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Thread: Scant 1/4 inch?

  1. #1
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    Angry Scant 1/4 inch?

    I am frustrated because by "X" squares don't match on my Garden Maze quilt that I am working on. I cut the strips 1 1/4 inch as the instruction stated. When squaring the "X" squares they were about 1/4 inch short....Thew those away and search other Maze pattern and most stated to use a scant 1/4 inch.
    Question..How can I know what a scant 1/4 inch is?? I will try and post a pic of my problem.Name:  100_1856.JPG
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  2. #2
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    For starters, you could do this test - the error may be in one of three places -

    The instructions
    Your cutting
    Your sewing

    Cut three strips of fabric that you are using 1-1/2 inches wide by 3 inches long

    Sew them together with your 1/4 inch seam

    Press

    Measure the finished width of the center strip. It should be I inch.

    If too arrow - you might be cutting the strips skimpy - you could move your ruler over a couple of threads to cut a slightly wider strip
    Or
    You might try Using a slightly narrower seam alllwance


    If the center strip ends up being wider than one ince -
    You might br cutting your strips too wide or your seam alllwance is too narrow

    that might help narrow the problem down.

    For some - the definition of a scant 1/4 inch is about 15/64 of an inch. or a thread or two less than 1/4 inch.

    Sometimes the problem starts with the cutting - not the seam allowance.

  3. #3
    Gay
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    I would try cutting the strips 1-3/8" wide and use the same seam allowance. It's a painful measurement, I know, but your strips finished are not wide enough. A scant 1/4" seam is smaller by 1 or 2 threads.

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    Senior Member tallchick's Avatar
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    All the suggestions above as well as starching starching and starching more starching. I find that my accuracy improves when I slow down my sewing, starch starch starch, and take my time cutting and take the time to enjoy the process rather than rush for a finished product. Do you have all the blocks cut? If not perhaps you can start over, others will come along with far more experience, but I appreciate and understand your frustration, hang in there!
    Lisa

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    Power Poster ManiacQuilter2's Avatar
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    If what you display in your picture is sewn, it appears a scant 1/4" wouldn't help. If this is a magazine issue pattern, have you check with the subscriber for any pattern corrections? Shocking on how many are listed.
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    I usually end up with a block very close to the intended size - with no starch/sizing added.

    However, I do soak and wash my fabrics before cutting them - so that most of the shrinkage (if any) has been removed. I bought some 2-1/2 inch cut strips - washed them - they are now 2-3/8 inches wide. It is a Kaufman or Hoffman fabric.

    Pressing with steam can - I think - also shrink fabric.

    As far as I know, starching/sizing can shrink fabric - if it is going to shrink. Might be a reason to apply it evenly to the fabric and let it saturate the fabric. I am not an expert on starch/sizing, so -

    I do consider myself knowledgeable about shrinkage - because I measured hundreds of cotton woven fabrics before and after washing them.

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    Super Member LoriEl's Avatar
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    If I need a scant 1/4 inch I just use my 1/4 inch foot but move the needle to the right. I find it is more consistent when I do it that way. You just have to remember to move the needle every time you turn the machine back on!

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    I agree with maniac. This issue isn't the seam, it is the cutting or pattern because those are at least a full seam allowance off, not just a fraction of one.

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    Here's the way to check for that 1/4" seam:
    http://www.quiltingboard.com/tutoria...ce-t89997.html
    Having said that, if the diagonal green and blue strips are supposed to meet the edges of the borders around the blocks the strips cannot all be cut the same width. It's mathematically impossible for them to meet perfectly in the corners. Double check the pattern and see if the diagonals are supposed to be cut wider or the borders narrower, the strips should be different widths.
    In the quilter's cache version, they cut the strips 1.5" for the sashings and 2" for the diagonals:
    http://www.quilterscache.com/G/GardenMazeBlock.html
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    Super Member Abby'smom's Avatar
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    So sorry, feel your pain and frustration!! -- and things don't match up perfectly despite all your being careful -- it's probably not you but ....
    diane

  11. #11
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    I use an index card to check my "scant 1/4 inch" VS "1/4 inch".

    I put the index card where one of the lines is parallel with my pressure foot, then move the needle left or right until it sews directly on the line.

    I always have one going in my drawer, because it's so easy to check.
    Creative clutter is better than idle neatness.

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    I found if I use thin thread for top and bobbin it makes a big difference. 50wt 3 ply for both top and bottom is too thick.
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    That was my thought, too. I guess that is one of the reasons that it is recommended that we make one block of a quilt before we do all the cutting - it'll show mistakes early.

    Not that I ever do that...
    A quilt is like a good life. It's full of mistakes, but, in the end, it looks pretty good.

  14. #14
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    Good thing I had not cut all the pieces. The pattern is from an Fall 2003 Fabric Trends magazine, called Miss Milly's Garden Maze. I am using a FW with a 1/4 foot and sewing with 40wt Aurifil thread. I think that I will use GAY's suggestion and cut the "X" strips 1 3/8 as I continue to cut the strips for the other squares 1 1/4.
    Thanks for all your suggestions as for moving the needle for the scant 1/4 , I would have to change machines and I usually don't change machines unless I have to.

  15. #15
    Super Member AZ Jane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ManiacQuilter2 View Post
    If what you display in your picture is sewn, it appears a scant 1/4" wouldn't help. If this is a magazine issue pattern, have you check with the subscriber for any pattern corrections? Shocking on how many are listed.
    I have to agree, way more here than a "scant" anything. I would also check with the pattern maker for corrections. Way too off to be because of stretching!
    Better to do something imperfectly, than nothing perfectly.
    Done is better than perfect.

  16. #16
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    After staring at the original photo more carefully -

    I also think the problem may be with the cutting directions - not your seam allowances.

  17. #17
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    It appears to me that the finished width of the diagonal strips should be about 1.4 times (square root of 2, to be exact) the width of the rectangle side strips.

    Example:

    The side strips "finish" at 1 inch - the strips are cut 1-1/2 inches wide
    The diagonal strips "finish" at 1.4 inch - (which is very close to 3/8 inch) - cut a "generous" 1-5/8 inch strip


    The side strips "finish" at 1-1/2 inches - the strips are cut 2 inches wide

    The diagonal strips "finish" at 1.4 x 1.5 = 2.1 inches (very close to 2-1/8 inches) - cut a "scant" 2-5/8 inch strip.

    Generous - a couple of threads "over" - scant - a couple of threads "less"

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by mamagrande View Post
    I am frustrated because by "X" squares don't match on my Garden Maze quilt that I am working on. I cut the strips 1 1/4 inch as the instruction stated. When squaring the "X" squares they were about 1/4 inch short....Thew those away and search other Maze pattern and most stated to use a scant 1/4 inch.
    Question..How can I know what a scant 1/4 inch is?? I will try and post a pic of my problem.Name:  100_1856.JPG
Views: 1535
Size:  72.2 KB
    A scant or generous seam won't help much here. What you need to do is adjust the width of the strips. I think Bearisgray had the right answer. The diagonal strips need to be wider, OR the horizontal strips need to be narrower. It would probably be easier to adjust the horizontal strips.
    Mavita - Square dancer and One Room School Teacher

  19. #19
    Junior Member Nanax4's Avatar
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    So sorry that you're having trouble. So frustrating!

    I think there's something wrong far more than the 1/4" thing. I'd stop cutting right now, and get it figured out before proceeding any further.

    If you look at the corners of the blue and green strips, you can see that the corner point is no where near the center of the strip. The point of those long strips should point directly into the corner they're going into, with the same amount of fabric on either side of the point.

    Right now, you can see that on some of the strips, one side has far less fabric than the other side. You're off more than a few threads. It looks like you're off by at least 1/4". Something's wrong, but I can't tell what. Below is an example of what it should look like.

    Now that I'm looking at your photo more....it appears that your horizontal blue & green pieces are wider than your slanty blue & green pieces. If so, they're never going to fit together they way you need them to.
    (Also, your blue horizontal pieces are not the same width as the green horizontal pieces.)

    This could be a result of them not being cut the same width, or not being sewn with the same seam allowance, or both.

    I would lay out all of your strips on top of each other to be sure that they're all the same width, and length. And that they're the length and width they need to be (versus "supposed to be" according to the pattern..I'm suspecting an error in the pattern).

    Good luck! I hope this gets sorted out soon! Nothing more painful than a quilt that isn't working!!

    Last edited by Nanax4; 05-18-2015 at 08:17 AM.
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  20. #20
    Super Member rosiewell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaperPrincess View Post
    Here's the way to check for that 1/4" seam:
    http://www.quiltingboard.com/tutoria...ce-t89997.html
    Having said that, if the diagonal green and blue strips are supposed to meet the edges of the borders around the blocks the strips cannot all be cut the same width. It's mathematically impossible for them to meet perfectly in the corners. Double check the pattern and see if the diagonals are supposed to be cut wider or the borders narrower, the strips should be different widths.
    In the quilter's cache version, they cut the strips 1.5" for the sashings and 2" for the diagonals:
    http://www.quilterscache.com/G/GardenMazeBlock.html
    I think you are absolutely right, just looking at the pic you can see the problem and I am mathematically challenged!

  21. #21
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    [QUOTE=Nanax4;7199217]
    (Also, your blue horizontal pieces are not the same width as the green horizontal pieces./QUOTE]

    The reason for it looking that way is because you see one strip sewn, and the other has the seam allowance showing.
    Mavita - Square dancer and One Room School Teacher

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