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Thread: Need some advice on squaring pre printed panel

  1. #1
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    Need some advice on squaring pre printed panel

    I purchased a festive Sea Life pre printed panel to make a wall hanging. I am using 4 of the 5 squares available which I separated. For the life of me I can not get them square, they are incredibly crooked. I starched them all very heavily and just let them lie flat hoping the starch would allow the fibres to go back into their original shape.... that didn't work, I have stretched it from side to side, pressed it trying NOT to stretch it.... nothing seems to work. At this point I have run a basin of warm water and have them soaking and hope that might help. I even pulled a thread across the grain and whoaaaa.... it is crooked..obviously printed not woven... I know I can't return it now as it's cut into 5 pieces....
    So.... any other ideas??? Included the photo of the panel, I am using the 4 smaller outside squares. Thank you for any advice you can give!
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  2. #2
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    Just to show an example of how crooked this fabric is, if you look at one of the smaller squares and see the inner dk green line, I started my ruler 1/2" from there to square it, it ended up in the blue outside of the green box.
    I think I may just have to scrap this and move on to another project. Very frustrating!!
    ~Sheriann~💖 BabyLock Ellisimo 💖 Husqvarna Viking Designet 1ESS 💖 BabyLock Imagine 💖 Janome Jem Platinum 760 ♥ Beloved Gram's 1924 Singer Treadle 💖 1937 & 1953 Singer Featherweights #IAMSEWBLESSED ♥

  3. #3
    Senior Member QuiltingHaven's Avatar
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    Smile

    Okay, take this from an "older" beginning quilter with a grain of salt but I have become very adept at fixing my "creative errors" and I think you could square them up by re-sashing them with a similar color (blue at the top and cream at the bottom) like a narrow 1 inch for one suggestion; or by putting triangles in the corners to make them a less "wonky". Make pieced sashes in rectangles or triangles of similar colors from the panel to go on and then add a single lighter or darker color for the next sash. OR tip them at an angle on the quilt highlighting with larger triangles. Now remember, I have been quilting for only 1 1/2 years and I have been creative when I find errors in fabric. Hope maybe these ideas will help. Next time (don't ask me how I know this ;-) take a square in the fabric store and make sure the panels are square or ask the company online that you are ordering them from if they are square!!!! I have learned a lot over this past year and a half. Good luck!!!!
    Busy in Ohio

  4. #4
    Senior Member Blue's quilting mama's Avatar
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    I had that problem with a panel of 6 pictures.....my pattern called for a frame of fabric to be added to each picture. So, I am unhappy with how it isn't exactly square, but, it works anyway. So, my suggestion is for you to make a frame around each of these, then square up the completed items. Then, if the pictures are a little wonky, at least you will have squares, hopefully not too big for what you are trying to make.

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    I've yet to see a square panel. You just have to make it your own.

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  7. #7
    Power Poster earthwalker's Avatar
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    Framing certainly would tame them to some extent....the quilting would perhaps hide any further discrepancies....I sympathise....wonky panels are a pain in the neck.

  8. #8
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    Sometimes it just works better to accent the wonkiness & make it into a design element. If these were mine, I would try adding several logs...think wonky log cabin... to each panel piece, turning the piece so it is wonderfully off kilter. The logs should be narrow at one end to larger at the other. Use as many different colors as you can, ending with a zinger. For me, that would be the red.

    I am one that has to have balance, but balance can be all wonky. If you are determined to trash the panel, I'll take it. We have a trailer on the Gulf Coast & it would make a wonderful couch quilt.
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    What if you fused lightweight non-woven interfacing to the back of the panels? Obviously it would make them thicker and heavier, but it should help eliminate the twisting you might get if you sewed those wonky squares to your other fabrics. Hopefully, the printed pictures would remain square. I've done this will small pieces of printed plaid that I wanted to be "square" despite the off-square print. I love the colors in your panels!
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Handcraftsbyjen's Avatar
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    I sometimes tug the opposing corners to try to help straighten the fabric out.

  11. #11
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    I've never found a panel that's not crooked. Good luck!

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    You might consider doing them like the happy scrappy houses and deliberately make them wonky like the houses.

    http://quiltville.com/happyscrappyhouses.shtml
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  13. #13
    Super Member Val in IN's Avatar
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    I had the very same problem with the Boy Scout quilt I made for my grandson (see the picture section of the board). The only thing that I could do is sash them. Yep, they were still off but the sashing helped make it not so noticable. My first and last project using cut-apart pre-printed panels.
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  14. #14
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    Starching is supposed to help but I have knowdest that when you do starch and iron the fabric does seem to shift more due to the moisture. You might want to watch how you iron (more of a pressing movement of up and down. and not a back and forth glide).

  15. #15
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    block them as you would a sweater. Wet the blocks and pin onto a square, stretching to make them square. This is the only way I know to square up the fabric that has been printed crooked. Let dry and if still not squared you might want to discard. Or cut the printed border off and add another. There is less notice if the printed border is cut off.

  16. #16
    Super Member ArtsyOne's Avatar
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    I would set them deliberately off-kilter in the corners of your design and have a straight center block achieved by sashing it. I love your fabric - good luck!
    A fabric stash is always missing that one fabric needed to finish the quilt on which you're working.

  17. #17
    Super Member donnalynett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sunnye View Post
    I've never found a panel that's not crooked. Good luck!
    Me either and it is sure frustrating. I make a lot of Hospice lap quilts from them and just do my best to make it look good.

  18. #18
    Super Member jcrow's Avatar
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    Yes, I would cut the whole border off, too, and make a new border. That would work.
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  19. #19
    Super Member mom-6's Avatar
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    In my HS home ec class eons ago, when we started with a piece of fabric that was off kilter, we stretched it both ways on the opposing corners until it was straight. It should not hurt it to do that unless the printing is all on top of the fabric and might crack (I've encountered some like this - more of a decal than printing). Most panels are printed in such a way that the color penetrates the fabric about half way rather than just sitting on top of the fabric.
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  20. #20
    Senior Member AnitaSt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Val in IN View Post
    I had the very same problem with the Boy Scout quilt I made for my grandson (see the picture section of the board). The only thing that I could do is sash them. Yep, they were still off but the sashing helped make it not so noticable. My first and last project using cut-apart pre-printed panels.
    I had the same problem with a large patriotic design panel....I cut off some sections and tried everything everyone has suggested, but still ended up doing what Val in IN suggests. I used sashing that subtly creates a "squared" look. When the quilt is hanging on the design wall, it definitely still looks a little off. But once it's a quilt in someone's lap, who will notice?

    BTW, what I had the most success with was pinning the wet panel to a board that my mother used to use to square her needlepoint. It was sort of like an extra-thick fiber board. Got it as square as I could then sprayed starch on it and worked it in thoroughly. Took a couple of days to dry in our humid climate, but it definitely helped more than anything else.

  21. #21
    Super Member faykilgore's Avatar
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    Most quilts I use pre-printed squares on are for children, so the wonky look works. I agree with the others. No pre-printed squares are ever square. If you insist on square, trim them so the border is within your 1/4 " seam & make your own borders. Cute fabric!
    Fay

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  22. #22
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    Seeing as how you've already cut the squares -

    I would wet the fabrics - (let them soak for about ten minutes in a bowl of water) - roll them in a towel to blot out excess moisture - and lay them flat on a towel or on a drying rack - let the fabric 'do its thing'

    And then go for the compensating tactics.

    The grain is going to do its thing - If you try to force it to the print - it might 'hang funny'

    Like jeans that are cut off grain - the crease never goes quite 'right'
    Last edited by bearisgray; 07-02-2012 at 12:22 PM.

  23. #23
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    ...and why do they always put a border around the blocks???? I have yet to find a square panel but the ones with borders are the worse because it makes the crookedness more noticeable. I have found the only way for me is to remove the pre-printed border and square up the picture middle and sew on new borders.

  24. #24
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    I would also love to know why they always border these panel prints!! This isn't the first time I have worked with a panel print, but it's definitely the worst I have ever seen. I did plunge it into water, rolled it in a towel and let it dry naturally. It is better but NOT perfect. I do agree with cutting off the border and sashing it all around, that's most likely the only thing that will be salvageable at this point!
    I am so greatful to all of you for your wonderful hints and tips!! and... your sympathy! giggle I know I can always count on getting help from this wonderful group!
    Thank you sew very much and when it's finished I'll post a pic of my trying NOT to be wonky, wonky wallhanging!



    Quote Originally Posted by Tartan View Post
    ...and why do they always put a border around the blocks???? I have yet to find a square panel but the ones with borders are the worse because it makes the crookedness more noticeable. I have found the only way for me is to remove the pre-printed border and square up the picture middle and sew on new borders.
    ~Sheriann~💖 BabyLock Ellisimo 💖 Husqvarna Viking Designet 1ESS 💖 BabyLock Imagine 💖 Janome Jem Platinum 760 ♥ Beloved Gram's 1924 Singer Treadle 💖 1937 & 1953 Singer Featherweights #IAMSEWBLESSED ♥

  25. #25
    Super Member katkat1946's Avatar
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    Thanks, Prism99, for the Sharon Schamber video links! They are really good!
    Pat

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