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Needing directions...

Needing directions...

Old 09-18-2007, 10:08 AM
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OK, I wormed myself into another question folks, and Tim, since you posted a Mariner’s star you might be able to help on this. I constructed a mariner’s compass from the following pattern, or at least tried:

http://www.compuquilt.com/blockimg/1999Blocks/marinerscompass.htm

All went very well until I got to the final assembly, then it went downhill from then on out, ending in frustration and words bordering on… well you get the picture.

I understand I am to leave the paper in, but how on earth do you sew the thing together when you’ve eight pieces of fabric and paper come to a point into a bulky mess? The machine wouldn’t even go there. I first did the quarters, and then the halves. At this point I realized the scant ¼ was very important in order to avoid a cone, but still I persevered. Then when I tried to sew the halves together all Hades broke loose. I left the paper in as suggested. I understood the I should somehow or another clip the seams at the points and set down in order, also to run a thread between each point so I wouldn’t get a hole in the center. But how on earth do I even get to that point? AAGH! This should be fun, not aggravating, I’ve been told.

The paper piecing went fine until the regular piecing, which is when lack of experience (and instruction) kicked my nieve booty. In my mind I could just hear the quilter’s of days gone by laughing a good one and wiping tears from their eyes. Can someone please help, and give directions to this silly man left quite humbled by his compass
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Old 09-18-2007, 10:32 AM
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Try this, once you match the seams of the halves, pin them together for joining, and remove the paper where you will be stitching. The paper is to stabalize the units until they are joined, but can cause problems in and of itself. You did nothing wrong; it is impossible to sew through that many layers of paper & fabric. Another thing you might try is pressing some of your seams open where several will come together, as in the center of your block.

Hope this helps. :D

CP
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Old 09-18-2007, 11:00 AM
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Excellent suggestions, will do and thanks!
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Old 09-18-2007, 11:09 AM
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I would remove the paper.

Then I would measure each unit to make sure the interior (center point) angle is 45 degrees, using an acrylic ruler and/or the lines on the cutting mat. Press them so that they are (or trim if they are not, but usually it's a matter of pressing). If they are not 45 degrees now, they will not be 90 degrees when you sew them into quarters!

Sew them into quarters. Measure that 90 degree angle and make sure it's perfect. Also be sure that the diagonal seam in your unit is on the 45 degree line.

Sew those so you have two halves and make sure you are working with two flat lines and that the center points you have sewn thus far are a good point and that they are 1/4" from that straight edge! At this point, you can pin through those centers and sew the two halves together.

BUT - pinning that many layers tends to be bulky. Lengthen your stitch length as far as you can and baste the seam (you can even just baste though the center 6" of the seam so you don't have to do the whole length at this point.) Open the seam and see how it looks. If it is a good match, shorten your seam length and sew right over the basting. If it is not right, the basting will be easy to pull out and do over.

Hope that helps!
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Old 09-18-2007, 12:38 PM
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Indeed, these suggestions may just be the key I need to success with the compass.
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Old 09-18-2007, 12:47 PM
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Keep up the good work! The best Ican dofor you is to cheer you on.
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Old 09-19-2007, 12:48 PM
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Cathe, I think the idea of a quick baste on all pieces as I do it might help as well. I'm going to check every quarter, and then every half before the final assembly. If I use the same quarter inch foot there should be no changes! Thanks for the idea.
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Old 09-19-2007, 01:01 PM
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When I have a lot of points to match at the center of a block, I press the seams open. "Seams" to help. Pardon the pun.
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Old 09-19-2007, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve
Cathe, I think the idea of a quick baste on all pieces as I do it might help as well. I'm going to check every quarter, and then every half before the final assembly. If I use the same quarter inch foot there should be no changes! Thanks for the idea.
Basting (in quilting or dressmaking) isn't very popular anymore, but it's a surprisingly quick way to align things and then realign them if necessary. Sometimes it takes longer to fidget everything together with pins, which can be so bulky, and if you start with a short stitch length and it's not perfect, it takes forever to rip out - and sometimes damages the fabric. I have been doing more basting lately and find that it's very efficient.
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