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Thread: It's the little things...

  1. #1
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    It's the little things...

    Anybody else have trouble doing small projects?

    This year I've made 3 bed sized quilts, one crib sized and I'm working on a throw sized quilt.

    The big projects are turning out okay, but I'm having trouble with potholders of all things!

    They ought to be the simplest things in the world to do. There's always something wrong with it. It's crooked or points aren't perfect and oh my goodness-the binding! I have no problem binding a quilt but the potholders are a disaster.

    I think it's just hard to do little stuff and I need to slow way down and just pin heavily.

    What little things are hard for you guys to do?
    Last edited by QuiltnNan; 12-17-2015 at 04:13 AM. Reason: language
    Dresi

    Suitable for framing

  2. #2
    Super Member katier825's Avatar
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    Don't be so hard on yourself! You might try glue basting the binding on the pot holders.

  3. #3
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    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ErffI5sWovI
    Try these. They are cute and super easy. I love making them, they are addictive!!!! Takes about 5 minutes to make!!

  4. #4
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    People often make the mistake of thinking small equals easy. I've made a lot of sewn items, and still feel one of the hardest is stuffed animals and doll clothing. You've got so little room for fudging with smaller items, and even one small mistake (like one point off on a potholder) is noticed because it's only one of 8 points, not one of 800 points in the piece.

    My husband was making mug rugs and putting the binding on. He ended up measureing the binding and sewing it in a loop first, then sewing it on. It was just too small an area to try seaming the binding after sewing most of it on the mug rug.
    My name is Cathy - and I'm addicted to old sewing machines and their attachments.

  5. #5
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Macybaby View Post
    ...My husband was making mug rugs and putting the binding on. He ended up measureing the binding and sewing it in a loop first, then sewing it on. It was just too small an area to try seaming the binding after sewing most of it on the mug rug.
    this is interesting! how does he get the exact right size before sewing? I know you said he measured, but I always have variance with the corner miters, if the two pieces don't feed evenly, etc. it may be just a little, but that would look bad at the end
    Last edited by QuiltnNan; 12-17-2015 at 04:18 AM.
    Nancy in western NY
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  6. #6
    Super Member rryder's Avatar
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    Potholders and other small things just really magnify any irregularities that would not be obvious on quilt sized pieces. When I make quilts, I sew the binding on the top with my machine, then turn the binding to the back and machine stitch in the ditch on the front side to catch the binding on the backside. It always looks fine, but when I do pot holders I always end up hand stitching the backside of the binding, muttering all the while since I really don't like to sew by hand LOL! So why oh why did I decide to do potholders and table protectors for Christmas presents this year!!!!!!!!

    Guess what I'm doing right now and probably for the rest of the day????

    Rob (mutter mutter)
    Last edited by rryder; 12-17-2015 at 06:42 AM. Reason: forgot to add I don't enjoy hand sewing

  7. #7
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    I'm going to keep on making little stuff after a break.

    But yeah, there just isn't enough wiggle room.

    I don't know how I made that quilt for my daughter look like anything decent. (1.5" squares) Must have been all that decorative stitching!

    I really have major binding issues though. I tried putting some of the stuff away for a while to see if it would be so noticeable after a few weeks. Nope, still there.

    On a brighter note, I think I might be getting the hang of FMQ.

    But I still haven't figured out the tension enough to use two different colors for front and back unless I'm quilting something really thick.

    I just did a quilt top using paper piecing. I thought I would hate it, but it's really grown on me due to all points matching up nicely. (Morning Stars from Quilters Cache in scrappy blues and whites) Looking forward to the next one already after I get this one done.

  8. #8
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    Made couple potholders for gifts. Kept them hated how they looked to give. Now I just use them at home. DH likes them because they're so big.

  9. #9
    Power Poster ManiacQuilter2's Avatar
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    Mind is binding. I still try to do it by hand.
    A Good Friend, like an old quilt, is both a Treasure and a Comfort

  10. #10
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    Instead of binding, why don't you sew and turn right side out (I think with quilts, they call it "birthing"). Whip stitch the opening that you use to turn them, do a little quilting, then sew 1/4" from the edge all around. Make a loop and sew it in before you sew the front and back together.

  11. #11
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    Oh lord yes I have 6 mug rugs haunting my sleep.

  12. #12
    Power Poster Annaquilts's Avatar
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    Nope I hear you. I rather do a quilt then a stocking or pot holder.
    Anna Quilts

  13. #13
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    Oh, I have difficulties with small projects too. Sometimes the smaller pieces are hard for me to handle and they get wonky. I don't worry about it. If it were a project for a show, I might be more concerned. But I don't do that.
    Penny

  14. #14
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    I'll have to try the birthing method again.

    Haven't done that in a while.

    There is one that uses folded fabric that turns into a checkerboard or four patch looking deal. That one is quick as lightning and usually turns out okay if the batting isn't overdone.
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=sipzCAflJQ8

    (How to make a potholder in five minutes.)

  15. #15
    Senior Member geevee's Avatar
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    I was so just there, decided to make coasters and fabric boxes to put them in them for gifts, got everything cut and ready and thought I'd be done with them long before Thanksgiving, oh goodness, they took forever to get right. I ended up doing the self-binding on them and it worked out much better than struggling with separate binding. Corners will always be fiddly for me but I managed to make them all look presentable. Now my walking foot isn't working so I guess I can take a quilt break until I get another one. shucks

  16. #16
    Super Member quiltingshorttimer's Avatar
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    I'm right there with you! regular quilts are no problem, but mug rugs, potholders, and the worse--PURSES are just very hard for all the reasons given--so I try to avoid them if possible.

  17. #17
    Super Member sewbeadit's Avatar
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    I love making small things, but they eat up time. The potholders mawluv sent the link for, I have made with squares, they are very nice potholders and make great gifts.
    Sewbeadit
    W. Washington

  18. #18
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    I tried glue basting for the 1st time this week. What a time saving experience. Worked like a charm on a pair of hubby's slacks and on a couple of tea towels I decided to make.
    Fabric is like money, no matter how much you have it's never enough.

  19. #19
    Power Poster RedGarnet222's Avatar
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    A simple solution is to make them round! They come out great and no fussing with corners at all.
    RedGarnet222

    "Take your needle, my child, and work at your pattern ... It will come out a rose by and by. Life is like that ...one stitch at a time, taken patiently."
    *Oliver Wendell Holms

  20. #20
    Super Member jmoore's Avatar
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    I made eight Christmas mug rugs and though they weren't perfect in my opinion, I told myself it was good practice for FMQ and to improve my machine binding technique... The recipients were sent chocolate and a personal card with their mug rug... so hopefully they weren't too critical of my work.
    attitude is everything...the rest will fall into place.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Reba'squilts's Avatar
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    I thought it was only me with the wonky pot holders! Going to try the method that the video that mawluv posted teaches. Or birthing! Life is too short to stress over the small stuff!!!

  22. #22
    Senior Member tinliz's Avatar
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    I have not tried this method, but it looks like it would work very well. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FOUyrERSBc
    Fabric Junction has many good videos on youtube.

  23. #23
    Super Member vickig626's Avatar
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    I do a lot of small projects and working with that crazy bias binding can be a real pain. You're right, you need to slow down a little and pin, pin, pin. I even have smaller pins (about 1-1/4" long) I use and they work very well for these types of projects. Plus, with practice, you'll refine those little things on the project that aren't turning out the way you had hoped. Smaller projects aren't as forgiving as a large quilt. Just have fun with it and enjoy the process.
    Life's More Fun with a Doxie !!
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  24. #24
    Super Member purplefiend's Avatar
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    My potholders are never perfect, I use the blocks that have mistakes or orphan blocks.

  25. #25
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    Oh, mawluv, you're awesome. I had just spent almost an hour looking for these instructions on line. Gave up to check my email and what do I find but the very directions for which I was looking!

    We made these as a project at my quilting group, but I don't know where I put the directions. I had seen a picture of it on Pinterest, but couldn't find it (hence the hour on-line!). Now I've written out the instructions and bookmarked the site. Thank you for this link!
    Anne P
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