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Thread: Help with PP not working out

  1. #1
    Super Member Watson's Avatar
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    Help with PP not working out

    I am doing a paper piecing pattern that is supposed to end up as a 12 1/2" block. Each time I do it, it ends up 12". The last time I did it I was really careful at every step and still got 12".

    Also, there are two areas on the outside of the block that don't meet up. Two of the smaller blocks seem to be cut off and there is no 1/4 allowance and I am also losing where they are supposed to meet up each time. Or, does it even matter if the outside edges don't line up because they will be caught in the seam allowance when the next block is sewn on?

    I've checked the pattern and it is correct...the pieces that go together to make a block are mirror images of each other and are exactly the same size.

    Any ideas? Tips?

    Watson

    Here's a pic to show you what I mean about not meeting up. Clear as mud?

    Name:  wofswirls2.jpg
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    Last edited by Watson; 04-23-2018 at 03:58 PM.

  2. #2
    Super Member SusieQOH's Avatar
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    I see what you mean. How frustrating!
    I have no advice but I'm sure the others will.
    Hope you find a solution.

  3. #3
    Super Member gingerd's Avatar
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    Do you have the "add an 1/8" ruler or only the 1/4?

    I've learned that I use the narrower one if I want my sections larger.

    Here's what my girlfriend says and I have learned to believe it.........if you are consistent that is all that matters.

    Where they don't line up can you rip those sections only and stretch the fabric?
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  4. #4
    Super Member ILoveToQuilt's Avatar
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    It almost appears that the white sections just above the "off" bands are different sizes. Are you extremely accurate with sewing on the line? Make sure you do not stretch the fabric at all. Sometimes it helps to pin the points of the patches where they meet. I put a pin straight down on one point and match it to the corresponding point on the next patch. (One pin through two pieces - do not "weave" the pin it). I don't know how to draw this, but I will try to use my keyboard to illustrate:

    l
    l pin
    l________
    l
    l
    l_________
    l

    Hope this is clear. After I match the points, I "weave" a pin through the patch to hold the seams accurately. Remove the up/down pin and sew.

    Also: how are you copying the foundation papers? Make sure you copy all of them at the same time, on the same printer/copier. There are slight variations between copiers and this will throw off your accurate seams. To make sure all foundations are the same, hold a couple (one on top of the other) up to a strong light and see if they match up.

    If you need to unsew a seam, rip out the stitches, then use scotch tape over the printed line (Scotch makes a removable tape in a blue plaid dispenser. This works really well.) Resew though the taped line.

    Can't think of anything else at this point. I do a lot of paper piecing and sometimes I, too, have these problems. Often times, you can fudge the seams - a little stretch here, a resewn line there.

    Good luck. Hopefully others here on QB will have more suggestions.
    Anita

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  5. #5
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    :I had one pattern that didn't include the final 1/4" seam allowance around the edge. Double check the paper foundation itself. Print off 4 of the units and fold back the seams where the wedges join up. Tape them together and measure the half block.
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  6. #6
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    ditto ditto ditto ..... to the earlier suggestions!!!

    Perhaps enlarge your PP patterns to more than 100% until you get to the 12-1/2"?
    Make sure that there is 1/4" seam allowances on the original, or add them.

    Also, I always let my fabric go over the outside seam edges when doing the PPing.
    Then trim to the perfect size after papers are off and it has been fully pressed.

    Your asked whether it mattered if they line up on the outside edge?
    Yes, of course ... you'll find there is a wonderful secondary pattern that will show, and if you don't have the matches, the flaws will show all the more.

    You do stunning work ... don't let temptation let you down this time!
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  7. #7
    Senior Member IceLeopard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaperPrincess View Post
    :I had one pattern that didn't include the final 1/4" seam allowance around the edge. Double check the paper foundation itself. Print off 4 of the units and fold back the seams where the wedges join up. Tape them together and measure the half block.
    That was my thought too, that maybe the seam allowances weren't included and you didn't realize it. Some otherwise great pattern makers do that (and it drives me nuts!) I always make one copy, mark out the seam allowance, and use that as my master.
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  8. #8
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    I've had this happen too - with each and every one of the 50 stars of Carol Doak's pattern. I found when I started removing the paper before sewing the sections together and then using a scant seam, things improved.

    But if I sewed the sections together using the lines on the paper, I got a full 1/4" seam (or more) and then the finished block was too small.

    Now, I always do the sections, trim and remove the paper. Then I sew them together just like they were non-paper peiced blocks. I have so much better luck getting everything to line up correctly that way.
    My name is Cathy - and I'm addicted to old sewing machines and their attachments.

  9. #9
    Member wondermom's Avatar
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    Did you print the template yourself? The one and only paper-pieced block I did came out 11 3/4 instead of 12.5 because it had been printed out incorrectly.

    Just a thought.

  10. #10
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    my thought too. otherwise it would be seams.

  11. #11
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    some copiers distort the image a bit - if your master image us correct, are your copies matching it?
    some place an "exact" one or two inch square on the pattern as a reference to see if the copies are undustorted.

  12. #12
    Super Member Watson's Avatar
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    Hmmmm...all good thoughts. Have to investigate more.

    Watson

  13. #13
    Gay
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    Senior Member Gay's Avatar
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    Several good points (no pun intended) offered in previous posts. I would be tempted to add a 1/4" somewhere, and will also suggest when joining the units - to start sewing from the outside first, to the centre - at least those outer strips will line up better.

  14. #14
    Super Member Watson's Avatar
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    Did another, incorporating some of the advice here and it ended up 12 and still cut off those edges.

    I also found a blog from a lady that said she had changed the proportions on the block from the book (In her EQ-7), and she put a picture up that showed her outside borders were quite a bit wider and gave a definite 1/4" seam allowance, so maybe I wasn't the only one having trouble?

    Also, I've calculated how much fabric I've used so far and it is going to taken and enormous amount to make a quilt.

    I surrender and am going to choose a different pattern for these fabrics.

    Thanks to everyone who gave such great advice and offered to help.

    Watson

  15. #15
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    I love the way paper piecing looks, but I do not enjoy it. This pattern is similar to the Kindred Pinwheels by Missouri Star. I have also made another pattern which was very similar to your block which was not paper pieced. I wish I could remember the name of the pattern. So don't give up on this beautiful fabric combination, just find a different pattern.

  16. #16
    Member JohnnaLeeQuilts's Avatar
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    I'm doing a block set that are supposed to be 9 1/2" and everyone I've done have turned out to be exactly nine inches. I don't understand what I'm doing either. So you are not alone!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnaLeeQuilts View Post
    I'm doing a block set that are supposed to be 9 1/2" and everyone I've done have turned out to be exactly nine inches. I don't understand what I'm doing either. So you are not alone!
    Are you allowing for the seam allowances on the "outside" of the block?

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