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Thread: HELP!!! Why is this happening????

  1. #1
    Senior Member pinkberrykay's Avatar
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    Angry HELP!!! Why is this happening????

    I have to make several hundred of these (half sq triangle strips??? i think thats what they are called) and I keep getting a "bow" on the top of the fabric like the picture below. The "bow I am referring to is near the top right corner of the strip in the first pic. Is there is anything I can do to keep this from happening??? I had to do 56~1 3/4x3" rectangles like the second picture and they turned out terrible. Notice how completely off?
    I made sure to press and not iron, I set the seam, I hand pressed the steam before hitting with the iron.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.



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  2. #2
    Senior Member pinkberrykay's Avatar
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    okay, think I may have found my problem...pressing my seams the wrong way. Grr, why don't I ever think of these things at the time. Only after it's too far to go back and fix do i realize I did it wrong. My pattern does not indicate which way to press the seams.

  3. #3
    Power Poster earthwalker's Avatar
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    I think the problem is in the cutting. You need to make sure the fabric is pressed and folded carefully before you begin. Here's M'Liss Rae Hawley's tips for getting it right:
    1.
    Fold fabric from selvage to selvage (full width of fabric) or selvage to cut edge (fat quarter).
    2.
    Hold the fabric in the air and study the drape. Disregard the cut ends, instead, move the selvages from side to side til the fabric is perfectly flat.
    3.
    Stop. Set the fabric on the cutting mat and make the second fold: selvage to folded edge. If you have a large piece, try to break it down so you can work with a manageable amount.
    4.
    Place folded fabric on the mat, with the fold facing you. Position your ruler on the right-hand edge of the fabric, so it is perpendicular to the fold.
    5.
    Trim to square up....
    6.
    Rotate the mat or the fabric and repeat to trim the opposite edge.

    I found these tips very useful when starting out. All is not lost with your wonky blocks, just a bit of a tedious task trimming them all individually before you get piecing.

    Hope I explained it clearly......don't give up, it's very pretty fabric and show us how you progress....we love pictures.

  4. #4
    Power Poster earthwalker's Avatar
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    Ok...I was busy typing before you re-posted. Usually you press to the dark or follow the recommendations in a pattern. Personally I press them open...makes it easier to quilt.

  5. #5
    Senior Member pinkberrykay's Avatar
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    Thats right now I remember press to the dark. I am pressing to the light b/c it seams to be holding it's shape better. I thought I had done all the cutting right. I ripped the fabric to help with the straight grain, is that what you are referring to?
    I may redo the red and white again, this will be the third time since I sewed the second red square on the wrong way then cut before I realized what I had done. I guess third time is a charm.

  6. #6
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    good job Earthwalker, in explaining how to prepare the fabric for straight dutting.
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  7. #7
    Super Member Jo M's Avatar
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    Yeah, I feel your pain with HST's. Good advice here though.
    Jo

  8. #8
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    Another thing to watch out for, which happens to alot of us (ahem...me!!)--make sure you are carefully stitching an accurate seam all the way to the end, and not looking away beforehand to pick up the next pair to sew. When we do that, the stitching goes wherever it wants to while we look away, and that is usually in the last half inch or so, right where it really needs to be very accurate!

  9. #9
    Senior Member pinkberrykay's Avatar
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    Thanks again for all your help. I am going to redo the red and white HST. I will follow the directions for preparing to cut.

  10. #10
    Super Member Rose_P's Avatar
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    It might help to ease the pressure on the presser foot a little, if your machine allows you to do that. It looks as if the fabric is being pushed out along the bias as you sew. A walking foot might also help to make the fabric feed evenly without distortion.
    "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." - Voltaire

  11. #11
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    There is a video on The Quilt Show "Sally Collins Teaches Precision Piecing" that I found very helpful. She also has a book. I have already watched the video twice and will probably do so several more times. Lots of good information. It will be available either until or through September. You have to join to watch most of the videos but I think I have already learned enough in a month to pay for the membership. It was recommended by someone here on the board.
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  12. #12
    Senior Member hevemi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustAbitCrazy View Post
    Another thing to watch out for, which happens to alot of us (ahem...me!!)--make sure you are carefully stitching an accurate seam all the way to the end, and not looking away beforehand to pick up the next pair to sew. When we do that, the stitching goes wherever it wants to while we look away, and that is usually in the last half inch or so, right where it really needs to be very accurate!
    Also it helps if you hold down the end of the piece with a stiletto to prevent your fabrics from moving- I use an old seam ripper (and those I have worn dull aplenty!)

  13. #13
    Super Member Latrinka's Avatar
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    I don't know what to tell you, except maybe take a break and eat some chocolate!
    If a woman's work is never done....why start?

  14. #14
    Super Member burchquilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by earthwalker View Post
    Ok...I was busy typing before you re-posted. Usually you press to the dark or follow the recommendations in a pattern. Personally I press them open...makes it easier to quilt.
    I press all mine open, too, & just don't have this problem. Plus I think it makes seams easier to match up.
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  15. #15
    Super Member pollyjvan9's Avatar
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    I try to make all my pieced blocks a tad oversized, that way I can trim them down to the correct size. Also, I don't remember if anyone suggested starching your fabric before you cut, this really helps keep the fabric from stretching. I also mark my seam line on the back of the fabric with a mechanical pencil. This is time consuming, but really makes me stay on the line all the way from corner to corner.

  16. #16
    Super Member quiltmom04's Avatar
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    This is why I use Deb Tucker's rulers and make blocks a bit oversize anda cut them down to be as accurate as possible .

  17. #17
    Super Member crafterrn1's Avatar
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    Okay here is what I would do. First stop using steam when you press HST's. It will distort them everytime(for new HST makers) I always use a dry iron. If I need moisture I spray water from a water bottle.
    Second check the seam allowace. Be very careful with the tail ends. They must be straight too.
    Third press to the top on the flying geese unit. if it is a smidge to big trim it. If a smidge to short redo it. I hate the rip it stitch(frog stitch) but I do it when needed. I use the wondercut ruler and the easy angle ruler for HST's. For the flying geese and hst's you can use the 4 X 4 flying geese ruler or the fomula for the squares and do it without that ruler. There are many options. I was lucky to find the ones that work for me. Be gentle, take your time and remember to breathe! Have fun! Luann
    Live Love and Laugh Enough!

  18. #18
    Senior Member quilting in my60s's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustAbitCrazy View Post
    Another thing to watch out for, which happens to alot of us (ahem...me!!)--make sure you are carefully stitching an accurate seam all the way to the end, and not looking away beforehand to pick up the next pair to sew. When we do that, the stitching goes wherever it wants to while we look away, and that is usually in the last half inch or so, right where it really needs to be very accurate!
    I found out that was what I was doing. Sewing clothes that little bit at the end of the seam didn't seem to matter much but when quilting it matters a lot.
    quilting with my dogs

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