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Thread: Need Help / Suggestions on 'Fullness' please

  1. #1
    Super Member WTxRed's Avatar
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    Need Help / Suggestions on 'Fullness' please

    As a newbie - I've run into a 'situation' that I need some suggestions on please.
    I have made a 9 patch quilt - each completed block is appx 2-1/2 inches, I think there are 25 rows of 23 blocks/squares, alternating a block with a 'square'. All is good except for on one end where i seem to have a little fullness, ok a lot of fullness - probably close to an inch. Best I can figure out its starting about 4 or 5 rows from the outer edge. Obviously I had either blocks or squares that weren't the same size.
    So my question/quandry - is it 'ok' to take a dart in the top to ease out that fullness or should i start taking apart each of the rows to try to isolate and resew that?
    I don't want to put my borders on until i flatten out the design.
    All suggestions welcome and Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Super Member grammy Dwynn's Avatar
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    I am a visual person ~ would it be possible for you to post a picture of your 'fullness'?

    Also, ??? a 9 patch that completes to 2.5?? Could you possible mean that your 9 patch has 2.5 cut squares? OR your 9 patch block is 12.5 (typo error)?
    "I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand." -Confucius

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  3. #3
    Super Member jcrow's Avatar
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    Are you doing a miniature? Or as grammy Dwynn said, could you of typed the wrong size? And yes, a picture would explain your problem. I usually have problems if I'm not careful about the scant 1/4" rule. Could that be your problem?
    "Be yourself...everyone else is taken."
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  4. #4
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    It's hard to say without seeing the quilt, but one thing to consider is that if you take a dart in one direction, the other direction may still have that fullness, and that will mean the quilt will be difficult to quilt and will not lay flat after quilting. I know it sounds like a lot of work, but it might be worth the effort to take out a few rows and correct the original problem (the size of the blocks) rather than try to fix it from a later point. You are very smart to fix this before you add the borders.

    My first quilt was a simple Yellow Brick Road (YBR). The blocks weren't all the same size, so when I sewed them together the quilt was wonky and didn't measure even close to square. My teacher, who is generally pretty tolerant of errors and short cuts, agreed that I needed to take it apart and fix the blocks that were off. You are not alone!

  5. #5
    Super Member janRN's Avatar
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    I agree with Dunster, take it apart. I know it's a lot of work but worth it in the end. I have lap quilt I made and one outer border was wavy; I did what you mentioned and made a tuck/dart in it. We just use that quilt as a cover up when chilly but every time I use it I see that blasted tuck. I should have redone it. Good luck!!
    Imagine all the people living life in peace...(John Lennon 1940-1980)

  6. #6
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    i would take it apart and resew.
    Nancy in western NY
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  7. #7
    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
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    I'd suggest you take it apart and re-sew it.
    This will serve 3 purposes:
    1. You'll learn to be more certain of your measurements next time and
    2. You'll be much happier with the results down the road after the quilt is finished.
    3. Learning from your mistakes is more permanent than 'fudging'.

    Jan in VA
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  8. #8
    Super Member sweet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jan in VA View Post
    3. Learning from your mistakes is more permanent than 'fudging'.

    Jan in VA
    There is such beauty in the simplicity of that sentence.

  9. #9
    Super Member WTxRed's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone - and I'll try to get a picture tonight after work to post ... each "finished" 9 patch block is appx 2-1/2" square. I may not be using the correct terminology - I apologize.
    I was leaning towards the ripout just hoping there was 'another' way lol. This is my 5th quilt and I'm pretty sure I wasn't consistent on all my seams... which I'm 'ok' with a little difference here and there as each top is a learning experience and I've always heard that every quilt top should have one 'mistake'! But I don't want to see that dart each time I look at this either! I think I have a few other 'mistakes' in it that can take it's place :-)

  10. #10
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Since it's excess fabric, what I usually do in a situation like this is simply re-sew seams in the area of fullness -- starting somewhere towards the middle right on top of the existing seam, then tapering so there is more fabric taken up at the edge. You would want to do this with multiple seams. If you have 1 inch of excess fullness at the edge, then you would want to sew on top of perhaps 4 seams -- making each seam 1/8th inch wider at the edge (which will result in 1/4" less fabric at the edge).

    When there is not enough fabric at the edge, you do have to rip before re-sewing. However, when there is excess fabric at the edge, you can simply sew on top of the existing seam and press. No one will know there is extra sewing inside that pressed seam!

  11. #11
    Super Member grammy Dwynn's Avatar
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    You do not have to apologize for not understanding/using 'the terminology'. We have all been there, done that.

    The most challenging for all of us (beside terminology) is to have accurate/constant 1/4 inch seams. Plus our cutting needs to be accurate. Then we have to perfect our pressing, NOT ironing! Once these have been mastered, then our blocks should (hopefully) come out to be all the same size the pattern suggest.

    BUT remember we are all not perfect. We also have learned to perfect the usage of seam rippers.
    "I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand." -Confucius

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  12. #12
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    this is one of those perfect examples of how an error can add up-
    with that many pieces across it is easy to wind up off---
    if you are only 1/8" off on a seam you may think---that's not a big deal- i will leave it---but in 8 seams you are a whole inch off!
    one of the reasons it is helpful to trim/square up & check for accuracy as you go-
    it could be all of your pieces are correct- but your seams somewhere along the way started getting a little larger- or smaller---so, you should look at the back & see where you started having the problem & go back that far- hopefully it's not too far back...good luck-
    people often will think---only 1/8" or even 1/16" of an inch is nothing to worry about---but if there are many pieces---those variations to add up---quickly
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  13. #13
    Senior Member MissSandra's Avatar
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    I mark all my seams for the 1/4 inch seam rule
    Warm Regards,
    Sandra

  14. #14
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    I usually check my blocks before I sew them into rows and yes, I do square them up if they don't match. Then I press each row so the seams nest when the rows are assembled. That way it becomes clear immediately if something is off. IF it is off, I gauge if the problem will be noticeable when the quilt is done OR if it bothers me. Then I take out (cursing of course) my booboo and fix it. I may lose some time, but the result will make me much happier.
    Martina
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  15. #15
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    Before you do anything measure the squares and blocks to see where the error started and how it continued. It might be only one block and it would be easy to fix that. Pleats or gathers are not desirable embellishments in quilts unless they are part of the design.

  16. #16
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    2.5 inch nine patch block is tiny, tiny, tiny. what ever size they are, they need to ALL be the same size before being sewn together. you will have to rip out stitches and fix the problem. seriously.

  17. #17
    Super Member WTxRed's Avatar
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    So I got home last nite, and took off the 3 rows that I suspect have the issue - the balance of the quilt is flat with no fullness or ruffles on the edges. I'm measuring each block in each row and have taken apart some of the seams, where I was 1/8" off on one side or the other, I hope to finish my de-assembly process tonite and by Saturday mid day, I should have everything put back together. Thank you all for your comments. I'll post pictures of the 'finished' product probably in a week :-) I'm excited to see if flat, quilted and bound! Thanks again!!!

  18. #18
    Super Member janRN's Avatar
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    Good choice, Wtx. If you're like me, your eyes would have always gone to that dart/pleat area. I hate ripping but always find I'm glad I did. (or I throw the item in the closet in The Box That Will Never Be Opened). Can't wait to see your pics.
    Imagine all the people living life in peace...(John Lennon 1940-1980)

  19. #19
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    Glad you decided to correct the problems -
    Last edited by bearisgray; 03-22-2012 at 09:09 AM.

  20. #20
    Super Member ube quilting's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jan in VA View Post
    I'd suggest you take it apart and re-sew it.
    This will serve 3 purposes:
    1. You'll learn to be more certain of your measurements next time and
    2. You'll be much happier with the results down the road after the quilt is finished.
    3. Learning from your mistakes is more permanent than 'fudging'.

    Jan in VA
    Jan Rocks!
    no act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. Aesop

  21. #21
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    I think you should take it apart to. You can work it in , When you resew put the fullness on the bottom , and
    essssss it in , the teeth on the bottom of your machine will grab the exter fabric. You will be surprize.

  22. #22
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    I would do as Jan recommended........fudging is not a way to learn the right way......I think you mean your block is made up of 2 1/2"squares along with an alternate block of solid/print fabric? Anyway......my question to you is when you were joining these blocks into rows, did you not then see that seams were not matching....if so maybe you can go to that hot spot and adjust that seam (s) to take in that fluff.......darts are only allowed in dressmaking, ha, ha.....

  23. #23
    Junior Member SandyQuilter's Avatar
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    This problem is a quick fix. Measure your quilt across the middle in both directions (always do this to figure border sizes). that measurement, plus seams, is the borders length. Now, divide the border into quarters and do the same with the quilt's edge. Fit the border/quilt quarters together and pin, working in the excess. You can take up an inch when sewing so that it will not be noticeable. When sewing, have the quilt top edge (the longer edge) on the bottom next to the face plate. Because of the feed dogs, the excess material will be gently gathered in.
    SandyQuilter

  24. #24
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    A dart will make it difficult to quilt so would resew

  25. #25
    Power Poster solstice3's Avatar
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    I think you would have to examine the situation and determine if it can be fixed by simply taking in the seam in a particular area or if you need to take it apart because it is a reoccurring problem.

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