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Thread: Sashing is a pain in the arse!!

  1. #1
    Senior Member blzzrdqueen's Avatar
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    I don't know if it's me or the fabric! I think it's a little of both! I think the fabric is too stretchy. So I've used spray starch on it, but it won't hold the starch...hmmm...and it's the only black fabric I have, and I won't buy fabric (I've gotten everything I have for free) so I'm just kinda frustrated. I'm not sure how the corners are supposed to go. Am I'm supposed to trim off access fabric after I sew on each strip? I'm working on the sashing on the first block, so I've torn it out a couple times and tried different ways. What is the right way, can someone tell me?

    Lol, I know I'm new and I'll learn and I'll get the hang of it, but I guess I'm just a little daunted right now.

  2. #2
    BlueChicken's Avatar
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    What kind of fabric is it? If it is a stretchy type you can use an iron on interfacing as a stabilsier, that's how t-shirt material is used for quilting.

    The more you unpick and resew, the more distorted the fabric gets.

    Be careful when you're ironing too, just "press" the iron gently down the seam, don't wiggle it around because that distorts the fabric as well. I discovered that watching a quilting show on tv and it's made a HUGE difference to my quilting! lol

    Once the sashing is on, you can trim the blocks all to the same size. But wait until you have all of them made first, and trim them to the smallest size.

    :-)

  3. #3
    Senior Member blzzrdqueen's Avatar
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    What exactly is iron on interfacing? I've heard of it but I don't know how it works. I have enough of this fabric that I can mess up a million times and have plenty to work with. If I rip it out, I just use a new strip. I have one more side to go on the block I'm on now, then I'll post a pic of it. I'm not sure what kind of fabric it is, only because I get it all second hand. It's black though, and had no info on the salvege. I know it's definetly not cotton though. Maybe it's a cotton/poly blend, or straight polyester?

    Thanks for your help...I know as a Newbie I can be quite a pain with all my questions ;)

  4. #4
    Senior Member blzzrdqueen's Avatar
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    Oh, the fabric is also very thin. When you hold it up to the light you can see right through it.

  5. #5
    BlueChicken's Avatar
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    Iron-on interfacing is a really thin fibrous type fabric that when you apply heat to it sticks like glue. Because it has absolutely no stretch, once it's ironed onto something else it stabilises it and stops it moving in any direction.

    That would be my first suggestion, only because I have a tonne of the stuff at home and have used it extensively for a t-shirt quilt. It makes a big difference.

    If the fabric is moving a lot, that would be your best bet.

    Someone else who has worked with different types of fabric might have other suggestions. Can you post a photo of what you have done so far?

  6. #6
    BlueChicken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blzzrdqueen
    ..I know as a Newbie I can be quite a pain with all my questions ;)
    Seriously, don't worry about it! :-)

    I ask heaps of questions too, and find people are very willing to help and share experiences and tips. And even once you've been doing it a while, there's always something that you didn't know or a tip you hadn't heard of before. :-)

  7. #7
    Senior Member blzzrdqueen's Avatar
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    What happens after you sew what needs to be sewn, with the interfacing? Does it stay on or wash out?

    Here are 3 pics...2 of the block itself with the sashing, and one of the corner or the block, you can see how the black is transparent, sorry it's blurry though, I had to turn off the flash and my camera sucks with no flash.

    block with sashing2
    Name:  Attachment-31316.jpe
Views: 36
Size:  41.0 KB

    block with sashing1
    Name:  Attachment-31320.jpe
Views: 29
Size:  40.3 KB

    corner of block with sashing
    Name:  Attachment-31363.jpe
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Size:  15.6 KB

  8. #8
    Super Member Moonpi's Avatar
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    If you ask at the fabric store, there are usually free handouts explaining the different types of interfacings and stabilizers available. Depending on your choice of hand or machine quilting, and the amount of stiffness you want, you can use different weights. Remember that the shiny or dotted side is the glue, so keep it facing AWAY from the iron.

    Tear away and sew-in stabilizers are useful in other ways, but not what you need right now.

    My guess, from what you've said, is the fabric is really too thin in its present form to be good for quilting. Even with interfacing, after years of washing, it will break down faster than regular weight fabric. You may be happier with another choice for sashing.


  9. #9
    Senior Member k_jupiter's Avatar
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    It's your life, so don't think I am telling you how to do it but...

    Garbage in... Garbage out. If you use good quality stuff, your finished product will be nice.

    Life is too short to use crap. Even free crap. What you are trying to accomplish is just about the easiest thing to do in quiltmaking. If it isn't working it isn't your fault, it's the fabric. Get different fabric. A yard of Kona black cost about $6.00 even out here in expensive California, less on sale. If you are not willing to invest $6.00 into your craft, well...

    You have your answer.

    tim in san jose

  10. #10
    BlueChicken's Avatar
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    Ok, I think I see what you mean in the close up photo.

    I would carefully trim the blocks to the same size, and just carry on. Be very careful when handling the fabric, the more handling the more distortion.

    And once you've sewn the seam, leave it closed and pop it on the ironing board. Drop the iron on top of the seam and press down (no sideways movement at all, just PRESS). This sets the stitching in the fabric. Then gently open the seam to whichever side you are going to have it on, finger press it lightly open (do a small section at a time) and repeat the press thing with your iron to set it. Make sure there's no steam in your iron either.

    You can make it work, take a deep breath and try not to stress. :-)

  11. #11
    BlueChicken's Avatar
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    Oops... I shouldn't have had breakfast before hitting "submit". ;-)

    My first choice would also be to biff the black and get new stuff.

    But if it's not an option, you can make it work. It depends on what your making it for too. If it's a quilt for the dogs (don't laugh, I've made several! lol) it's a little different to a family heirloom that will be passed down for generations. Likewise, if it's your first and you just want to get something done, then it's the process and not the end product. It's your call really. :-)

  12. #12
    Super Member pittsburgpam's Avatar
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    It is a little difficult to tell exactly what you say is wrong but, do you mean that there is just too much fabric at the corners?

    If you are just taking a length of sashing and sewing it on then cutting it to length it will stretch out the side of the block and it will make the sashing do that little wing out at the corners.

    Measure your block side-to-side through the center of the block, not the edges. Cut your first two sides of sashing the same measurement. Mark the middle (pinch a crease, use a pen, or a pin) of the block and the sashing strip. Match up the middle and the ends and ease in any fullness. It will likely seem that the sashing strip is too short unless your block is absolutely square since it tends to stretch on the outside edges.

    Press the border seam towards the border. Measure across the block and the two borders and cut the other two sashing strips the same, sew them on the same way.

    See if that solves the issue of getting them square.

  13. #13
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    Are you beeing stubborn or is your wallet crying at the thought of buying ANY fabric? IF you are being stubborn and use the "I'll be damned if this fabric is going to get the better of me" approach, then go ahead and fight it to the bitter end. :D

    There is some basic solid color cotton available for a few bucks a yard and it would make your life so much easier. It may not be the best quality either, but at least it would not stretch or distort.

    That said, iron-on interfacing is available in various thicknesses and the thicker it is, the stiffer the end result will be. Your best bet is to take a piece of your fabric to the fabric store and ask the nice lady what to back it with. If your fabric is polyester, you want something that bonds at a low heat so you won't scorch the fabric.

    BTW: If you happen to iron on the wrong side of the interfacing (usually you'll only do that once), you can sometimes get the sticky stuff off the iron by ironing the residue off on a dryer sheet.

    Whatever you end up doing, don't let a challenging first experience kill the joy. :D

  14. #14
    Senior Member k_jupiter's Avatar
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    May I point out that the last time I went to the fabric store, they were not giving away interface either. By the time you buy the interface, you could have just bought the correct fabric. And have the correct fabric on that very nice block you made.

    tim (inexpensive but not cheap) (and yes, my first quilt IS an heirloom) (and no, I don't make quilts for dogs) in san jose


  15. #15
    BlueChicken's Avatar
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    lol

    I made my first quilt for one of my dogs so that I felt no pressure for it to be perfect, and could concentrate on enjoying the experience. There is method to my madness. Not always, but sometimes! LOL ;-)

  16. #16
    Super Member Shemjo's Avatar
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    The black fabric you are trying to use is not a good match for your patch! It looks like lingerie fabric, or some such thin material. I would not use that, even if it is the right color!
    (You can test for cotton fabric by usig a match and burning a thread. Non natural fiber melts. Natural fabrics will burn.) Mixing fabric in a quilt is usually not recommended. Crazy quilts are an exception. Anything goes, but they are usually not expposed to heavy wear, nor laundered.
    BTW, trim the seams where your corners overlap. You will be happier with the end result.
    Go for the fun, but remember we have most likely made these mistakes which is why we are giving this advice. :?

  17. #17
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
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    just a thought: are you cutting with the grain or across the grain?

    cutting across the grain will add stretch to an already stretchy fabric. cutting lengthwise will give some more stability, even though it may not be enough.

    IMHO your time should be worth more than you're giving it. if possible, go for the better fabric. if not, starch, press, dry. let it rest and repeat. cut your longest edges on grain.

    in the end it may be hopeless. how many yards do you actually need? there are sales all the time online.

  18. #18
    Senior Member blzzrdqueen's Avatar
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    Thank you all for your suggestions! I've decided this fabric is not worth my time and effort and I will go get new fabric tomorrow after work. I know Joann's carries good fabric, so I'll more then likely go there. I'm a magazine vendor in a local walmart and my store happens to have tons and tons of fabric and the ladies that work in that department are fantastic, so I'll see them first. I've carefully taken this crap fabric off my block and thrown it away. I still have 3 yards of it and I'm not sure what to do with it, if anything. It may very well be a lost cause.

    So now I'm sitting here at my desktop computer (hubby is on the laptop) wanted to do something quilt related, but seeing as I can't do the sashing tonight, I feel lost!! :roll: My next project after my sampler is completed is the quilt I plan to work on with my 10 year old. But, I also want something to work on after she goes to bed at night...so, here I am twiddling my thumbs thinking, thinking, thinking.............

  19. #19

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    I am not sure if I am answering the question about your sashing correctly or not but since you are a newbie-if not hopefully you can use this info at another time.
    Before you sew on your sashing you need to measure carefully your block.Your sashing pieces should be the same size as your block.EXACTLY!!! I only put sashing on my sides and use long sashing pieces for tops and bottoms once I sew all my blocks together.
    But the most important thing is to measure,measure,measure.
    Would have put smiley faces on but I don't know how.

  20. #20
    Super Member Moonpi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by k_jupiter
    tim (inexpensive but not cheap) (and yes, my first quilt IS an heirloom) (and no, I don't make quilts for dogs) in san jose
    Good to see those hobbit feet again! Frugality is nothing to be sneezed at!

  21. #21
    BlueChicken's Avatar
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    Perhaps put the fabric aside for backing on a quilt that you don't expect to last?

    You won't regret buying new fabric, it will be much easier!

    :-)

  22. #22
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    I made my first quilt for my grand daughter ( she was three ) Figured it would be a great learning project. Ripped out a lot of stitches and learned alot. If you are adamant about not buying new fabric just keep working at it. It should get better. Your block is beautiful. I would want to get some cotton fabric to frame that lovely block they way it should be.

  23. #23
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
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    buy new for this project and hold on to the old stuff for a backing on a wall hanging. wash it and put it away. sometime you may want to use it to learn stained glass or something. you're a quilter. we never throw anything away.

  24. #24
    PrettyKitty's Avatar
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    Pain in the arse? LOL such a British saying, love it. Thought you American's referred to it as ass ? Apologies for the language to anyone who finds that rude?! :lol:

  25. #25
    Senior Member blzzrdqueen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PrettyKitty
    Pain in the arse? LOL such a British saying, love it. Thought you American's referred to it as ass ? Apologies for the language to anyone who finds that rude?! :lol:

    It was my nice way of saying it, lol...I was in a mood and I could have said much worse! ;)

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