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Thread: OK-What am I doing wrong????

  1. #1
    Super Member lovelyl's Avatar
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    I am making half square triangles and want to turn them to make primative stars (essentially a 9 patch with a solid square in center and half square triangles around it- See pic). I can get the 9 patch to look like a star, but the problem is I don't have the ability to sew it to another block using a 1/4" seam with out loosing the points of the stars. What I am I doing wrong? I know I am missing something simple... Help!!!!
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  2. #2
    Super Member katier825's Avatar
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    Double check your measurements of the cut fabrics and also the seam allowance. They should all look like the one on the right.

  3. #3
    Super Member AlwaysQuilting's Avatar
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    I think you need to trim your white blocks larger. You don't have 1/4" leftover at 3 of the points for the seam allowance. If you look at the star point on the right, there's 1/4" of white above the point. But the other 3 points don't have that.

  4. #4
    Super Member crafty_linda_b's Avatar
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    Your losing your points...there isn't any seam allowance except for on the center one on the right side. You need to make sure that there is a little white showing above the blue. That will go into your seam and disappear. When you sew the blocks together make sure you don't sew over your blue points. Good luck. crafty_linda_b

  5. #5
    Power Poster earthwalker's Avatar
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    Ok, I have made some of these and I will try to explain (hope it won't be too confusing:)). Say, you want a 6 inch total. Cut squares 2 1/2 inches (this is for the solid squares - the background and the centre of the star) for the other squares (the bi-coloured units) cut them 2 7/8 inches. When stitching the bi-coloured units be sure and keep a really accurate 1/4 inch seam. I learned this technique from a really useful book "Scrap Quilt Sensation" by Katharine Guerrier.

  6. #6
    Super Member Doreen's Avatar
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    I am in the middle of make "ocean Waves" and I used the paper half square triangles. They come out perfect everytime.

  7. #7
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    The HST on the right side is the correct size because you have the 1/4" for the seam allowance. The other HSTs do not have the seam allowance so your measurements seem to be off on those. I would suggest you take the block apart and measure each piece to see what went wrong - then duplicate the dimensions from the correct one. HSTs are not the easiest for a newbie.

    Hang in there.

    How do you sew your HSTs? I generally cut my squares 1" larger than the finished HST size. Then I draw a sewing line 1/4" from the center in each direction. I sew on those lines and then cut the HST apart down the center. Press open and trim to the correct size. It IS a little bit more work but my HSTs don't lose points.

  8. #8
    Super Member spartan quilter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MadQuilter
    The HST on the right side is the correct size because you have the 1/4" for the seam allowance. The other HSTs do not have the seam allowance so your measurements seem to be off on those. I would suggest you take the block apart and measure each piece to see what went wrong - then duplicate the dimensions from the correct one. HSTs are not the easiest for a newbie.

    Hang in there.

    How do you sew your HSTs? I generally cut my squares 1" larger than the finished HST size. Then I draw a sewing line 1/4" from the center in each direction. I sew on those lines and then cut the HST apart down the center. Press open and trim to the correct size. It IS a little bit more work but my HSTs don't lose points.
    This is what I do, also. Another step, but a perfect square at the end, and I have been where you are at. Think I got that hint on this board, also. It works.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by MadQuilter
    The HST on the right side is the correct size because you have the 1/4" for the seam allowance. The other HSTs do not have the seam allowance so your measurements seem to be off on those. I would suggest you take the block apart and measure each piece to see what went wrong - then duplicate the dimensions from the correct one. HSTs are not the easiest for a newbie.

    Hang in there.

    How do you sew your HSTs? I generally cut my squares 1" larger than the finished HST size. Then I draw a sewing line 1/4" from the center in each direction. I sew on those lines and then cut the HST apart down the center. Press open and trim to the correct size. It IS a little bit more work but my HSTs don't lose points.
    This is the way I do it as well. Works much better for me.

  10. #10
    Senior Member SharBear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MadQuilter
    The HST on the right side is the correct size because you have the 1/4" for the seam allowance. The other HSTs do not have the seam allowance so your measurements seem to be off on those. I would suggest you take the block apart and measure each piece to see what went wrong - then duplicate the dimensions from the correct one. HSTs are not the easiest for a newbie.

    Hang in there.

    How do you sew your HSTs? I generally cut my squares 1" larger than the finished HST size. Then I draw a sewing line 1/4" from the center in each direction. I sew on those lines and then cut the HST apart down the center. Press open and trim to the correct size. It IS a little bit more work but my HSTs don't lose points.

    Wow - I'm trying this tonight when boys go to bed - I always put the line down the center and sew 1/4" in either side. Sounds like your method gets better results.

  11. #11
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    another important point is that your iron is your good friend. Press well (without stretching) the hst before you trim down to size!

  12. #12
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    I think I'm missing something. Do you still get 2 hst's.


    How do you sew your HSTs? I generally cut my squares 1" larger than the finished HST size. Then I draw a sewing line 1/4" from the center in each direction. I sew on those lines and then cut the HST apart down the center. Press open and trim to the correct size. It IS a little bit more work but my HSTs don't lose points.[/quote]

  13. #13
    Super Member EasyPeezy's Avatar
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    For every new project I check my seam allowance first. I hate doing it but
    if I don't it will come and bite me. Take 3 strips of fabric 5" x 1.5", sew them
    side by side, press and measure the middle strip. It should be 1". If not,
    adjust your needle slightly to the left or to the right.

    And for HST's I cut 1" bigger like Madquilter explained. I'm making lots of
    HST's right now and sewing 8 at a time. Requires a bit of trimming but
    comes out right.

  14. #14
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    You need to go back to your original measurements. It appears they are not correct - either in cutting or sewing.
    It is always a good idea to measure after evert sean si uf tiy are giubg "off" yu can correct it at that point and not after you have made hundres of them.

  15. #15
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    It is all in the accuracy of cutting and seams. I know because I am doing this now.

  16. #16
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    Can/will you show us a photo/scan of the back of the block.

    We can get many clues from that.

  17. #17
    Super Member hairquilt's Avatar
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    It seems like I remember a tutorial on this with pictures to explain. Try a search for it. I have to have a picture to understand something I am so visual!

  18. #18
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    Honestly, I just don't draw the line down the center of the lighter fabric. I'd rather draw my sewing lines. It seems to work better for me because I can eyeball the cut line. And yes, I do get 2 HSTs.

    I have done them by cutting the squares the recommended 7/8" larger than the finished block size but found that it left me with NO leeway in sewing, pressing or cutting. I had to be soooo careful. When I overcut the block size to 1" minimum, I don't have to be so darn perfect.

    Here is another method - I have not tried it but Rhonda swears by it:
    http://www.quiltingboard.com/t-46365-1.htm

    Here is one method where you get 4 at a whack BUT I don't use it because of where the bias (stretchy) edges end:
    http://www.quiltingboard.com/t-74134-1.htm

  19. #19
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    Lovely, I always had a hard time with this square. I learned that the middle square is 3" but to make the two half squares you need to make them 3 and a half. You need to use a quarter inch marker so you sew two lines. Then cut down the center. Now when you press you should have a quarter inch of material to see your diamond when you sew. It does make a difference when you sew that you sew a quarter inch and be your careful when you iron. I made all these mistakes. I hope this helps Karen Lynn from Freedom Ohio

  20. #20
    Super Member lovelyl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by earthwalker
    Ok, I have made some of these and I will try to explain (hope it won't be too confusing:)). Say, you want a 6 inch total. Cut squares 2 1/2 inches (this is for the solid squares - the background and the centre of the star) for the other squares (the bi-coloured units) cut them 2 7/8 inches. When stitching the bi-coloured units be sure and keep a really accurate 1/4 inch seam. I learned this technique from a really useful book "Scrap Quilt Sensation" by Katharine Guerrier.
    I tried this and it worked! Thanks to all for the advice. I will post my project when finished!

  21. #21
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    I am really glad you got it. I just couldn't explain it as well as you. I happen to be making that same square on a project for my stepmom, for her birthday this weekend. I was wondering if you were or had worked on your project. I'm for glad for you. :thumbup: Karen from Freedom Ohio

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