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Thread: Loose seams: help!

  1. #1
    Senior Member ruby2shoes's Avatar
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    Loose seams: help!

    Morning all....
    Am working on a quilt top made with a gazillion little triangles. I decided before cutting out all 1200 little triangles and then joining them in groups of 4 to make bigger triangles, (shudder) I would do a trial run with enough triangles to construct 2 completed rows sewn together to see how it all would look.
    Despite using the rotary cutter and template as carefully as I could some of my triangle seams have been reluctant to line up. Okay, I can live with the inaccuracies....first attempt at this sort of sewing...no-ones' perfect...and so on....BUT what is worrying me is that some of my seams, once I have pressed my triangles, are sort of showing the machine stitching...almost like the stitching is a bit loose? My tension is good and I am loathe to fiddle with it as it is not happening on every construct seam. Should I worry about this? I am planning to do fmq over the quilt top so will it be a problem? i also have a little bit of puckering on some of my triangles as I have persuaded them to seam match with their neighbour.....once again, will this matter once I have fmq the top?
    All advice greedily devoured!

  2. #2
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    as long as your seams are not pulling apart on the ends and your tension seems fine it will probably be fine- you could shorten your stitch length a little bit-that may help are you pressing to one side or pressing your seams open? if you are pressing them open- changing that - pressing to the dark side- or to one side will keep the seams from showing...once it is all quilted & bound, it will more than likely not be noticable.
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  3. #3
    Super Member EasyPeezy's Avatar
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    You might want to starch your fabric before cutting. This helps a lot when you are working
    on bias edges...less distortion, etc.

  4. #4
    Super Member Elisabrat's Avatar
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    it sounds exactly like your pushing them a bit with the iron instead of PRESSING them first press the seam shut on the back to one side and do all of them to the same side dark say vs the light side. NOW turn it over press down. if you push that seam with your iron too hard it will show the stitches. tada .. also once you have cut your triangles and sew them into bigger triangles you can trim those to size if well rows dont have to line up otherwise double check your cuts I guess. pressing them again stops the distortion which gives you wonky triangles. also do not use crud once you have sewn them together. ruined a lot last year doing that til the fabric was so warped. so water great before you cut once you cut it leave it be. NO STEAM. dump that water from your iron rightnow. do not use steam. groan do I know. spray starch works best when the whole block is done in my not too humble have ruined things opinion. only press no ironing. took me forever to stop doing that. ironing. i
    Linda
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  5. #5
    Senior Member ruby2shoes's Avatar
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    Ahhhhh, okay that sounds like what I've been doing...pushing with the iron instead of pressing. So, after a bit of time will my push ironing seams relax?
    Yes ma'am, ( I'm saluting you as we speak!) I've emptied my water...stepped right away from my water.....promise not to touch my water and steam again! hahaha I've also shortened my stitch length a bit too so will see how I go.
    Thanks so much peoples. Now also...should I square up my rows before sewing them together as they are a bit wonky or can I just square it all up when I've finished sewing all the rows together?

  6. #6
    Power Poster earthwalker's Avatar
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    Ok...hope I am visualising this right ('tis late in the day), now you've worked out pressing as opposed to ironing and your stitch length is shorter before plowing ahead with stitching those rows ...carefully match your seams, without too much pulling/distorting and pin, pin, pin. Yes, it is tedious but it will be of benefit in the long run. Also, tempting as it is....don't put your pedal to the metal....take it nice and steady and keep to that 1/4 inch seam....you can sticky tape a bit of card to your machine bed if that helps keep you on track. Just a tip as you progress, when you are stitching long rows, sew from alternate ends each row....this stops distortion and keeps things nice and neat. Oh...and above all, relax and have fun and don't forget we love pictures

  7. #7
    Senior Member ruby2shoes's Avatar
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    Thanks all...now where do I post my pics and is it okay to post a pic of just my 2 little rows sewn together as opposed to a finished quilt? I'm still in the process of cutting out my gazillion triangles.....just thought I would construct enough to put 2 rows together initially to see if it was going to look okay so I've still got a heap more cutting and sewing to do.

  8. #8
    Super Member DOTTYMO's Avatar
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    Xbox to pictures below main. Quilters do put unfinished projects as well as selections of fabrics they are thinking of using. Waiting to see your triangles. I made a bag with small cup cake blocks cut into triangles it is still going fine after 3 years. I spray start her all squares before sewing or cutting some of the ends of seams did unthread so on the pockets I back stitched one stitch at beginning and end to strengthen.i did not not hoti iron I finger pressed gently To put seam in.
    Finished is better than a UFO

  9. #9
    Power Poster earthwalker's Avatar
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    You can post a pic on this thread....go down the page see Post Quick Reply....select the middle tag "Go Advanced" type in your words....go down the page a bit and it will allow you to add attachments from your files. Personally I like pics of all kinds...finds...fabrics...workrooms...not just finished quilts. As long as it's in the right spot, there should be no problem.

  10. #10
    Senior Member ruby2shoes's Avatar
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    Here is a pic of my 2 little rows...am thinking I should have squared/neatened them a bit before joining but will do so from now on. The rows measure 145 cm in length, want to finish with a cream border and multi colored binding.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by ruby2shoes; 01-16-2013 at 02:16 PM.

  11. #11
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    Well, hey, they look really good to me. It is going to be a pretty sight to see.

  12. #12
    Senior Member sewplease's Avatar
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    Wow!! This is very cute. Keep on cutting those triangles...this is going to be a beauty! :-) Laura

  13. #13
    Super Member ube quilting's Avatar
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    This does happen. Sometimes one fabric might be a bit lighter weight and this can be the result. If it bothers me to much I use a 'pigma pen' in a matching color and run it along the offensive stitching and they magically disappear.
    peace

    EDIT: Just saw the pic'. AWESOME
    no act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. Aesop

  14. #14
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    Wow! That will be a beautiful piece.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elisabrat View Post
    it sounds exactly like your pushing them a bit with the iron instead of PRESSING them first press the seam shut on the back to one side and do all of them to the same side dark say vs the light side. NOW turn it over press down. if you push that seam with your iron too hard it will show the stitches. tada .. also once you have cut your triangles and sew them into bigger triangles you can trim those to size if well rows dont have to line up otherwise double check your cuts I guess. pressing them again stops the distortion which gives you wonky triangles. also do not use crud once you have sewn them together. ruined a lot last year doing that til the fabric was so warped. so water great before you cut once you cut it leave it be. NO STEAM. dump that water from your iron rightnow. do not use steam. groan do I know. spray starch works best when the whole block is done in my not too humble have ruined things opinion. only press no ironing. took me forever to stop doing that. ironing. i
    This is an example of how different people do things differently and it all works out - my recommendation is to use a lot of steam as you press...steam is hotter than the iron itself, and helps set the seam.... I've never had a problem with using steam and get a much neater look when I do.

    diidn't notice - but do you set your seams first? that means that you press the seam flat just as you sewed it...before opening up the fabric to press the seam allowance to one side. The "setting" process makes the thread sink into the fabric and tightens it up a bit, making it a cleaner look when you press to the side.
    Kate

  16. #16
    Senior Member ruby2shoes's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone for the encouragement and advice...all duly noted in my little note book. most appreciated.

  17. #17
    Super Member Greenheron's Avatar
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    Those long rows are hard to handle. Try stitching 8 of the triangles into a rhombus and then join the rhombus blocks.

  18. #18
    Power Poster earthwalker's Avatar
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    Very pretty and looking good. Personally, every time I drop by the QB I find little tips and learn techniques that make my quilting life easier...there's also a lot of encouragement and large dollops of humour, which is pretty fantastic when you are a "lone quilter". Anyway...nice one ruby2shoes....keep us updated and happy piecing.

  19. #19
    Senior Member ruby2shoes's Avatar
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    Ohhhhh, rhombus...never thought of that! Thanks. Work is finished for the week, OH is away for the weekend so it's just me, the dog, a bottle of red and the rotary cutter!!!!! Hehehe, even have a television set up in the sewing room and a swivel chair so I can swivel from sewing machine, to cutting mat, to lowered ironing board and iron. My idea of perfect laziness and enhanced production! I just have to remember to keep the garage door shut so no-one thinks I'm at home when they call by for a visit...shhhhhhhh!

  20. #20
    Senior Member ruby2shoes's Avatar
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    Spent the afternoon cutting and sewing more triangles and this time I shortened my stitch length by half a measure and was more particular and careful when pressing my seams including "setting" them as suggested. My pieced triangles look more uniform/neater and stitches aren't showing between pieces so as I sit back for a cup of tea, a piece of chocolate and some inane t.v before going to bed I thank you all muchly!

  21. #21
    Power Poster earthwalker's Avatar
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    A job well done....happy quilting.

  22. #22
    Senior Member ruby2shoes's Avatar
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    It's been months since I posted so since I have finally got all my triangles pieced, sewn, and sewn into rows, with 8 rows of 18 sewn together I thought I would post some photos. As you can see, accuracy has suffered somewhat due to the inaccurate cutting and piecing I did.......thought I was doing okay but, well, one too many reds after dinner and my not really paying proper attention to everything I had read about cutting and piecing. However, never mind....a good learning experience. Now, due to my inaccuracies I'm not going to be able to do simple straight line quilting.....it'll show up all my not-straight lines too much. So what do you suggest? Stitch in the ditch around the triangles?, or maybe just some fm meandering? And what colour thread should I use...grey?, multi-colored?, white? I'm planning on straightening the edges and putting a 3 " border of undecided colour... Solid colour or maybe a marble?
    Attached Images Attached Images



  23. #23
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    Ruby2shoes that is a beautiful quilt top!

  24. #24
    Senior Member ruby2shoes's Avatar
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    Thanks......another 11 rows to be sewn onto it...hopefully done by the end of the week and then it's border selection.......any advice on my quilting pattern?

  25. #25
    Super Member CookyIN's Avatar
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    How pretty is that! Worth all your hard work.

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