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Thread: Help with nightmare sewing of jelly roll strips

  1. #1
    Super Member Nanny's dollface's Avatar
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    Help with nightmare sewing of jelly roll strips

    Ok...I have spent more time on trying to sew jelly roll strips together today to make an easy lap quilt: however, I am ready to tear my hair out! When I sew the strips together on the diagonal I end up with one strip having a shorter edge than the other. Give me a block to piece and I am happy....what am I doing wrong? I have watch multiple You Tube videos that make it look so easy. ...but for me it's not.
    thanks!

  2. #2
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    Okay!! I hope I can help you. When you sew the strips together, be sure your needle is in the center of the foot. Cross the strips into an L so that they are right side together and the selvages are extended beyond the edge of the other strip.
    Make sure your needle goes in right where the strips cross. Sew across to the other side where the strips cross. Make sure you sew like you are cutting off the corner of the L. If you sew right from the corner -- you will not be happy. I place a strip of electrical tape down the front of my machine from the needle so that I can run the other side of the sewing along the tape to keep it in line. The most important is that the needle start where the strips meet on one side and end where the strips meet on the other side. I hope you can understand what I am explaining. Good luck!! Ann
    Last edited by krafty14; 05-03-2013 at 02:27 PM.

  3. #3
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    I use the same method as krafty, use it for sewing binding together too. Made a photo of it for someone else, hope this helps

    the best way I have to remember how to make the L is to remember these familiar sayings
    Bottoms Up
    Top Down
    cause the other way sounds funny...

    Name:  IMG_0369_zps66bce059.jpg
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  4. #4
    Super Member Nanny's dollface's Avatar
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    Thank- you both! A picture is worth a thousand words. I am on my way to try this method out!

  5. #5
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    1) make sure that the 2 strips you are joining are the same width before you start. If you have a jelly roll, they may not all be the same!
    2) Refer to the excellent photo in CarolynMT's post. Don't try to join the end, move in a half inch or so.
    3) MARK the 45 degree line where you are going to sew.
    4) Use the 1" marking lines on your cutting mat to make sure that when you lay the 2 strips together, they are exactly 90 degrees to each other.
    5) PIN!
    6) When you sew, the needle should enter exactly in the corner where the 2 strips meet and exit exactly in the opposite corner.
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
    Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

  6. #6
    Senior Member nvb50's Avatar
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    I have to look each time I sew strips together for the binding. I like the saying.

  7. #7
    Super Member Nanny's dollface's Avatar
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    It works! Thank-you thank- you. I won't win any races but the strips are even!

  8. #8
    Super Member mike'sgirl's Avatar
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    The way I heard to remember not to sew the wrong way was to not sew into the crotch. Lol, I know it's a little crass, but it helps me remember. Hope this helps someone else too. Gina

  9. #9
    Senior Member PlanoDebbie's Avatar
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    One more thing is that any time you are going to stitch on a bias, start sewing onto a small scrap of fabric first. Then chain piece onto your real fabric. Your feed dogs sometimes start feeding everything through kind of wacky if you don't start your stitching on something else. All those pieces you trim off of another block that are at least an inch square can be used. You can keep using the same scrap over and over again. Just toss the scrap in the trash when you're done.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike'sgirl View Post
    The way I heard to remember not to sew the wrong way was to not sew into the crotch. Lol, I know it's a little crass, but it helps me remember. Hope this helps someone else too. Gina
    Crass...but memorable!

  11. #11
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I lay the first strip face up and parallel to table edge. The second one I lay on top face down, rest of border strip goes from top to the floor. I then sew starting left to bottom right. This is how the book I learned from shows. As long as it works the method doesn't matter.
    Another Phyllis
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  12. #12
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I just tried like CarolynMT's picture shows and it came out perfectly. I will try this way from now on, I made a sample piece so I can refer to it.
    Always good to learn new ways. I learned a new trick today and I am an old dog.
    Been doing it my way for about 18 years, never noticed a different way until now.
    Another Phyllis
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  13. #13
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    I'm just glad to know I'm not the only quilter who has problems with this!
    http://www.thingsthatarenotperfect.blogspot.com/

  14. #14
    Junior Member RGAY's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PlanoDebbie View Post
    One more thing is that any time you are going to stitch on a bias, start sewing onto a small scrap of fabric first. Then chain piece onto your real fabric. Your feed dogs sometimes start feeding everything through kind of wacky if you don't start your stitching on something else. All those pieces you trim off of another block that are at least an inch square can be used. You can keep using the same scrap over and over again. Just toss the scrap in the trash when you're done.
    I have also found that if I gently pull on both threads as I begin to sew, the "jumble" that can occur on bobbin side and the bunching of the fabric is eliminated.

  15. #15
    Junior Member RGAY's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CarolynMT View Post
    I use the same method as krafty, use it for sewing binding together too. Made a photo of it for someone else, hope this helps

    the best way I have to remember how to make the L is to remember these familiar sayings
    Bottoms Up
    Top Down
    cause the other way sounds funny...

    Name:  IMG_0369_zps66bce059.jpg
Views: 3073
Size:  84.1 KB
    Thank you for the picture AND the saying! So you PIN!! Ohhhhh, THAT'S why my strips are often wonky......

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by RGAY View Post
    Thank you for the picture AND the saying! So you PIN!! Ohhhhh, THAT'S why my strips are often wonky......

    well technically, if the strip is less than 3ins or so, I dont pin or mark tried to do that with wider strips but found that I was getting things wonky.....I was taking the picture for someone in chat who needed a visual for how to do the diagonal joining. So I marked and pinned for display purposes only....lol. But I do repeat the "Bottoms up, top down" when setting them up for sewing. it really does help me.

  17. #17
    Super Member LindaR's Avatar
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    I'm confused, I never sew right top to left bottom??? don't you get an L instead of a straight piece???? I always go left top to right bottom...
    Retired and living in NE Michigan

  18. #18
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    Joining these strips on an angle is one of the places where I glue-baste. I follow Jingle's method above in post 11, and put a dab of my washable glue stick on three places, then press the strips together with my fingers, making sure everything is nicely lined up. The glue keeps everything very stable, and I can sew the diagonal (from top left to bottom right) accurately. It's great.
    Maggie in Jerusalem
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  19. #19
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LindaR View Post
    I'm confused, I never sew right top to left bottom??? don't you get an L instead of a straight piece???? I always go left top to right bottom...
    The direction of your seam depends on how you lay your strips. When you sew your seam the short ends should be on one side of the seam and the long ends on the other. As long as you do this, you will be OK.
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
    Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

  20. #20
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    This thread has been really informative. Thanks to everyone who contributed!

  21. #21
    Super Member Nanny's dollface's Avatar
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    I echo JanieH's comment.....and to think i thought my question would only leave to people shaking their heads and thinking .." Another newbie".
    thank- you everyone your guidance has been so helpful!

  22. #22
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    Interesting. I put my top piece upside down as well but the long part comes down not up and I sew it from left top to bottom right. Does that make sense or am I looking at the picture wrong?

  23. #23
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    Some good answers here. Good jingles to remember are "Cut off the corner of the L" and "Don't sew into the crotch". Pilgrim and Linda R have an easy to understand method.

    But I have always wondered why you need to lay the pieces so that they stick out beyond the L. I lay my pieces so that the edges are even. And I don't cut off my selvages! ! ! (Yikes!) If the selvages are just even with the edge of the second piece, they will be 99% gone after the seam is sewn and trimmed. (Well, maybe only 98%,) But that little corner of selvage won't hurt anyone, and just think of how many INCHES (maybe feet!) of your expensive fabric you would be saving on every binding you make.
    Last edited by maviskw; 05-06-2013 at 05:42 AM.
    Mavita - Square dancer and One Room School Teacher

  24. #24
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    Really glad to have read this thread. The picture was really helpful too. I've butchered some binding over the last few days.

  25. #25
    Super Member misseva's Avatar
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    pilgrim - If it's wrong that makes two of us. And, I use stick glue on mine now.
    Last edited by misseva; 05-07-2013 at 09:48 AM.
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