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Thread: seams

  1. #1
    Ina
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    :?: I am new at quilting, and I have a problem. When I match seams together they never come out even. I have one seam facing one way and the other seam the other, I pin and then sew very slowly over the seams, but they never match when I get done. What am I doing wrong?

  2. #2
    Norah's Avatar
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    You are being a quilter, that's what. What, more specifically, do you mean? I can't picture your problem.

  3. #3

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    Maybe too much bulk with seams going one direction or not iron pressing your seams. Try pressing all seams open, with right sides together line up seam to seam. You can hold them together and kinda rub them back and forth between your fingers. You can feel a little bump when they match up. Pin at the seam not right to left. Also peek under it just to make sure it looks good. I would also pin at the beginning and the end. I hope this helps. :thumbup: :thumbup:

  4. #4
    Super Member Yvonne's Avatar
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    Ina,
    Are you pinning with only one pin? Try putting a pin on both sides of the seam after you've butted them up against one another. I've just discovered some two pron pins. They look like a hair pin. Really neat!

    Be sure to iron your sections before you try to put them together. Big, big help! For awhile, I'd just sew the seam part, peek to see if it was okay and then sew the whole seam. Easier to rip just that little bit than the whole seam.

    Bottom line it's just going to take practice to see what works best for you. :-)

  5. #5
    Super Member zyxquilts's Avatar
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    Hi Ina - One other thing that helps me when matching corners & seams - it sounds like you are already 'nestling' them with one seam going one way & one the other...now when you sew, try to have the seams on top pointing toward your needle. That way when you sew over it, it will 'push' towards the other seam instead of pull away from it. Does that make sense? I know it isn't alway possible for them to lay that way, but it does help. I also use a sort of 3 pin method - first I line up the seams, and I 'stab' one pin thru' the seams, making sure I've got it right thru the seam on the bottom too. While that one is sticking there, I then put a pin on each side of it (or one of Yvonne's 2 pronged pins!), then remove the first 'stabbed' in pin. It does take a bit longer, but I'm usually happy with the results! (It's one of the few things I'm picky about when quilting - my first quilt, when I couldn't get them to match, I ended up stitching over the intersections by hand & THEN by machine! LOL NEVER again!!)
    sue
    [quote]

  6. #6
    Super Member Knot Sew's Avatar
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    I never use pins.....I mave sewed finger nails and finger tips........but I also had a needel break and fly into the base of my thumb while sewing over pins. I use safety pins and leave them open and they come out easy. sweep them up later :twisted:

  7. #7
    Norah's Avatar
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    Ruthie, with this pin story and the razor, I think your fingers have a death wish. Or at least, a severe pain wish. You are one brave woman.

  8. #8
    Super Member vicki reno's Avatar
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    I too use the 3 pin method. If you worry about sewing over them, well, simply slide them out right before you get to them. So close to the needle, and especially if it is under the press foot, it shouldn't slip. If you have a walking foot, I sometimes use that when sewing blocks together, especially when I have sashing and it would look ugly for things not to line up. Or if possible decrease the press foot pressure, some of the newer machines let you do that. I had an old Kenmore that you could turn something at the top and it would decrease the pressure. Hope this helps! Hang in there and good luck.

  9. #9
    Ina
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    :lol: Thanks for all the suggestions on doing seams. I tried them all and I had better luck with the three pins set up. My seams look great now. I live just south of Seattle and would like to know where to buy the two pron pins. We are having lots of sun today so I am going to set in my sun porch and quilt, quilt quilt. Again thanks to all who helped me. I am sure I will have more problems later. Ina

  10. #10
    Carla P's Avatar
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    Ok, I'm JEALOUS!!! I want to just sit & quilt, quilt, quilt.... :cry: :mrgreen:

  11. #11
    Senior Member quiltingmimipj's Avatar
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    Just one more little tidbit. If the fabric is considered going "north" as you sew, I put my pins going "west to east" rather than "east to west". That way you can literally take them out at the last minute.

  12. #12

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    It takes practice. Do not give up.

    When you have the seams ready to pin place the pin directly on the front seam and as you poke it through then make sure the pin goes directly in the back seam then push the pin back to the front be sure you are directly on the seams again

    Be patient and keep quilting

    jlcquiltnfun

  13. #13
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    I have been a professional seamstress for many years, which means seams were always pressed open.
    When I began to quilt I followed the rules and pressed to the dark side.
    Even with pinning, I could be just a shade off in the matching.
    I went back to pressing the seams open, and now I have no problems with seams matching up.
    Joyce

  14. #14

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    I press mine open too. They say a quilt will be made stronger when you press all seams one way but then you have trouble hand quilting over it because it's so thick. So I press mine open, less bulk to sew into. I might add that my quilts are used and washed quite often and I've never had any fall apart. I think each quilter should do what is best for her.

  15. #15
    Super Member mimisharon's Avatar
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    Well, Joyce and Debbie, I so identify with the seamstress open seams. Way before sergers we used to "finish" those seams, eh? It's been really hard to make myself undo the rules of garment making to go to the rules of quilting.

    I don't think the quilt police will get us for our seams but some HAVE told me that the quilt seams are stronger with the one sided seam pressing. I just can't get used to the one sided hump yet, but I'm working on it. lol lol
    Sharon

  16. #16
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    Hi Ina, I'm new on this site. I recently made a Q with LOTS of seams to match. Something I never thought of made a big problem. That was that one of the fabrics was thinner and with a lower thread count. This made it stretchier than the others, thus the seams were off. This might help, though: somewhere I learned that you can stick a pin into the seam at the exact point to be matched then into the exact point in the other seam. Make sure the pin is vertical to the seams, then pin closely on both sides of it along the seam allowance. Leave the vertical pin in place until you have to remove it as you sew. This helps. Also. if the match is tricky, sew just the fraction of an inch that covers the matched seams. Then check to see whether you've nailed it. If so, scream with joy and finish the seam; if not you'll have only a few stitches to undo instead of a long seam. (The next Q I make will not have 8 seams coming together!) Hope this helps, Anne

  17. #17
    Super Member Jill's Avatar
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    I have sewn for many years and also had to force myself to press to one side. After hearing/reading that open seams were less stronger, I got to thinking about the hundreds of pieces of clothing I've made for myself, children, and the home. I cannot remember very many seams that had to be mended. I don't like the hump and decided recently that my seams would be open.

  18. #18
    joy
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    I use the two pronged pins.... they are marvellous.. I put the prongs either side of the seam... wouldn't be without them now... I always check to see if the seams are in the right place first, from the top of the seam, then in goes the pin....

  19. #19
    Pat
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    Ina, one thing I have found that makes a BIG difference in making your seams match is "Ironing" . I iron each block as I go, after every seam I sew, so when I'm ready to put a block together I butt the seams up to each other and I don't even have to pin. I do check to make sure they are together by wiggling them, but no pins. Of course, sometimes you have a few that just won't cooperate & then I pin. But I made 4 sets of 20 blocks of nine patch and didn't pin. They came out pretty good. I even had one of the ladies in my quilt group look at them & she said I did well....she's a home ec teacher. So I was proud. But I swear the key is to always IRON first to set your seams, then press them to one side or the other. I read that in a Better Homes & Garden Quilt Book & it really works. Try it, you'll like it....LOL The 2 prong pin sounds good too.

  20. #20
    Ina
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    I want to thank every one who took the time to help me with the seams. Ijust finished a lap robe with lots of matching and I am happy to say ALL SEAMS MATCHED. Ina :)

  21. #21

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    A friend who teaches quilting classes ( I haven't had any classes) told me this is from the olden days when quilts were hand quilted and the seams pulled apart if the seams were opened. She stated that now with the machine quilting, it didn't matter and the seams can be pressesd either way - whatever works best because the quilting is stronger. Makes sense to me. :!:

  22. #22
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    Thank you, Ina, for asking the question. I am a beginner also, and all of these answers gave me more confidence, and I feel that I now have the knowledge to make my seams match. RitaMM

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