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Thread: Making a group of squares and triangles into a big square

  1. #1

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    I am piecing together a Storm at Sea pattern and find it is quite tricky to get all the parts together and end up with a reasonable square :hunf:

    Are there any hints for this? Does it matter how the grain is oriented in the individual pieces? I cut them rather randomly, but the grain is parallel to one of the edges.

    How square do the squares need to be before it becomes an assembly problem? Is there a point when I should consider trimming the blocks to make them square?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Power Poster Sadiemae's Avatar
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    Before you do any trimming of the blocks, measure them and see what size they are. Are they the correct size?

  3. #3
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    Are your 1/4" seams consistant and accurate? Is your cutting accurate?

    Yes, it will matter if your blocks are not square, and consistent in size. Each time one piece/block/place is off, it changes something all the way down the line... or in this case row :wink:

    I would be extrememly careful with the bias edges, measure and square up carefully as you go...

  4. #4
    Super Member paintmejudy's Avatar
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    I did Storm at Sea with paper piecing and had no trouble with getting it to size. You might give that a try. And with the paper left on until the very end, no problem with bias or stretching.

  5. #5
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    accuracy is a must, you have to cut very accurately, sew accurately, press accurately and i trim carefully as i go so that every step is kept square and neat. it sounds like you may be rushing the process, sometimes we have to slow down in order to speed up.

  6. #6
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    Why not do it as a paper piece? Quilter's Cache has it by piecing or paper piece. Personally, I'd rather do it PP.

  7. #7
    Super Member fabric_fancy's Avatar
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    paper piecing is the way to go for this one.

    all the units will be the correct size and square - saves you a lot of time when putting them together for form the illusion.

  8. #8
    tooMuchFabric's Avatar
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    If you do not do it paperpieced, and rather go with the cut pieces of fabric, then look carefully to your 1/4" seaming. You do not want to have to do too much trimming of the edges in the squaring up process, or you pieces won't be good rectangles or good squares and the result will not look "squared up."

  9. #9

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    Thank you for responding to my question. I created templates to rotary cut the pieces.The templates are made from 1/4" acrylic and are very accurate and square. I glued sandpaper to the back so the template doesn't slide all around. The pieces are cut well.

    As for sewing 1/4" seams, that is a little tricky. Most of the seam is pretty good, probably within 1/32" of being 1/4". Occasionally I make an error. I noticed last night while sewing that the first sign of trouble comes when I press the seam. Apparently I'm stretching the corners more than the middle and it is distorting the shape.

    Being new to this, I have not heard of paper piecing before yesterday, perhaps I should read into that a bit.

  10. #10
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    Definitely check out paper piecing for this particular block. Quilter's Cache has that pattern, she has a tutorial on paper piecing. There's also a lot of good tutorials on paper piecing, one that I can think of, is Carol Doak. On my printer, Quilter's Cache paper piece patterns, I find that I need to adjust the size to get the test square to come out to 1", so you might need to do that. Best of luck, and please don't forget to show us your block. We love pictures.

    Make sure that you leave the paper on until you're ready to get the top ready for quilting, and don't forget to shorten your stitches.

  11. #11
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    ok, starch your pieces before sewing them. that should help.

  12. #12
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    Nativetexan is right, totally forgot to tell you that.

  13. #13
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    cconsider patchwork like a jigsaw puzzel. If the pieces are not accurate they won't fit the space and produce the final picture.
    Yes, the squares MUST be accurately cut as well as all other pieces in the block.

  14. #14
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    I find that often the problem in accurate piecing is the first 1/2" and the final 1/2" or so inch on the seam is a problem. Slow down and watch these areas to be sure your seam remains consistent. Also......are you pressing or "ironing" Ironing can stretch. Pressing is up and down with the iron. Care is essential. Also when piecing triangle shapes, be sure when they are joined to other shapes you have the 1/4" at the ends.,

  15. #15

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    hello, I have looked at paper piecing see how it could make it accurate. l don't see how to press the seam to the dark side. i just sewed it to the paper.

  16. #16
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    I've done this block before without paper piecing and it was one of my first. I learned a lot about accurate seaming and squaring. You might be needing to use a stylus or a bamboo skewer to help guide the fabric through the feed dogs at the end of your seams (this is where I found I was getting "off"). It also helps to use a "leader" which is a piece of fabric that you sew over before your actual block. I found it helps keep the beginning of your seam more accurate.

    Square at every round. Use starch to stabilize the bias and PRESS don't iron because ironing will distort the piece. It will save you a lot of seam ripping in the end. I hope this helps you.

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