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How to Piece Better

How to Piece Better

Old 09-11-2014, 04:00 PM
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Default How to Piece Better

Although I've been quilting a number of years, and do a pretty good job, I still struggle whe?n I'm piecing! I'm very careful when piecing (use a guide, and the right needle, thread, etc.) but I still haven't achieved the level that I would like to achieve in accuracy. Do you have some suggestions for me? I think I am holding and feeding the pieces correctly, but sometimes they are off or don't fit as they should. I know it should look better and the block should fit better. I have measured my 1/4, etc. but still need improvement. what are your thoughts? What have you done to get precise results? Thanks for helping.
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Old 09-11-2014, 04:38 PM
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Cutting: Are you cutting accurately? Do you use the same brand of rulers for your project. Sometimes lining up your fabric on one side or the other of the mark on the ruler can make a difference. Don't cut too many layers at once.
Sewing: that pesky 1/4" is a misnomer. You don't measure the seam, you measure the resultant patch! Here's a good way to check:
Also, your seam allowance is a moving target. If you change your thread weight or fabric type, you should recheck your seam and adjust if needed.
Make sure that you maintain your seam allowance at the start and end of each patch. It's easy to get off track at these 2 places.
Pressing: Make sure that you are not pressing a tiny crease in the seam, or stretching/distorting the block.
Square up your units as you make them, then square your blocks.
I'm sure others will have more suggestions.
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Old 09-11-2014, 04:43 PM
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Paperprincess covered most of what I would have said.

I am convinced that washing all the washable components before cutting them also helps with maintaining the expected size of the units.
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Old 09-11-2014, 05:09 PM
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This is going to sound silly perhaps - but "relax" and change your focus. Example....i never have had trouble with bias edged blocks because i don't believe in bias edges.....they do not exist in my universe....and so i don't have any trouble with them. If you focus on the "problem" of your pieces not fitting - you tend to be more tense and "get" what you focus on. I'm not trying to be a wise gal here.....it's just a thought....
Alternating the direction of your seams when pressing to the side helps because you can "nest" the seams.
Also....i have more than once used the trick of a dot of Elmer's wash out school glue at important or difficult seam intersections.....it really helps keep those points/corners where they belong.
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Old 09-11-2014, 05:25 PM
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I have trouble piecing also. I have found that slowing down helps me.

Sew sloooowly!
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Old 09-11-2014, 05:29 PM
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I agree that your cutting is more likely the culprit. I know I have those issues myself especially if I do cutting over various times. Such as - cut x number of pieces/fabrics on day 1; next pieces/fabs day 2; etc. Day 1 I may line up the fabric on this side of the line on the ruler; day 2 might but the other side of the line. Usually nothing a little stretching or squishing can't accommodate, but still... But I also agree with PenniF...relax. You should not make yourself crazy with perfection. Especially on 'normal' blocks. If you're doing a really fiddly/precise block, you may want to jump in to paper piecing. It can make those really pointy blocks work perfectly.
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Old 09-11-2014, 05:34 PM
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Starching would be my suggestion, here is how I starch. I starch every piece of fabric I'm going to work with, at least 2 hours ahead of the time, throw it in a plastic bag, and let it sit, then I'll take it out, either line dry or throw in the dryer for a few minutes, then iron, have never had a problem with the iron getting all gunky then, I do spray mist with water since I don't use the steam on my iron.
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Old 09-11-2014, 06:36 PM
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If your foot pressure is too light, then your pieces will shift and float all over the place (and that doesn't have to be much to give you uneven seams) ___--____--_-__-----_______--
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Old 09-11-2014, 06:52 PM
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I found that I get a better 1/4 inch seam when the quarter inch foot I am using doesn't have that little guard on it. It took me two years to figure that out. Maybe the same is true for you?

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Old 09-11-2014, 07:33 PM
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I am in the same boat with pocoellie ! Starch, and alot of it BEFORE I even start cutting a thing ! If my fabric does not stand up on its own, then it gets more starch !
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