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Thread: Question about alighnment.

  1. #1
    Member xxmbbxx's Avatar
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    Question about alighnment.

    Ok...quick question. When I sew, my seams are perfect and everything lines up when I lay things next to each other. Great...well as soon as I sew a sashing or another block to a piece, it goes all wonky after for the rest of the pieces, and I cant get them to line up again! How can I prevent this? Ill post an example.

    Like this one had perfect seams all throughout but as soon as I cut it in threes and stitched the white sashing to one side, it went crooked.
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  2. #2
    Power Poster Sadiemae's Avatar
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    Is it stretching you press it?
    Sadiemae

  3. #3
    Member xxmbbxx's Avatar
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    I press it before I sew, maybe I am not pressing right?
    Continuous effort - not strength or intelligence - is the key to unlocking our potential. - Winston Churchill

  4. #4
    Super Member LyndaOH's Avatar
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    Not seeing what you're doing makes it hard to diagnose, but I would guess that the problem is when you are cutting the strips and sewing them together initially. You don't see the problem until you cut it into three's but it's there.

    When you are cutting your strips you have to be sure to be precise, both when you measure them and then when you make the actual cut. It's very easy to veer off slightly and end up with a strip that's not even. Make sure before you cut that you've got the fabric folded perfectly.

    When you are sewing a series of strips, sew the first two together in one direction, then add the next strip by sewing in the other direction. This will help with the wonkiness.

    When you added the horizontal sashing, did you measure the piece of sashing or did you just take a long piece, sew it on and then trim it? You should measure the length of the sashing so they are exactly the same, pin at either end and then in the center, and add more pins if necessary.

    I hope this helps!

    Lynda

  5. #5
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    Some of the strips are not cut the same size. It is hard to make sure eveything is perfectly cut and sewn.
    Another Phyllis
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  6. #6
    Super Member GingerK's Avatar
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    I think I see a slight bow in the upper middle of your block. If everything measured the same to that point, something has stretched, probably with a little too aggresive pressing. Try pinning your block to the ironing board {or another flat surface) in the correct measurement, spray with water, and let dry. I'll bet it will come out right.

    The other thing to check is when you are cutting accross a lot of seams--like this one. Make sure that the weight of your hand is on the area you are cutting--even if it means that you have to stop a few times on the way down the cut and remeasure and reposition the ruler. The seams will throw off the cut if the pressure is not the same.

    Honestly, don't worry about a small difference here and there. Such a small amount will work itself into the quilt quite easily.
    Last edited by GingerK; 03-10-2012 at 08:38 PM.
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  7. #7
    Power Poster Sadiemae's Avatar
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    I think it may be a combination of several of the things mentioned. After teaching beginning quilting for a couple of years, I will say that this is one of those patterns where any little error will be compounded as you go. There are no seams to match where you can ease things in, so they stand out.

    One other thing you might watch. When you sew long strips, 'hold onto the end of the strip when it is sewn'. Sometimes it is easy to just let go and the end of the seam will not be 1/4".
    Sadiemae

  8. #8
    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
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    Your problem may be this:
    If your block strips are cut on the cross grain of the fabric - from selvage to selvage - then the cut ends, where you sectioned them for the sashing, are on the straight grain....with no stretch or give at all.

    Then if you cut the sashing strips on the cross grain of the fabric - from selvage to selvage - which has a bit of stretch or give, you may find your pressure foot is pushing the sashing strip along ahead of the 'toe', causing this misalignment.

    To solve this, always place the strips on top of the sashing as you are sewing them together.

    Sometimes we just plain forget that grain in quilting really can affect the finished product, sometimes! I know I do!

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    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    If all of your colored strips are the same width, then the solution is this. After you sew the sashing to the first piece, turn it over. On the wrong side, using a pencil and ruler, mark each seam allowance across to the other side of the sashing. Pin the next piece to that sashing, matching each seam on the new piece to each pencil mark on the sashing. This will force you to ease either the sashing or stripped piece as you sew to get the two to match.

    That will pretty much solve the problem.

    Edit: Another thing that will help is if you measure the colored sections first, similar to how you would measure a quilt for adding a border. Measure all 3, average the measurements, and cut the sashing strips to that length before adding the first sashing strip.

    p.s. I really like the quilt and may steal that idea!!!
    Last edited by Prism99; 03-10-2012 at 09:45 PM.

  10. #10
    Super Member LeslieFrost's Avatar
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    Thanks for asking this question! I have learned so much from the answers!
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  11. #11
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    if it's not the pressing causing the issue, you may get better results by pinning every strip intersection to the sash.
    Nancy in western NY
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by GingerK View Post
    I think I see a slight bow in the upper middle of your block. If everything measured the same to that point, something has stretched, probably with a little too aggresive pressing. Try pinning your block to the ironing board {or another flat surface) in the correct measurement, spray with water, and let dry. I'll bet it will come out right.

    The other thing to check is when you are cutting accross a lot of seams--like this one. Make sure that the weight of your hand is on the area you are cutting--even if it means that you have to stop a few times on the way down the cut and remeasure and reposition the ruler. The seams will throw off the cut if the pressure is not the same.

    Honestly, don't worry about a small difference here and there. Such a small amount will work itself into the quilt quite easily.
    She is right and the quilting covers a multitude of sins also. LOL

  13. #13
    Senior Member QuiltingCrazie's Avatar
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    I think everyone covered the sewing but one thing too that unless your taught alot of people don't realize where to measure when adding sashing and borders. Measure thru the middle of whatever your adding, strips or borders. have fun!!
    *Rachel*

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by xxmbbxx View Post
    I press it before I sew, maybe I am not pressing right?
    First of all if you use starch it does help reduce stretching. When you press make sure you press instead of ironning back and forth like we are taught as kids doing clothes. The up and down of pressing makes a difference.
    Judy

  15. #15
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    Wow, this discussion has been a quilting 101. Great information from everyone. Your quilt is going to look lovely.

  16. #16
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    To me the strips don't look even, the same size, could be cutting them improperly, sewing them wrong, not squaring up at each step to make sure you haven't stretched the fabric. Also the left side of your quilt looks smaller than the right side. I think you will be fine if you just slow down. Slowing down really helps accuracy

  17. #17
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    also realign the edges about evey other cut. The ruler tends to slip and you don't have perfect cuts (squares)

  18. #18
    Super Member LeslieFrost's Avatar
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    I agree! Not matter what I do, I get off grain after 3 or so cuts. I just straighten the edge again, and keep going. I also think that it is boring to make cut after cut, so I tend to cut only a little ahead, then do something else. This works for me, but might not work for others.


    Quote Originally Posted by Holice View Post
    also realign the edges about evey other cut. The ruler tends to slip and you don't have perfect cuts (squares)
    Reading, cooking, sewing in retirement! Heaven!
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  19. #19
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    All of the above are possible problems. I think you might also be pulling as you feed it through the machine, which was a problem I had with my binding. It might also help if you starch/size heavilybefore you begin your sewing.

  20. #20
    Super Member QuiltnLady1's Avatar
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    The suggestions about cutting are great -- starching too. The other thing to watch out for if you cut a lot of strips is the bow in the strip.

    However, at this point, I would draw a lines across the back of the sashing fabric like Prism99 said that are the average width of the stripes, then match the strips to the to the lines and pin. I would probably sew with the stripes on the bottom if there are a lot of them that are wider than the average. The feed dogs will ease in the fabric a bit.
    QuiltnLady1

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  21. #21
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Just to clarify, I do not recommend marking the average width of the strips. I recommend marking the actual seams of the strips.

    The averaging is when measuring the width of the pieced blocks, so the sashing can be cut that width. That is actually the first step. Above is the second step.

    This is the same method I use when using blocks that are going to be sashed without cornerstones. It keeps all the blocks lined up with one another.

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