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Thread: Progress on Ninja Star quilt

  1. #1
    Super Member Flying_V_Goddess's Avatar
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    I'm finally getting started on the Ninja Star quilt. I finished a couple of test blocks (I'll post pictures of them later). I kind of run into a couple problems.

    1. My blocks are supposed to be 8 1/2", but they're coming out to 8 3/8". I'm not sure why. My seams are coming out right.

    2. My cardboard templates are already wearing out. I have another print-out of the templates and enough cardboard to do another set, but I don't think they'll last through the 500+ pieces of this quilt. I was thinking of maybe going to the hardware stores and getting Plexi-glass templates cut out, but when I asked my mom about prices she told me it would cost an arm and a leg.

  2. #2
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    You can use plastic lids, too :D They will not wear out when you repeatively trace around them.

  3. #3
    Super Member Flying_V_Goddess's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amma
    You can use plastic lids, too :D They will not wear out when you repeatively trace around them.
    Oh, sweet! There's like 100 plastic lids from ice cream buckets in one of the cupboards :mrgreen:. The only thing is they're not big enough for the square for the middle of one of the blocks and the other square for the corners of the quilt. But I think cardboard will work okay for those since I only need about 20 for both of them.

  4. #4
    Super Member Flying_V_Goddess's Avatar
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    Here's the test blocks I made for the first block. I should have pictures for the second block tomorrow.

    I still can't figure out why they came out to 8 3/8".

  5. #5
    mgshaw's Avatar
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    sometimes I have betterluck using a scant 1/4 in in blocks that have so many pieces to it. sometimes even with a perfect 1/4 in you loose a little in the pressing, you might try it on another test block. those look really great! perfect points in the center! give yourself a pat on the back cause i cant reach you!!

  6. #6
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    Good Job Flying_V!!!! :D :D 8) :D :D As long as all of your blocks come out to the 8 3/8 you will be fine! Did you use the same ruler to cut out all of your pieces and measure the completed blocks?

  7. #7
    Super Member Flying_V_Goddess's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mgshaw
    sometimes I have betterluck using a scant 1/4 in in blocks that have so many pieces to it. sometimes even with a perfect 1/4 in you loose a little in the pressing, you might try it on another test block. those look really great! perfect points in the center! give yourself a pat on the back cause i cant reach you!!
    I never really understood a scant 1/4" seam...its supposed to be like a hair shorter than 1/4", right? How can you tell if you sewn a scant 1/4" seam anyways?

  8. #8
    mgshaw's Avatar
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    my machine has many needle positions and i just set it over 1 notch to the right so it is just a tiny bit less than a 1/4"

  9. #9
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    I was told that it is 2 threads short of a 1/4" :shock: Not a good thing for me and my old eyes :lol:

  10. #10
    mgshaw's Avatar
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    i think that is what i heard too

  11. #11
    Super Member Flying_V_Goddess's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amma
    Good Job Flying_V!!!! :D :D 8) :D :D As long as all of your blocks come out to the 8 3/8 you will be fine! Did you use the same ruler to cut out all of your pieces and measure the completed blocks?
    I didn't measure the pieces...but the templates I had said they are supposed to be 8" when finished (so 8 1/2" with the seam allowances). I used the same ruler to measure both blocks...both came out to 8 3/8".

  12. #12
    mgshaw's Avatar
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    you might measure your templates cause sometimes these things dont always print out exactly right

  13. #13
    mgshaw's Avatar
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    i made some storm at sea placemats once and one section of it i cound never get to measure out right,I ripped, I resewed and I ripped some more finally i checked the templates and sure enough they measured too small and of course I had already cut out all my pieces and it was one of the few times I didnt buy extra fabric.

  14. #14
    Super Member Kyiav10's Avatar
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    They look great flying V.

    Keep up the good work.

    Kyia

  15. #15
    lin
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    Your blocks are beautiful! I've never gotten that many points to come together so perfectly! I'm impressed.

    I'm with the others on the scant ". I just try to get a couple of threads closer to the edge and it seems to work pretty well. I'm surprised the one that you pressed with the seams open didn't come out a little larger though. I've heard that pressing to one side is the reason we have to go to a scant to make the blocks come out the right size.

    Hope you get it worked out Flying_V because it's sure going to be beautiful when you're done!!

  16. #16
    Senior Member Lisa's Avatar
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    Lin was right, those are Perfect Points!!!!!! You should be proud of that! Hey, why don't you just call the hardware store and ask about how much the plexiglass would cost before you dismiss it, they might even have some scraps of it or something, you never know! Also, you can buy template sheets at Walmart or a quilt store very cheap, have you checked that out yet? Good luck your doing a great job!

  17. #17
    Super Member Moonpi's Avatar
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    This happens to me when I do woodworking - with wood, it's called kerfing, from the width of the saw blade. Your mark from the template will always be off by the width of the marker you use. Even if you cut and sew directly from your mark, it starts a whisker off. Multiply this by the number of parts you have used templates for, and over the width of a quilt you can be off a couple inches.

    Strip cutting allows you to cut with only a margin of error equivalent to a razor edge. I would figure out the size squares I need to cut in half to produce 2 triangles at a time. I think for the long haul, it would be easier than trying to guess how many thread-widths you need to be over from your 1/4"

  18. #18
    Member mathteacher's Avatar
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    I've heard that many hospitals will give away xray sheets, and they make great templates. You can even see through them if you want to fussy cut!

  19. #19
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    Flying_V, do you use a rotary cutter and mat?

  20. #20
    ButtercreamCakeArtist's Avatar
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    I think Lowe's cuts plexi glass for free, but I can't say for sure. Our Lowe's has the poorest customer service. I bought one of the knives to cut the stuff myself (I have not cut it or done anything with it, yet). That's what I bought it for, quilt templates. It really wasn't expensive. I can't remember how much it was bc I've had it a while. I think one 8 x 10 piece was around $2. The larger the size, the more it costs...BUT if they will cut it for free, you might be better off (and save money) having a larger piece cut into smaller pieces...more for your money. Maybe have leftovers for templates for another project...???
    Call your local hardware store and see.

  21. #21
    ButtercreamCakeArtist's Avatar
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    Oh, and BTW, your blocks are great! Nice work!! :D

  22. #22
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    I had Home Depot cut some plexiglass for me about a year ago. The cost was very minimal and it was free to cut the templates I wanted. The young man helping me looked at me like I had two heads when I gave him all the sizes and shapes, but he did them :) Like someone posted before, call and find out how much a sheet of plexiglass is. Oh and there might be a coupon off in your Sunday paper.

  23. #23
    Super Member Flying_V_Goddess's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moonpi
    This happens to me when I do woodworking - with wood, it's called kerfing, from the width of the saw blade. Your mark from the template will always be off by the width of the marker you use. Even if you cut and sew directly from your mark, it starts a whisker off. Multiply this by the number of parts you have used templates for, and over the width of a quilt you can be off a couple inches.

    Strip cutting allows you to cut with only a margin of error equivalent to a razor edge. I would figure out the size squares I need to cut in half to produce 2 triangles at a time. I think for the long haul, it would be easier than trying to guess how many thread-widths you need to be over from your 1/4"
    I used a pen with a ultra fine tip (almost mechancial pencil lead thin) to mark my fabric and cut as close as I possibly can. Even so, like you said it can be a whisker off anyways. But both blocks (though they vary in the number of pieces) came out to about the same size---8 3/8". Technically, if its the margin of error that's messing things up, shouldn't the one with more pieces be smaller than the other?

  24. #24
    Super Member Flying_V_Goddess's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lin
    Your blocks are beautiful! I've never gotten that many points to come together so perfectly! I'm impressed.

    I'm with the others on the scant ". I just try to get a couple of threads closer to the edge and it seems to work pretty well. I'm surprised the one that you pressed with the seams open didn't come out a little larger though. I've heard that pressing to one side is the reason we have to go to a scant to make the blocks come out the right size.

    Hope you get it worked out Flying_V because it's sure going to be beautiful when you're done!!
    Thanks! That was my first shot at triangles and I guess I did a good job for a first try. :mrgreen:

  25. #25
    Super Member Flying_V_Goddess's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amma
    Flying_V, do you use a rotary cutter and mat?
    No. I tried learning, but never got the hang of it. Seemed to waste more fabric than getting accurately cut pieces to come out of it. So I've resorted to pre-cut templates to reduce the number of mess ups since I don't have the money to afford miserably trying to perfect my rotary cutting skills. Actually, fabric for my current projects (Ninja Star and Tsunami) have come from some very generous quilters (thank you again---you know who you are) so my margin for messing up is even smaller so I'm not going to put a rotary cutter anywhere near that fabric! lol.

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