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Thread: Please Help MY BLOCK IS NOT THE SAME SIZE!!!!!

  1. #1
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    :? :( :( I 'mm really stumped, I cut 3 7/8 sq's and I don't get any 12' block I get 11 and 13 or 11 and 11 1/2 or 13and 11. Try as I may they aren't the same Now I cut 4 7/8 sq's and I got a 16" block BUT I made another one and it was Less than 16". Any way to cut them bigger or smaller?? I don't know.HELP!!!!

  2. #2
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    show us a picture of one, please

  3. #3
    Super Member Moonpi's Avatar
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    If all your components are identically sized, the difference is in your seam width. A few threads off on every block will add up to inches in the end.

    You can make yourself crazy and pull out all the sewing, or do it the lazy way I do.
    Measure all blocks, take size of smallest. Make new seam in blocks (or more if wayyyy out) to adjust to new smaller block size. If you are committed to a certain measurement for the quilt, use sashing, borders, or more blocks to compensate. Eat chocolate and remind yourself that you are only human.

  4. #4
    bj
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    Super Member bj's Avatar
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    I'm guessing inconsistent seam allowances (a problem I struggle with!). I've found two things helpful for me. I found a tool that has seam allowances with a hole at each measurement. It's red and looks like a ruler, about 6" long. I put my needle through the quarter inch hole, put the presser foot down, and then make sure the ruler is straight. Then I align a strip of thick mole skin along the edge of the ruler and try to position the needle so the edge of the presser foot is also at the quarter inch mark. It helps me keep my seams fairly consistent and helps me sew a little straighter than I tend to do free hand.

  5. #5
    Super Member ceannastahr's Avatar
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    I took a few pieces of templet plastic and stacked together with double back tape maked the quater " and placed on the line.


  6. #6
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    It sounds like the seams vary in width, I had this problem when I first started before I got my 1/4 inch foot. I sized all the blocks to the smallest of all my blocks, I lost some of my points, and chalked it up to a learning experience. :)

  7. #7
    Super Member mimisharon's Avatar
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    I have to add an AMEN to the quarter inch foot! I could never get it right, tried taping, tried marking the throat plate, but the quarter inch foot is wonderful. You can find one for your machine at Clotilde online, if you don't have one already.

    Happier Quilting to you,
    Sharon

  8. #8
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    :? :( I have a quarter inch foot and it doesn't help as it says scant quarter inch foot so I try and do it but to no avail. What now???

  9. #9
    Senior Member rismstress's Avatar
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    I know I'm late on replying to this post but one reason I think the directions say scant 1/4 inch is because when you press the seam, a few threads get lost in the fold. Unless you press the seam open, one side of the seam will be a few threads smaller. Use alot of pieces or seams in your block, and you could have a much smaller block.
    Hope this helps.
    Cheryl

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loretta
    I share your thoughts on what a scant 1/4 inch means. I have been frustrated about this for a long time. Why do they do this? Can't a block just be designed for a regular 1/4 inch seam? I have had problems with the points on my stars coming out to the edge of the block and then when you sew the blocks together you will lose some of the point. It is so aggravating- cause you have to try to go a "few threads away from the 1/4 inch seam". Good luck with this ---- it is still bugging me! LOL
    "They" dont do this, it is a result, as some have already said, of the fold when you press the seam to one side, you lose some of the fabric that would part of the block.

    The alternative, for those of you that want to use the full 1/4 inch, would be some very weird cutting directions... to increase each piece by 1/16th or 1/8th of and inch would never work,

    So, to sew with a scant 1/4 works for everyone..if you learn to do this..

    Some designers have gone to much larger cutting directions and you trim to the correct size after the seam has been sewn...but that only helps with the first pass, as you add pieces to the block , you are back into the same issue..

    so, for those that dont get it.. a scant 1/4 inch seam is a few threads outside the quarter inch seam line. If you were to draw the seam line on your pieces, you would sew, not on the line, but off to the side of the mark, that is enough to be a scant 1/4 inch

  11. #11
    Senior Member foxxigrani's Avatar
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    Boy is the the subject for me. Now I understand the lose of threads and such when you press, what I can't understand is when they make a 1/4" foot why don't they make a scant? I have had so many problems and even with the foot. Your try that scant and you are off. Yes I love the foot its easier but I can't sew a straight line to save life. Heck I can't even sew on a button. So if the foot is suppose to be a miracle for us that can't. Why don't they make it that scant? Doesn't make sense to me anyway. If I ever made the right sized block it would totally knock me off my chair. I have tried and tried and tried. I am like everyone else, sew it together and hope for the best when making a block. What is going on here.

    Make me a foot the size I need not the size that I have to still take that scant off. Hear me manufactors. My pet peeve.

    Rita

  12. #12
    Member treeboss's Avatar
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    Just a quick bit of input from a very new quilter on how to keep seam allowances...I use the 1/4" foam sticky insulation strips that come in a roll. Measure from the needle hole in your sewing plate out to where you want your seam allowance and tape a strip from the back of your sewing machine to the front. The foam is just thick enought to help giude the fabric and it comes off easily if you need to change seam allowances for different projects! It's a pretty cheap solution and, after a while, I think I can get the hang of where I need to be without it. :D

  13. #13
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    When I first started making blocks, I know that my seam allowances were not 1/4" but I made sure that they were all the same, and that worked too. Sure, my blocks weren't the size the pattern specified - so what.
    I recall drawing a sewing line with pencil on some of the seams where it really mattered.

    Sorry to sound like a broken record, but practice, practice, practice.

  14. #14
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    You say you are cutting 3 7/8 strips for blocks. Are you making HST'S? If so cut them at 4" and trim down to 3.5 after sewing together.

  15. #15
    Super Member Olivia's Grammy's Avatar
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    I have a student that for the life of her can't not get the 1/4" seam. I've tried everything to help her. Now I just tell her to be consistant. It does make her quilts a little smaller. It also causes problem if there are a lot of pieces in the block. She is so eager to learn that I try to keep her projects simple. BUT that is not to say I don't challenge her with new ideas.

  16. #16
    Super Member Deecee's Avatar
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    I use a 1/4" foot and think its great but I have also used tape built up thick to guide the fabric.

    Are you "pressing" your seams or "ironing" them which can distort your block?

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