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Thread: Quarter inch seams

  1. #1
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    Quarter inch seams

    Help. I am making a quilt with each block being cut to 5 and 1/4 inch blocks. Then they have a design that is appliqued on them. My problem is that when I cut the background squares and put on the applique pieces the finished block no longer measures the 5 and 1/4 inch. What can I do. I have to totally disguard some the blocks they are way off. However, some of the others are just slightly off. My question -- can I just make slightly smaller seam allowances? I could use a paper template as the background and sew the blocks together that way so that the finished block will measure correctly. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Super Member MaryMo's Avatar
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    my thoughts .... why not applique and then cut your blocks. I usually applique after the top is put together. It sounds like an interesting pattern .... maybe pictures will help?
    Make it a scrappy happy day!

  3. #3
    Super Member Gramie bj's Avatar
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    I would make the block bigger do my applique than trim block down to correct size.

  4. #4
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    I'm with Gramie bj - make your blocks bigger, applique, then trim.

  5. #5
    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    Yes, you can do slightly smaller seams on the completed ones - just shorten your stitch length a bit unless you already sew with a close stitch. On the next ones, applique first and cut second as mentioned.

  6. #6
    Super Member grammy Dwynn's Avatar
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    Agree with the others ~ cut bigger, applique, then trim to correct size. Good luck!
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  7. #7
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    I also would cut bigger, applique, then trim.

  8. #8
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    If this is just for you, I'd trim the blocks you've finished to 5" square rather than discarding them. There's no sense in letting all your hard work go to waste. Then, if you make the quilt again, you will know to cut the blocks larger and trim to size after applique-ing.

  9. #9
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    When I have participated in block exchanges and received blocks that were too small, I have added sashing and then trimmed the block to size. Since I am assuming that your background for each applique is the same, you could trim each block to a uniform size and sash with the background material and no one will ever know the difference. But that's only if you want the 5 and 1/4 inch block. Personally, I would just cut everything down to the same size after I put the applique on the rest of the blocks. froggyintexas
    Quote Originally Posted by mvalley View Post
    Help. I am making a quilt with each block being cut to 5 and 1/4 inch blocks. Then they have a design that is appliqued on them. My problem is that when I cut the background squares and put on the applique pieces the finished block no longer measures the 5 and 1/4 inch. What can I do. I have to totally disguard some the blocks they are way off. However, some of the others are just slightly off. My question -- can I just make slightly smaller seam allowances? I could use a paper template as the background and sew the blocks together that way so that the finished block will measure correctly. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  10. #10
    Super Member quilt addict's Avatar
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    Agree with the others on the options. When you have applique, it will take up some of the size of the fabric so you need to compensate for that by making it larger then cut down after applique is finished. I believe this is the same for embroidery on blocks.
    Lisa

  11. #11
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    Always something to learn from others on here. Lots of knowledgeable people.
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  12. #12
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    I would make my blocks larger before I applique and then cut them down to the 5 1/4
    http://www.oregonquilting.net
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  13. #13
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    Show us pictures in case we can think of other options.
    Cheryl Robinson
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  14. #14
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    have you read all the way through the instructions? maybe they start out at 4 1/4" to be trimmed after appliqueing- it is common to cut your squares 1/2"-1" larger than needed for applique- then trimming after to the required size- most of my purchased applique patterns have you cut your squares 1" larger than needed block size.
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  15. #15
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    I agree with everyone about embroidering first, then cutting to size. But I also have found that if I use a stabilizer behind my fabric when embroidering, it doesn't shrink. Then I just either tear away the stabilizer or soak in water to "melt" it depending on what kind of stabilizer I've used.

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    Thanks so much for all the ideas. Once I get it finished I'll try to post a picture. It has been quite a project so far.

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    If you make the block larger to cut down later, mark where it is to be cut down to, so that your applique does not get too close to the sew line. I made my applique background bigger and forgot and ended up sewing some into seam allowance. I worked on the quilt for two years, easy to bring to work and sew on during break time, was in no hurry,
    Susan

  18. #18
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    Does the pattern give you the finished size of the block after appliqueing? Seems to me that appliqueing will take up some of the cut block so perhaps the pattern has allowed for that and the finished block size is smaller than 5 1/4" cut size. I would square all blocks to the smallist size block instead of making smaller seams. Smaller seams may pull out and then you will really have a mess!
    "In the crazy quilt of life, I'm glad you are in my block of friends."

  19. #19
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    I agree with Gramie bj and Nammie to 7 cut blocks larger, applique and then trim. this way each block is cut to the perfect size.

  20. #20
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    When I applique sometimes I use an embroidery hoop or try not to pull too tight on the stitches. I have also used a basting spray to keep the applique in place. Every little stitch can result in a pucker that can pull the fabric to the middle. Works for me.

  21. #21
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    When you add an applique to a block, it can get slightly smaller. I would make the blocks 6", then trim down to 5 1/4 inches after finishing the applique. That should solve your problem.

  22. #22
    Junior Member iwillquilt's Avatar
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    For the ones you have done I would add a sashing to make them the size you need. It can be the same material as your background or something fun to bring out your applique. It would be a shame to waste all your hard work.

  23. #23
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    If your applique is simple, maybe you could size it down a bit.

  24. #24
    Super Member eparys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gramie bj View Post
    I would make the block bigger do my applique than trim block down to correct size.
    I agree - I would wait to trim the block until after the applique.
    Betty

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  25. #25
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    When I have scant seams (usually from one mistake or another) I use June Taylor Fray Block on the seams to make sure they hold. This should help with the blocks you've already completed.

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