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Thread: Seams that intersect perfectly

  1. #1

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    I would like to know what the secret is to seams that intersect perfectly. I have used pins and removed them at the very last moment, but the result is less than perfect. Does anyone have suggestions for me?.

    Thanks,
    Alfred




  2. #2
    Super Member Pam Pollock's Avatar
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    Alfred,

    While feeding the 2 layers of material to my machine, I hold the material together at each upcoming intersection with my left hand. If it looks like the top piece of the material is getting a little slack in it before getting to the seam, then I use the point of a seam ripper in my right hand to ease the material under the foot a little at a time until the top material is flat again. so that when I get to the intersection everything is lining up just fine. Hope that helps! It works for me. Maybe someone else will have another idea for you. :D

    Pam

  3. #3
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    when my joints are off, the first thing i do is check the seam allowances on the sewn pieces to be joined. if they're off, i fix them. if they're the right size (usually 1/4") the fun starts.

    i've recently started pinning across the intersection, so my pins run parallel to the presser foot. i put the pin about 3/4" from the edge so i don't have to take it out when i get to it. that also lets me check the join from both directions.

    when they're really stubborn, i pin across the join, then once "up and down" on each side of the join. i sew slowly. sometimes i have to remove the pins, sometimes not.

    when they're really, really, really giving me fits, i pin and sew just the joins and don't "fill in" the whole seam until the joins are right.

    if none of that works i either induce self-hypnosis so i don't see the wonky bits any more or i set them aside and move on. then i make replacements for the ones that wouldn't go together properly. i set them aside to use them later in a scrap quilt, or - if i don't have enough fabric to make replacements - take them apart and reassemble until they fit together the way they're supposed to.

    needless to say, i spend a lot of time in a transe. AND my scrap bag is bursting with orphan sections of wonky blocks. :shock:


  4. #4
    Super Member moreland's Avatar
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    When I learned that I should put the fuller piece on the bottom, it helped with matching seams. A few times I've turned my pieces "upside down" to get the best fit. Also, it is sometimes easier to "correct" the intersections after the fact. I go back and rip out a few stitches on either side of the intersection and am able to get things to match up. Another quilter taught me that trick.
    As I have gotten more experience and can make my seams equal in width (I aim at the quater inch), that has helped too. One other "tip" is to be sure you are squaring up your blocks --it is tedious sometimes, but well worth the time it takes and pure joy to watch the seams match so easily.

  5. #5
    Steve's Avatar
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    Then too, how "imperfect" can you stand? A lot of very minor flaws go away once quilted, or at least that's what experience I've had thus far. Ask yourself Can I live with it? if the answer is no, then see seam ripper and the previous responses. If yes, hallelujah!

  6. #6
    Senior Member Lisa's Avatar
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    Line up your seams using your sewing pins, just stick them straight into the fabric pointing out of the other side, once your seams are lined up the way you want then with the pins still sticking straight thru, use another pin on either side and put them in the way you usually do, then remove the ones that are sticking straight thru. Be careful when you put your pins in, when you push them in and then push the pointed end back out to the top you can sometimes inadvertentley un-align your seams. Also if you plan ahead so that you have pressed one seam one direction and the other seam in the opposite direction they will "lock" in for you with ease. I hope this helps.

  7. #7

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    One rule of thumb serves me well:

    On a galloping horse, who can tell?

    Keeps my OCD at bay. :D


  8. #8
    Super Member moreland's Avatar
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    I loved the little poem--and it is so true. Things that look bad today are usually just fine the next day. It is amazing how that works. :-)

  9. #9
    Country Quilter's Avatar
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    I don't follow anybody's rules but my own....I press my seams open, match them up, pin both sides and don't remove the pins when I get to them...I just go really slow! I have bent a few pins and dulled a few needles but my seam ripper? where is that thing anyway....I can never find it! LOL

    Seriously, I know this isn't the "correct" way to do this but I was also told there are NO rules!!! I make mine up as I go along...whatever works!

  10. #10

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    This may not solve your problem, but--press seam allowances to one side. When putting together 2 blocks, have the seam allowances going in opposite directions (ex: blue piece to left, red piece to right) and pin through the stitching. If you're not sure, baste it first, then look at finished seam. They should line up just right. Make sure when stitching that the bottom seam allowances are not pushed in other direction, because this makes a bump and can throw off exact seam match.

  11. #11
    Country Quilter's Avatar
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    One of the reasons I have not gone to pressing both seams to one side is this......it takes too much thinking to get the NEXT seam to be going in the opposite direction! I tried this method with the bearpaw quilt I made cuz I was making that for someone who was actually paying me to do it so I thought it should be done "right"...well, about two squares into it...I gave up on it...I had seams going every which direction and could NEVER match them up!

    Do what is comfortable for you to do and whatever works to make your seams match. ....thats about the only advice I can give you.

  12. #12
    PamH's Avatar
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    I like your advice Patsy. I have always wondered what would be wrong with pressing them open. Will give it try on next quilt. No quilting police right :!:

  13. #13
    Country Quilter's Avatar
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    Not in my house! LOL It just works for me so I do it that way...I'm not saying I NEVER have a wonky interesection but if I pin it is about 90%!

  14. #14
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    sorry ... i've been in a trance ... what were we talking about? :lol:

  15. #15
    joy
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    I pin all the joins with two pronged pins and leave them there and sew very slowly over them... comes out OK!

  16. #16
    Member Julo's Avatar
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    After pressing seams in opposite directions, have the seam allowance that faces UP on the TOP if at all possible. Saw this hint on Fons and Porter, and it has helped me ever since. It somehow helps the seams "lock" together tighter.

  17. #17
    Super Member Chele's Avatar
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    The seams are supposed to intersect perfectly??!! Uh oh! :D

  18. #18
    lin
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chele
    The seams are supposed to intersect perfectly??!! Uh oh! :D
    Not in my world! :lol:

  19. #19
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    I saw a segment on QNN for the occasional seam that just would not match up.
    She used 1/2 inch scotch tape. taping half on one side and the other on the other side so that both seams came togather on the wrong side, then folded the taped pieces in half so the tape formed a 1/4 inch seam allowance. It was a perfect way to match a seam.

  20. #20
    CountryMom'sDaughter's Avatar
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    I have found that if the top seam is facing the needle and the bottom seam is facing me, when it is sewn it will cuddle together and the feeddogs are pulling the bottom piece toward the back while the top piece is pulled toward me. It is kinda like physics or something. It does really help. Hope this is clearer than mud. :P

  21. #21
    Super Member mimisharon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Country Quilter
    Not in my house! LOL It just works for me so I do it that way...I'm not saying I NEVER have a wonky interesection but if I pin it is about 90%!

    Not in my house either, Patsy! The one thing I like about the pressed open (garment sewing made me think it would work :roll: ) is the flatter block. I went to the BOM class at my favorite quilting shop yesterday and those of us that OPENED the seams had the block that would lie down, the ones with folded over seams had tents for blocks. I think a couple of us converted a few quilters. lol lol

    BTW-quilting perfection? intersection perfection? Never heard of it or seen it. Can you post a picture of it???

    Happy Quilting,
    Sharon

  22. #22
    Junior Member Tricia's Avatar
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    I do this by "feel" I put the fabric together with the seems going in opposite directions and I use my thumb and forefinger to "slide" them into place. Then I pin on both sides and sew. I do not take out the pins until the entire seam has been sewn.

    For foundation piecing with many point that have to be perfect, I baste each point on the machine with a long stitch (on my machine a 3.5) and I sew just where the points will meet. Then I open it up to see if I did a good job, If not I take out the basting and do it again. If it makes me happy I just sew over the basting stitches when I sew the 2 pieces all the way.

    My best friend says I am way to picky, her train of thought is if you cant see it driving by at 60 mph it is not a problem LOL

  23. #23
    Super Member DA Mayer's Avatar
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    I have the perfect method, as the seam is coming up to the needle, I start to say some words I wouldn't around my mom, shove the piece under the foot and WAH La I have a perfect match, (if I take my glasses off and look straight down at the intersection) I have always been under the impression that being a little off is artistic license on interpreting the pattern. Give it a try especially after a glass of good for your heart red wine.

  24. #24
    Senior Member redrummy's Avatar
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    [quote=PatriceJ]when my joints are off, the first thing i do is check the seam allowances on the sewn pieces to be joined. if they're off, i fix them. if they're the right size (usually 1/4") the fun starts Redrummy adds then I have a glass of wine!!!!

    i've recently started pinning across the intersection, so my pins run parallel to the presser foot. i put the pin about 3/4" from the edge so i don't have to take it out when i get to it. that also lets me check the join from both directions. Redrummy adds Then have another glass

    when they're really stubborn, i pin across the join, then once "up and down" on each side of the join. i sew slowly. sometimes i have to remove the pins, sometimes not. Redrummy adds Then have another glass

    when they're really, really, really giving me fits, i pin and sew just the joins and don't "fill in" the whole seam until the joins are right. Redrummy addsand another glass

    if none of that works i either induce self-hypnosis so i don't see the wonky bits any more or i set them aside and move on. then i make replacements for the ones that wouldn't go together properly. i set them aside to use them later in a scrap quilt, or - if i don't have enough fabric to make replacements - take them apart and reassemble until they fit together the way they're supposed to. Redrummy adds Get the idea!!!!


  25. #25
    Super Member ScubaK's Avatar
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    It has become a no-brainer to press my seams to the darker fabric...
    As far as lining up...I pin and look and then hope for the best, when I open it up, if I can't live with it...I rip and give another go...
    Kirsten

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