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Thread: Question about Blocks of the Month

  1. #1
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    These look really beautiful, and when you start them for 2011, I may need to try it. I am wondering this though. When I look at the completed blocks, I do not see where you would connect the blocks to each other because there is not a lot of room around the edges. Won;t you lose the pattern when you attach them?

  2. #2
    Member judyrael's Avatar
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    I've also wondered the same thing in a lot of different blocks that I was going to try. I just made a pretty star block and it is right to the end, so I know I will lose the tips of the stars when I join them, so decided to just make it in to a potholder. Hope someone can answer this for us.

  3. #3
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    Generally, when one does a BOM, you then use a pattern of some sort to 'set' your blocks. In order not to 'lose' any of the pattern of the block, generally you will add sashing strips.

  4. #4
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    If the points on the stars go straight to the edge then there is a problem (either with the sewing or with the pattern). There needs to be a 1/4" edge to sew the blocks together (or to sew a sashing strip to the block).

  5. #5
    Super Member LucyInTheSky's Avatar
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    My BOMs generally have an 1/4"-ish seam. They're not perfect, but it's my sewing, lol. I pin them to keep the points, sometimes sew 1/8", sometimes 3/8", but I make it work. There's an issue with the pattern or how they were put together if you're not getting 1/4".

    If you post the pattern(s), we can take a look!

  6. #6
    Member judyrael's Avatar
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    Thanks much... Now I know its not me, but the pattern. Is there a way to tell from looking at the pattern if when it is put together it will have that 1/4 inch, or should I cut it out of paper first, lay it together and see if it does? Since I've just started quilting lately, its new to me. I know this block I made, came right to the edge, so its not one that I would make again.

  7. #7

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    It might be that the seams used to sew the pieces together are wider than 1/4". This could easily cause the entire block to have the stars right to the edge. I don't know of any star pattern that doesn't allow for the 1/4" on the edges, so it's possible this is the issue. I do know when I first started quilting, I was using too large of a seam allowance - thus my pieces didn't fit right and caused many problems (including this one!). You may consider double checking that, and possibly even using a scant 1/4" instead of a full 1/4" (some machines take a bit too large of a bite at the 1/4" mark, so please measure for accuracy).

    I hope this helps :)

  8. #8
    Super Member brushandthimble's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by judyrael
    Thanks much... Now I know its not me, but the pattern. Is there a way to tell from looking at the pattern if when it is put together it will have that 1/4 inch, or should I cut it out of paper first, lay it together and see if it does? Since I've just started quilting lately, its new to me. I know this block I made, came right to the edge, so its not one that I would make again.
    To check your seam allowance take 3 strips of fabric about 3 inchs long, and cut 1 1/2 inch wide; sew the length together, press and measure the widths. The center width should be 1 inch, total of the 3 together should be 3 1/2 inchs. If it measures less than your seam allowance is to large.
    Hope this helps.

  9. #9
    Member judyrael's Avatar
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    Thanks for the suggestions. I'll check out my machine, however, I don't think that's it because I've used the same settings for other blocks and they turned out perfect. And I also checked that I was using a 1/4 inch by using the index card trick. The block was one that I found in a magazine and I copyied. It may be my copy machine didn't copy it just exact. But I'll try the scant 1/4 inch and see if that works.

  10. #10
    Super Member PurplePassion's Avatar
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    Welcome from MN. My points don't always match either. I keep practicing . I give my quilts away to kids and people that don't know how to sew quilts and they don't care if nothing matches up . They are just happy that someone cared enough about them to make them a cuddly quilt. You can spend days fretting about matching or you could spend the time making something loveable. Elaine

  11. #11
    Member judyrael's Avatar
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    My trick when a block doesn't look just the way I want it to is to make it into a pot holder. I have lots of them learning to quilt. But the problem here wasn't that the points don't match up, but that there wasn't enough left on the edges for sewing together and it would be cutting the points off to join them. I only made one block, so here comes another potholder.

  12. #12
    Super Member brushandthimble's Avatar
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    When you copied the pattern from a magazine did you paper piece it?

    Can you take a picture of the block you are questioning and post it for us? Someone is sure to have an answer for you.

    It is never to late to jump on in for the BOM. We are just past half way on this one.

  13. #13
    Member judyrael's Avatar
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    Its called a Friendship Star and its a 12 inch block.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  14. #14
    Super Member brushandthimble's Avatar
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    how did you make the triangle squares?
    I make mine by cutting the squares about 1 inch larger than the squared off triangle sq. I draw a line down the center and stitch 1/4 inch on both sides and cut down the center. I lay my ruler on the stitched line and square off, that leaves me with 1/4 inch seam allowance on the outside edges.
    Hope this helps.

  15. #15
    Member judyrael's Avatar
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    I do mine exactly the same way. This pattern told me how big to cut the squares, lay them face to face, then draw the line thru and sew 1/4 inch on each side and cut down the middle.

  16. #16
    Super Member brushandthimble's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by judyrael
    I do mine exactly the same way. This pattern told me how big to cut the squares, lay them face to face, then draw the line thru and sew 1/4 inch on each side and cut down the middle.
    what size did they need to be squared off to? and what size square did it say to cut?

  17. #17
    Member judyrael's Avatar
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    The middle star is 4 1/2 square. The star squares are 5 inch, then put face to face, sewed down the middle with a 1/4 seam and cut to make triangles. I squared them off to also measure 4 1/2 inch. Used 1/4 inch seam and sewed together. I'm going to try another one to see if I did something wrong. Maybe when I trimmed the squares that made the triangles I trimmed them to much. I didn't think I did, but I just can't think of what went wrong or if this pattern is just suppose to be like this.

  18. #18
    Member judyrael's Avatar
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    I did find another Friendly Star that looks exactly the same on the net while surfing at quilting.about.com B.O.M/ while surfing the net and their square to make the triangles was cut at 4 7/8 instead of at 5 and evening it out to 4 1/2 after it is sewn.

  19. #19
    Super Member brushandthimble's Avatar
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    cut your squares 5 1/4; draw a line down the center, stitch 1/4 in on both side of line (will give you 2 triangle squares) first square off two sides to 4 3/4, line up square ruler on those 2 cut edges, and final square off the last 2 edges at 4 1/2.

  20. #20
    Member judyrael's Avatar
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    Thanks so much. Tomorrow, I'm hoping to find some time to make another square and I'll do it like you said and see what I get.... I appreciate the advice.

  21. #21
    Member judyrael's Avatar
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    My star turned out the same way.... I certainly must be doing something wrong. The points still come right to the end of the square with no room for joining the blocks. I'm going to give up and go back to the plain old squares. I've made 2 quilts with using the 9 squares and I guess I'm not good enough to figure how to do anything else. I live in a small town of 250 people so no way to take a class. Its just the net and books that I'm trying to learn from.

  22. #22
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    Don't give up yet. I use the easy sandwich half square triangle method that's described here:

    http://quilting.about.com/od/quickpi...squaretria.htm

    It's worked reasonably well for me so far - maybe it will work for you too.

  23. #23
    Super Member brushandthimble's Avatar
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    I will find time tomorrow to make the block and see what happens to mine.

  24. #24
    Member judyrael's Avatar
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    I did see that last night when I was surfing the net and quick went downstairs and made one and cut it but it was after 10 and I didn't join them to see how it worked, but the points seem to come to the end of any triangle so I just can't see how you can join them without taking the points off.

  25. #25
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    The points will come to the end of the triangle and that's OK until you do the assembly of the final block. When you sew up the seams to make each row you take a little bit of fabric away and you get the 1/4 inch margin you need. This took me *ages* to get my head around.

    I kept thinking the BOM instructions were 'wrong' but I could see everyone else was doing it 'right' from the BOM pictures people were posting. Then I finally worked it out.

    If you want I'd be happy to do a block 'together' with photos across the ocean (assuming you're in the US.) PM me if you're interested. Only problem is my sewing machine is currently in for a service and I won't get it back for another week or so. Until then all I can do is cut fabric and post messages on this board. Keep trying, you'll get there :-)

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