stress about your quilt. Use it as a learning opportunity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jingle View Post
    I am glad you learned not to use satin again.

    I would quilt it up and be done with it.

    Very beautiful flaws and all.

    Thank you, Jingle. As with most home pictures, it doesn't do it justice. The small square in the middle is a silver foil-looking fabric.

    And No! Never again will I use satin! I just got back from a fabric store and, sure enough, there was bolt after bolt of satin right in the middle of the cottons. I was smarter today.
    Last edited by QuiltnNan; 05-05-2019 at 12:24 PM. Reason: shouting/all caps

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    Satin? It might not have been the best choice but I'll bet it is beautiful in this quilt. I can understand why you used it for the "look".

  22. #22
    Super Member Rose_P's Avatar
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    It's possible that your side triangles are a little more or less than precisely 45 degrees, and that could account for the shift. You could check that by placing a square ruler in the corners of the triangles to see if the seam lines veer off one way or another. It would not be hard to correct if that's the problem. It's very attractive, and if it's a lap quilt rather than one to be hung on a wall or covering a bed, the slant will not show up. Stitch678's suggestion to block it makes sense to me, and I absolutely agree with those who said not to stress over it. It will quilt out much better than you're expecting right now.

    Editing to add that if those edges are on the bias, that's a big part of the problem. Whether they are or not, you could use a technique from garment sewing called "easing" to bring them in to square. Cut both side borders the same length based on the average measurement from across the quilt. Then pin first at the ends, then the midpoints of both the quilt and the border, and then the midpoints between the earlier pins until the fabric is evenly distributed. If there is a lot of gaping between any of the pins you may have to make a running stitch to gather the fabric evenly along the length. The idea is to get a very gradual distribution of the fabric.
    Last edited by Rose_P; 05-06-2019 at 07:46 AM.
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    It's a beautiful quilt top. I'm sure it will be loved and admired. We all get lessons all the time! Enjoy the process. Quilting keeps my brain working like no other thing can. Love the adventure it gives me. Hope you can too!
    SEW MUCH FUN!

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    I don't know much about the quilting process. The couple of small quilts I've done, I've started at the center and worked my way out to the edges. Anyway, I got to wondering if there's something that could be done in the quilting process that might help to skew it back in the right direction?

    Jim

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