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Thread: Oh My Gosh Wavy Strips

  1. #1
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    I have been recutting wavy strips that I received from a friend. Mounds of strips. She says she can't stand another day of looking at the mess she created. She cut enough for two quilts and started piecing and nothing went together correctly. She brought them to me because I told her not to throw them away. She was so angry she wouldn't stay to visit or let me help her fix the problem. At least they are 3 inch strips. The wave is so bad I have to cut the middle out. Then I can get a 2 and 1/2 strip most of the time. I would really like to help her but I don't think she wants the help. She has been really excited about quilting. I hope this won't change her mind. The seams on what she has done are every thing between 1/4 and 1/2 inch. Why is it that total strangers will pay for lessons and someone near and dear won't take free advice? Back to cutting (I just finished a big basket of my on scraps). Any advice would be appreciated. I do love you all so.

  2. #2
    grayma's Avatar
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    Maybe wait until she calms down and then offer to show her how to cut strips so that they don't have that wave in them. Be encouraging without being pushy. Ask to see her machine and see if you can put something on it so that she sews an accurate 1/4" seam. I do that for students in my classes.

  3. #3
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    Bless your heart. Sounds like she did not cut the strips square to the fold of the fabric & wound up with Vs instead of strips. I also sounds like she bit off more than she can chew! Doesn't sound as though she wants your advice or help. Maybe, as you suggested, you could take a quilting class together? It is silly, but some people will only listen to a "Professional".

  4. #4
    Super Member Cybrarian's Avatar
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    Rhonda, there are a significant number of people who seem to have a hard time accepting responsibility for their own actions or problems. Sounds like your friend is somehow making you responsible for her difficulties (in her mind) because that's easier than self examination and self correction. Sorry for how she has treated you; maybe you should take a break from trying to fix everything for her until there is an attitude adjustment. You're being very kind, but time is a valuable thing and I'm sure there are others who would appreciate some friendly help!

  5. #5
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    how sad..this is just the sort of thing that will KILL a beginner and make them give up before they really get started!..such a shame...did she not take a beginner class at all...hope she can recover and look to you for advice on working past this...

  6. #6
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    just a few basic lessons could help her tremendously...hopefully she doesn't lose interest in it.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by grayma
    Maybe wait until she calms down and then offer to show her how to cut strips so that they don't have that wave in them. Be encouraging without being pushy. Ask to see her machine and see if you can put something on it so that she sews an accurate 1/4" seam. I do that for students in my classes.
    I'm hoping this will happen. You have a calm way of encouraging. Thank you. I'll just give it some time. She had all of the fabric in a trash bag headed for the trash. She might have picked up on my concern for the fabric instead of her. Which is not true. Anyway, she dumped it on my doorstep and said if I gave it back to her she would toss it.

  8. #8
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    Shes heard me say I've cut two quilts at a time. I just lay the fabric on top of each other. I'll make one and save the other for later. It's interesting how different quilts can look by just changing the fabric. I have years of quilting behind me. No way would I suggest to a beginner to do what I do. I think she just wants to do this without any basic knowledge. She has always said that it's easy to make a quilt. (she has never made one).

  9. #9
    Super Member Pinkiris's Avatar
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    Be VERY gentle with your friend--her pride is involved here! Sounds like she wanted to prove how "easy" quilting is without learning the basics.

    How about buying her some charm squares to start with?

    Sue

  10. #10
    Super Member leiladylei54's Avatar
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    What a good friend you are to try to help her!!! Right now she's probably frustrated and so any mention to help her with it only makes her feel more inadequate. Give her some time to simmer down and maybe later try to show her how to do it. I hope this problem doesn't make her decide that quilting is just not her thing. Maybe if you say that we ALL had to start somewhere and with lots of mistakes. I'm sure even the most seasoned quilter still makes mistakes.

  11. #11
    Power Poster sueisallaboutquilts's Avatar
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    Aww, she sounds really frustrated and you do too b/c you're such a sweet friend!! Hope it works out :)

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaperPrincess
    Bless your heart. Sounds like she did not cut the strips square to the fold of the fabric & wound up with Vs instead of strips.
    i agree..AND when your sewing length of fabric strips, you need to rotate them..top of the strip,sewed to the next "bottom" of the strip. i know, clear as mud. i was taught this when i was making a quilt with strips/strings. to keep it from getting all wonky.

    Copied from our own "quilting news letter"

    "Strip Piecing - When strip piecing, sew two strips together and press. First 'set the seam' by pressing the side of the strip set that you will be pressing the seam allowance toward - then open and press the strips on the right side. For example if you are stitching a blue strip to a green strip and you wish to press toward the blue, run your iron over the seam on the blue side of the strip set. Then open the strip and press the green strip as the iron pushes toward the blue strip.

    Take the third strip and sew it in the opposite direction of the first stitching. Press again as above. Continue adding strips by reversing the sewing direction as each strip is added. Press after each strip is added. This sewing and pressing method really helps in keeping the strip sets even so they don't curve or twist."

  13. #13
    Super Member patchsamkim's Avatar
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    Has she taken a class? Maybe offer to go to a class with her...that way you would be showing your support, but someone else would be doing the teaching. I hope it works out so she does continue quilting.

  14. #14
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    Hasn't this happened to most of us! I know that this is usually my pattern- see new project, jump right in the middle of the process with out starting at begining and learning basic terchniques and then having mess and want to stop. I think that your friend is not unusual. Correct her mistakes and then asked her if she want you to show her the basics. Quilting is not hard but there are techniques that make it easier. I think that it is easier to learn from other people's mistakes and methods. At least she did not throw the fabric away!

  15. #15
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhonda Lee
    ... She has always said that it's easy to make a quilt. (she has never made one).
    Sadly, I think that a lot of folks have this idea, which is why gifts are sometimes not appreciated and people are amazed at what you would charge them to make a quilt. I agree with the other posters who said to give her some time, then suggest taking a class together.

  16. #16
    Super Member Dina's Avatar
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    I suspect she is embarrassed to have messed up so badly and really was ready to toss it. I can understand that. It is easier to mess up with a stranger than with a friend. It shouldn't be, but it is. (or at least it is for me...) She needs to start a new project that is guaranteed easy...and a small project. She has already learned a lot, now she could just learn a little at a time. :)

    ...I just reread this and none of it may be accurate....just me trying to put myself in her place. You are a good friend, and she certainly needs that.

  17. #17
    Super Member IrishNY's Avatar
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    This is the kind of situation that I use my "oh, you made the same mistake I did when I started. We all make this one once, at least" chatter. As soon as you tell them you did the same thing, it takes the ego out of the way because you are being vulnerable with them. Usually that opens them up to be able to listen.

    And we have all made that mistake, or worse! :D

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