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Thread: Newbie Question: How worried should I be about 1/4-inch?

  1. #26
    Senior Member Grambi's Avatar
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    There is some great advice in here. Myself, I would go back, take out some seams and make them smaller to make the block 4.25". If it can't be done then make a new one. Learning to correct mistakes on simple block parts now will help you later when you have to correct or adjust for mistakes on more complicated blocks.

  2. #27
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    Can we help you find the 1/4" on your machine?

    precise cutting and 1/4" seam allowance,is VERY important..to keep you from becoming VERY frustated!

  3. #28
    Super Member JUNEC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DogHouseMom
    At first I worried more about consistancy of my seam allowances than I did exactly what measurement they were. Consistancy is far more important.

    As for the one block, don't throw it away. Rip it apart, figure out where your error was and fix it. It may have been in cutting, it may have been in stitching.

    We learn by ripping :)
    How true this is

  4. #29
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    THROW IT AWAY??? Quilters never throw any fabric away! LOL!! take the stitches out and replace the piece with one of proper size - happens to me all the time
    Quote Originally Posted by JenelTX
    Finally! I started my first quilt today. (I forced myself to wait until I had finished another project.) What a fun day! I cut strips and made 22 blocks with 9 squares in each. They're supposed to measure 4.25 x 4.25 inches, and they all do... except one. That one is 4.25 x 4 inches, maybe a little bit less.

    I think I'm just going to throw it away and make a new one, but I wanted to ask more experienced quilters how much I should worry about a quarter inch. Do you normally throw away a block that's off by that much (smaller)? If not, how do you compensate for the shortfall?

    Next weekend... pinwheels!!! :)

  5. #30
    Super Member #1piecemaker's Avatar
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    Save it for somethingelse but cut a new one for your project. That 1/4 inch will definitely make a difference. Because that is your seam allowance.

  6. #31
    Super Member donnajean's Avatar
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    I don't throw anything away. For such a small block, use the seam ripper & redo the 1/4" seam. Yes, 1/4" seams really matter if you want all your blocks to line up.

  7. #32

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    Seam allowance is extremely important for your quilt to be
    completed accurately. Make another block.
    Less headaches further into the quilt you go.
    Making another block is better than redoing it. Taking a block apart stretches out the fabric and the block will never be right because of the distortion from ripping out the seams.
    It will probably take less time to make a new block than it would take to rip all the seams out.
    Make sure you cut the pieces correctly, many times a block is not the correct size because the pieces weren't cut correctly to begin with.

  8. #33
    Super Member nabobw's Avatar
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    I have started cutting my pices an 1/8th of a inch larger then called for because of coming up small

  9. #34
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    I agree accurancy is the most important part - a little off here and there can add up to big differences later - I would remake the block if you have enough fabric - good luck

  10. #35
    Power Poster dkabasketlady's Avatar
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    Use it as the label on the back of the quilt.[/quote]

    This is what I'd use it for if you can't figure out where the problem is!

  11. #36
    Super Member ConnieF's Avatar
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    accuracy is a most importnat the 1/4 in or the scant sometimes is called for. Just practice... remember the more seams in a blk the more off it will be when finished... if to big a seams it will be to small. or to big if you are stitchint to little
    ConnieF

  12. #37
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    When you get more experienced you generally can figure out how to fudge one block that is short but at first I wouldn't try to do it. And if there are several blocks off but the time you get to the end of that row, you could have major trouble, it could make that row inches shorter than the next row. A good way to keep things precise is with the use of sashing between the blocks. Then you can square them all up to the same size and 1/4 isn't all that noticeable. But not all patterns would allow the use of sashing. Accuracy is the key to having things go together smoothly and it is one we are struggle with. Try taking the block apart and putting it back together.Sometimes you can join the last tow or three in a row with a scant 1/4 inch between them make it work..

  13. #38
    Super Member mhansen6's Avatar
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    It is very important. I have learned from experience. If you watch your seam allowances and how you cut your pieces closely they your top will just fit together perfectly. Otherwise you may be ripping out and redoing alot.

  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by JenelTX
    Finally! I started my first quilt today. (I forced myself to wait until I had finished another project.) What a fun day! I cut strips and made 22 blocks with 9 squares in each. They're supposed to measure 4.25 x 4.25 inches, and they all do... except one. That one is 4.25 x 4 inches, maybe a little bit less.

    I think I'm just going to throw it away and make a new one, but I wanted to ask more experienced quilters how much I should worry about a quarter inch. Do you normally throw away a block that's off by that much (smaller)? If not, how do you compensate for the shortfall?

    Next weekend... pinwheels!!! :)
    My friend always tells me..... either rip it & fix it, or make it into a Mug Rug; Pot holder; or put it in your orphan block pile - add sashing & add it to a sampler quilt. If all else fails, grandkids love orphan blocks for their design wall. lol

  15. #40
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    Mary Ellen Hopkins - and several other authors - suggest doing a test with several strips of fabric to see how your cutting and sewing "measures up"

    I cut strips with a rotary ruler - they end up being a smidge wider than if I cut strips with the June Tailor shape cutter.

    I use "my" 1/4 inch way of sewing.

    Anyway - the "test/sample" goes like this:

    For example:

    Cut three strips of fabric 2.5 inches wide by 6.5 inches long.
    Sew them together with "your" 1/4 inch seam.
    Press
    Measure - the "expected" size of the unit is 6.5 x 6.5 inches

    It is another of those "prep" steps that saves one HOURS of time and aggravation later.

    On your "off" block - if all your other blocks are the correct size, you might have cut something wrong on the off/odd one -

  16. #41
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    double post

  17. #42
    Power Poster Tweety2911's Avatar
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    Save the block for something else. That is a lot to try to fudge, simply not worth the grief later on. At this point it is much easier to just remake it or make a new one.

  18. #43
    Super Member grammysharon's Avatar
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    If you want the blocks to be consistent your pieces do need to be cut accurately. Your seam allowance should also be consistent, 1/4 inch or something close which is called your personal seam allowance. Believe me it is easier to do it correctly @ first so you don't have the aggravation of trying to make things fit together correctly. (Ask me how I know!)
    Quote Originally Posted by JenelTX
    Finally! I started my first quilt today. (I forced myself to wait until I had finished another project.) What a fun day! I cut strips and made 22 blocks with 9 squares in each. They're supposed to measure 4.25 x 4.25 inches, and they all do... except one. That one is 4.25 x 4 inches, maybe a little bit less.

    I think I'm just going to throw it away and make a new one, but I wanted to ask more experienced quilters how much I should worry about a quarter inch. Do you normally throw away a block that's off by that much (smaller)? If not, how do you compensate for the shortfall?

    Next weekend... pinwheels!!! :)
    :D

  19. #44
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    Jenel.. First off - con gratulations are in order - you have stepped into a world of beauty and fun and comfort and friendship - not to mention adddictions to fabric and thread and tools and rulers and blades and .. oh, OH got off topic there!
    Often you will see the instruction to sew a "scant 1/4" seam. That means be sure you don't make the seam more than 1/4, a thread width less is SCANT .. as seams are sewn in, fabric literally disappears! When the seamed fabric is folded over for pressing - there is fabric thread in there that goes with the seam, and makes the block surface smaller if you made that seam a fat 1/4". A specialty foot called a 1/4", or piecing, foot is a great help, but be sure if you use one, sew several practice seams so you know exactly where that 1/4" lies. If the foot edge gives a bit or isn't straight up and down you need to know that and if necessary make adjustments.
    If each seam is off by 1/8" - at the end of 8 blocks guess how much shorter that made the row of blocks!
    I drew a line 1/4 on a piece of stiff paper, put that paper edge in my machine and sewed with an unthreaded needle. One foot the holes were ecactly on my drawn line, the other foot it was slightly on the edge of my line. I changed it to another machine and it was fine.
    Be sure to finish a project on the same machine you started with - all machines are not all the same.
    Now go have fun :)

  20. #45
    Junior Member Gramily's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DogHouseMom
    At first I worried more about consistancy of my seam allowances than I did exactly what measurement they were. Consistancy is far more important.

    As for the one block, don't throw it away. Rip it apart, figure out where your error was and fix it. It may have been in cutting, it may have been in stitching.

    We learn by ripping :)
    I concur. Be consistent. All sewing machines vary somewhat. Determine your machine's 1/4" and sew. Fabric is forgiving.

  21. #46
    Super Member Debra Mc's Avatar
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    How worried. Very much. It can amke all the difference if it is off. Save yourself some grief & cut a new one.

  22. #47
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    Just pull or pinch or steam the block and usually it will fit.

  23. #48
    Super Member sewwhat85's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by erstan947
    Rather then throw it away, I remove the stitching, press and recheck the pieces size and then resew. Sometimes one block will have extra large seams. As close as you can be accurate the better your blocks will fit together.:)
    i agree with this it will show you where you went wrong seam allowance or cutting

  24. #49
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    Many years ago Our newly formed quilt guild decided to make a thank you quilt. Mostly we were newbies, and with great enthusiasm everybody made several blocks. When I finally cpllected them all, and brought them home to assemble, I discovered that I had TWO sets of blocks. One set with larger than 1/4 inch seams - and one set with smaller than 1/4 inch seams.
    I has so many blocks that we ended up with 2 quilts! So we had one quilt for a thank you and the other for our first raffle quilt. But there was a definite difference in the finished size of the two quilts!
    It was an interesting lesson.
    But it was such fun too!
    J

  25. #50
    Senior Member irma tapia's Avatar
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    A " is very important, if it's not cut right the whole block will be off. I would say cut another one, you'll be glad you did. :-)

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