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Thread: Novice Quilter trying to piece together stripes, please help

  1. #1
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    Hi Everybody, I only have completed 3 quilts and they were made with BIG (at least 12"X12" blocks). While doing the September FabShopHop I stumbled across GORGEOUS floral fabrics on sale for $2/yard, and I bought a lot! Not content with the florals, I searched and found the coordinating stripes and a plaid for around $4/yard. Again, being a novice, I didn't know how much to purchase, so I bought a lot more! Anyway, I tried my hand at piecing together a block called Aunt Eliza's Star. From this I discovered 2 things - 1) I am not good enough to work with triangles yet; and 2) trying to line up stripes is not as easy as it looks. [IMG]http://i213.photobucket.com/albums/c...ilting/159.jpg[/IMG]

    So here are the fabrics I have - the striped plaid and floral. The plaid and floral stripe repeat every 2 inches, and I have white, blue, pink, and green but not a lot of blue because it was almost sold out.
    [IMG]http://i213.photobucket.com/albums/c...ilting/161.jpg[/IMG]
    I also have yards of ribbon florals in blue, green, and white.
    [IMG]http://i213.photobucket.com/albums/c...ilting/162.jpg[/IMG]
    I have small floral groups in pink and blue, and a limited amount of all plaid:
    [IMG]http://i213.photobucket.com/albums/c...ilting/163.jpg[/IMG]
    And I also have a large pink ribbon floral on green background, and that was the center of the sample block in the first picture.

    So what can I do? Should I just cut out squares and patch together a nine block? Trying to line up those stripes is nerve-wracking. Any advice from experienced quilters would be much appreciated! Thanks!

  2. #2
    CrystalKicks's Avatar
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    I think the star you made is beautiful and if you hadnt of mentioned it I wouldnt have even noticed that the lines didnt match!!

  3. #3
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Many quilters don't line up stripes. Not lining them up actually adds a lot of "life" to a quilt.

    As for the triangles, if you starch your fabric before cutting triangles, you will be much less likely to stretch the bias edge out of shape. The heavier the starching, the more stable the fabric.

    I think your block is charming. You might want to make 3 more and see how the blocks look together. I'm thinking a narrow sashing might add definition.

  4. #4
    Super Member charismah's Avatar
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    I also have to say I don't worry about matching stripes....I just go with however they turn out..I love striped fabric and I think I wouldn't if I worried about matching everything up nicely..I just love the texture it adds to my finished product. I think you shoudl continue on with your blocks..they are darling!

    As far as half square triangles I think there are so mnay tricks to them that make them easier to deal with.

    There are several ways...

    Tube quilting
    thangles
    special rulers....I think you just have to decide what works for you..try a few out.

  5. #5
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    I would be happy with your block. The fabric is beautiful.

    Have you tried the sew then cut method for hlf square triangles? Cut your squares 1 inch bigger than the finished size you need. Mark a diagonal line on the back of one of the squares. Place the two squares right sides together and sew 1/4 inch from your marked line on EACH side. Cut on the marked line. You will now have 2 half square triangle blocks you can trim to the perfect finished size.

  6. #6
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    I think you may be second guessing your self/overthinking this block :wink: :D Not many would venture to try lining up stripes... I would make these blocks and would add a sashing strip...they would be separated and the fact that the stripes don't line up would not be noticed... I would use a more solid colored fabric for these.
    This block with the stripes landing in different places will make the quilt have more movement, which is very desireable.
    Please keep going with this...it is going to be an amazing quilt!!! :D :D :D
    I agree with starching your fabric pretty heavily...you will be amazed at how well the triangles will behave :wink:
    Double check your 1/4 in seams...maybe a stack of post it notes to use as a guide for your fabric will help with your seams/piecing. You are not that far off to having perfect points!!! :wink:

  7. #7
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    To line up the stripes, you would have to fussy-cut every square and that would waste time and fabric. Also, as long as you use a directional fabric in the HST - you will have a stripe that doesn't line up in the triangle. I am with the rest of the group: Just go with your original plan. You already KNOW that the stripes won't match. That may give you more leway to play and experiment with the rest of the process. Have fun. It will be beautiful.

  8. #8
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    I think your block is wonderful. We have the same taste in fabric. I was drooling on my keyboard while looking at those beautiful fabrics.

  9. #9
    Super Member b.zang's Avatar
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    Now, if you were trying to set in sleeves to a striped jacket or some other tailored outfit, I might give you matching advice. However, if you want stripes to go one way or another, just cut your fabric along that line and piece it in. Quilt pieces go every which-way, though, so why don't you try your stripes likewise?


  10. #10
    Super Member Moonpi's Avatar
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    Some patterns lend themselves easier to stripes than others. Keep in mind that stripes don't always need yo be lengthwise. It's all according to the look you are after.

  11. #11
    Super Member Marcia's Avatar
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    This is the very reason I only use a wide striped fabric in sashing or borders. I get very frustrated with stripes---mostly because mine end up crooked and that makes me crazier than not matching up!!

    The fact that you have all of your stripes going in the same direction in the same areas of your block make your stripes just fine. I would not sweat the fact that they do not line up exactly---like Prism said---it gives your block "life". And I agree with Madquilter---to fussy cut would be a waste of time and fabric.

    I love your fabrics and your block---please show us more when you get more finished!!

  12. #12
    Moderator sharon b's Avatar
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    I like your block and if you are happy with it .. keep going :lol: If anyone should be rude enough to question why the stripes don't match just say they are not suppose to match so that it adds more flow to the block :wink:
    We all are out own worst critics , don't be so hard on yourself :lol:

  13. #13
    Senior Member dlf0122quilting's Avatar
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    I do a lot of charity quilting in addition to my own quilts and I use stripes a lot for doing the binding. When the stripes are cut on the 45 degree angle for bias binding, it really adds some definition to the quilt. I started out with that by doing placemats and went on from there. I am given fabric by my friends to use in the charity quilts and beggars can't be chosers so I find ways to make them work, even if it is just for binding.

  14. #14
    Super Member vicki reno's Avatar
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    I think your block is really nice. The stripes do not necessary have to line up. On the plus side, they are straight! They aren't wonky or crooked and it loks great. Lining those bad boys up would drive me to throwing everything out the window! Old quilts, like maybe our grandmothers made, didn't have matching stripes and I don't know of anyone that wouldn't love yours either. God luck!

  15. #15
    Super Member Elisabrat's Avatar
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    I have to start with the fact that I have a bad case of ENVY going for your stash. It is gorgeous. Your block looks just fine and points are not easy for a whole bunch of us (me especially). I agree let the stripes be wavy. One way not to notice so much is dont put them next to each other then it wont be quiet as noticable. It really wasnt noticable until you mentioned it. As we work so closely with our projects we note all the errors but the general public at large notices the whole picture and not the tiny details. You made a very pretty star and I am looking forward to seeing what you create with all that fabric. If you get bored with it please feel free to send it my way!!

  16. #16
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
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    when you said you bought a lot, you weren't kidding :shock: .

    that said, there is only one way to learn to do stripes and triangles the way you want them to be done. and you're on that learning curve now. so you'll make mistakes. big deal. when you finish, don't ask - don't tell. no one will ever know. it will be beautiful. :wink:

  17. #17
    nitakhoops's Avatar
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    Don't sweat the small stuff...only you will notice the "mistakes" and after awhile you'll forget about them, too :lol: !

  18. #18
    Super Member Shorebird's Avatar
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    1) I LOVE your stash - colors and patterns are right up my alley.....

    2) You are doing a GREAT job with piecing this together. Your block looks
    fine. You do not want too much matchy matchy in quilts - the variety
    provides movement and definition.

    3) I would continue just as you are. I believe you will REALLY LIKE the end
    result, and if you don't it can ALWAYS have a home here @ my house.

  19. #19
    Super Member MollieSue's Avatar
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    I love your block!! I'd keep making more, and add a sashing as someone suggested! Your going to have a beautiful quilt!!
    Beautiful stash you got there too!!
    :D

  20. #20
    Senior Member sarahelloyd's Avatar
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    i think your block is really sweet, if you take another look and want to line up the stripes, you only need to swap two of the blocks around for them to line up, bottom left to bottom right, but if you get obsessed with this, you would have to follow this carefully over the whole quilt. i would be tempted to go with it as it is. Good luck. feeling envious that you have that much matching fabric. would love to see pics when you have finished.

  21. #21
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    Your fabrics are beautiful! And I love the block. I understand what you mean about the strips matching, and I think it would probably drive me nuts, too. I think we just have the idea that the stripes are supposed to match, but I agree with everyone else. And I have a feeling that if you did make all the stripes match up, the resulting quilt would not be as charming and enjoyable to look at as it will just putting them "how they fall." Just do it how you enjoy doing it. It's supposed to be fun, not a job! And do post the pics when you are done. It's going to be beautiful!

  22. #22
    Senior Member pegquilter8's Avatar
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    Great block! Good use of the stripes. Had to look really hard at your points. Don't be so hard on yourself. Yes Yes to starching the triangles. You will love the difference. Send more pics as you progress.

  23. #23
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    LIKE IT THE WAY IT IS. iT WILL BE BEAUTIFUL WHEN YOU ARE FINISHED :)

  24. #24
    Super Member jljack's Avatar
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    Don't worry about those pesky stripes! They'll just blend right in when you get a bunch of the blocks together.

  25. #25
    marcia a's Avatar
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    I have this saying, If you can't tell the difference ridding by on a galloping horse ---- leave it alone! I like it the way it is.

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