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Thread: Help! What did I do?

  1. #1
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    Help! What did I do?

    So these units will be sewn into 16Ē finished blocks, two of which Iíve completed. These units arenít coming out right, though. Besides the fact that half of my large triangles are cut 1/4Ē short, so I removed them and will recut them the right size; it appears that the other units within this larger unit have something wrong. See how the overall slopes down on the right getting narrower? Yes, I am afraid all are constructed with bias triangles (squares cut corner to corner). What do I have to do to fix this?
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    Last edited by Kcmomto2; 01-11-2019 at 06:39 PM.

  2. #2
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    It looks like your seam is too big on that triangle. Too much of your point is gone when you compare it to the other side.
    Jan

  3. #3
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    Which triangle has the seam too big? (Looking at these units objectively now, they're really not good! Phooey.)

  4. #4
    Super Member GingerK's Avatar
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    I think there may be a problem with ironing instead of pressing. If you have lots of bias, they can stretch very easily. But there are ways of fixing that too. Could you show us a pic of the completed block or point us to the pattern please? That will really help us help you with advice.

    In your post you say you have completed 2 blocks (correctly??) already but these portions are not coming out right?? If that is the case, can you lay these pieces over the correctly completed ones and see where the problem might be?
    Never argue with an idiot. They'll drag you down the their level and beat you with experience.

  5. #5
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    You're probably right, GingerK! The ironing could be the culprit. And, as far as I can tell, the two blocks I've finished look right! Mostly. I think. LOL Here's a photo of one of them. I'm using my own fabrics with In The Beginning's "Jewels of the Universe" pattern.
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  6. #6
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    All eight of these units are slop-y. Do you think it is indeed my ironing? or...?
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  7. #7
    Super Member GingerK's Avatar
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    Wow!! That's a lot of pieces and a lot of bias!! I truly think that things have just stretched a bit here and there. I have a friend who swears by finger pressing (again, not rubbing or stretching) all the pieces in a block. She doesn't iron press until the block is complete.

    I would suggest to continue to put the pieces together. Any time one unit is larger than the next, match the intersections, and put the larger piece on the bottom. The feed dogs will help ease in the extra fullness. If the block still looks puffy or out of square after it is completed, you can lay it on the ironing board, measure and pin to proper size, and then spray wet it and let dry. You will be surprised at how the stretched bias edges will revert. Don't give up!!
    Never argue with an idiot. They'll drag you down the their level and beat you with experience.

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    I like your suggestion! Strangest thing is there is no sizing given for the units, only a finished size for each finished block! Just tells me what size to cut my strips/squares from each fabric, then cut each square corner to corner and sew together "as shown". I totally keep looking for what size each unit is supposed to end up as I'm working through each block, but it's not there! Do you think I should deconstruct these units completely and re-sew? I already know I need to re-cut half of the larger yellow triangles because they're just flat out too short on one side. Not sure how I did that. But there ya go. Maybe just take off the large triangles from all and "re-square" up the center triangular unit by wetting them down, etc, before sewing the large triangles back on?

  9. #9
    Super Member GingerK's Avatar
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    Oh yeah one of 'those' patterns. I know exactly what you mean because I just finished a block like that. If I would have read thru the whole pattern first, I know I would have constructed some the elements differently, which would have eliminated some of the bias.

    There are better ways to construct the 8 HST's and 4 Flying Geese in each block. You will still need to deal with several bias edges but, hey, every one that can be eliminated is a bonus.

    BTW your points on the block in your photo are exemplary!! Kudos!!
    Never argue with an idiot. They'll drag you down the their level and beat you with experience.

  10. #10
    Super Member GingerK's Avatar
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    Ooops just read your last post. No, don't deconstruct. That will just make the stretching worse. Try to work with/around the stretched out stuff. Honestly, I don't think they are terribly horrible, just a bit wonky. Again, blocking the block to size is always a simple option and often works.
    Never argue with an idiot. They'll drag you down the their level and beat you with experience.

  11. #11
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    I KNOW there are better ways "nowadays" to construct the HST/Flying Geese units. I kept mumbling that to myself! I didn't want to go to the trouble of recalculating/redrafting the piece sizes - it would have been to the whole pattern. Had to muddle through!
    I'll just re-do the large triangles to the right size, block the units and keep going. Every time I stop working on it, and pick it back up again, I remember why I put it down in the first place! I just want to get this quilt done - long overdue for my college DS. He's been so patient!
    I appreciate your vote of confidence! Thank you! I will say though, that all points retained in the making of that large block were accidental! LOLOL

  12. #12
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    KCMomTo2 ... I do like your finished block. Quite an interesting design.
    An interesting mix of fabrics that work and create some drama to the finished block.

    It's really hard for us to diagnose for you, when we can't see them IRL.
    I'm somewhat projecting from my own past experiences here ....
    Agree with GingerK that ironing vs. pressing could be part of the problem.

    Some others to check ...
    Are your seams an accurate 1/4" all the way across?
    Sometimes it can become a bit too wide or narrow at the beginning or end, or even in the middle
    which then distorts things when all get joined together.

    Are all the fabrics 100% cotton? Are they all much the same weight?
    I have found that working with lighter cottons can be a challenge to keep all even and accurate.
    Sometimes with mixed weights, it can be an even bigger problem.

    Are you using Best Press (or similar)?
    Sometimes using it before you start cutting can get the fabric to behave better when you cut, stitch, press.
    I am a presser, not finger presser .... and keep using BP throughout, if needed. Even on blocks like these.

    As GingerK said, yes they are wonky a bit ... you may be surprised how much of that will disappear once you join them into the big block. Blocking can help .... and the ongoing pressing as you do each stage.

    For me ... a pattern like this is a perfect candidate for Paper Piecing!
    Looking at your units in post #6, each could be done as one PP unit.
    If I want precision and avoid hassles, I have been known to draw it out on graph paper, copy and PP away!
    Oh how I love PPing for precise piecing and perfect points!

    Good Luck!
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  13. #13
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    Kcmomto2, what a great block. I have two possible suggestions. I love paper piecing for bias sides. Not sure how well this would lend itself to that though. Second suggestion is STARCH. I'd starch (Best Press or sizing would be my choice) the pieces till they'd almost stand up by themselves. Spray starch, let dry. Don't iron, just put the iron on the fabric and press.

    Good luck, it's going to be OK and beautiful.

  14. #14
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    The units look over ironed to me. It appears that this occurred in trying to overcome problems. It is best to finger press or use a dry iron to lightly direct the seams during construction. Use steam only when the block is completely constructed. Being gentle is a key to success.

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    After very careful and precise cutting (using starch when necessary), I get my best results when I press, measure, and square up each unit as it's constructed, before sewing the next seam.

  16. #16
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    draw the pattern on freezer paper. Iron press it onto the block and see where the problem is.
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  17. #17
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    A walking foot is great to use with that much bias stitching. Some machines have an even feet foot.

    It could be the pressing though if you are "ironing" on the seam. Pressing means pressing down straight lifting and pressing down straight. Don't scrub! A clapper set onto the seam might help too. Please use a dry hot iron.

    I have seen the ironing board covers with straight lines printed on them to assist you with keeping things squared up as you go.
    Last edited by RedGarnet222; 01-12-2019 at 09:30 AM.
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  18. #18
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    [
    BTW your points on the block in your photo are exemplary!! Kudos!![/QUOTE]

    They are, indeed. That's a complicated block and you've done a terrific job putting it together. When you press, do you move the iron at all? Because if I have anything bias, I just set the iron straight down on my pieces and lift it back up, and resist moving it over the fabric even a little bit.

    Love your fabrics. This is going to be a magnificent quilt!

  19. #19
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    I made a quilt with all edges of blocks on the bias. The corner seams needed to be exactly in the corner, so I took my 12 1/2 in. ruler to the ironing board and drew the outline of the ruler onto the ironing board with PEN. (It's still on there.) When the block was completed, I laid the block onto the drawing and found out that I couldn't see the drawing anymore! So I drew lines on the bias extending beyond each corner so that I could see where the corner was. Then I pinned each corner so that the seam was on that line, starched it heavily, ironed it dry, and then then proceeded to sew the blocks together. It turned out perfectly.
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  20. #20
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    Starch is your best friend for bias problems. That being said, how did you get that beautiful full block done? It looks perfect. So, do that again, lol. (Isn't that helpful?)

  21. #21
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    I drew your block out in EQ7. I hope that seeing the ruler will help you determine the finished sizes of each segment. The picture is of a finished block, so there will have to be 1/4" added to each side to square them up before sewing them together.

    Edited to add: I drew the block as a 16 inch block based on your pictures. If this is not correct, then please let me know and I will change the measurements.
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  22. #22
    Power Poster Onebyone's Avatar
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    When the block is squared up you may lose a few points but the block itself is nice.
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  23. #23
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    Oh my gosh, everyone! Thank you for the feedback and input. Sorry for the radio silence! I really appreciate your enthusiasm and encouragement! I will get back to it - had to work all weekend and then a weekend snowstorm at the same time gave us my parents for three days because theyíd lost power. Iíll keep you all updated. Barb in Louisiana, that EQ7 draft is very helpful! Thank you. 😊

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