Welcome to the Quilting Board!

Already a member? Login above
loginabove
OR
To post questions, help other quilters and reduce advertising (like the one on your left), join our quilting community. It's free!

Page 1 of 5 1 2 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 103

Thread: Things are just not working out.....

  1. #1
    Senior Member Jan in FL's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Gig Harbor WA
    Posts
    370

    Things are just not working out.....

    I have been quilting a year. I am learning with each new project and can see improvements. I tried so hard to have my cutting and my seams perfect with my latest project - and am so proud that they are! I just knew that this was going to be my best quilt so far. I am making a quilt called Shadowplay. The instructions have you sew pieces together and then "trim down" to 8 1/2" blocks. I did it so carefully...taking my time....not rushing, eventhough I couldn't wait to start sewing blocks and rows together.

    When you trim down those blocks to 8 1/2" squares, there is absolutely no way to have them all centered exactly the same and now, my perfectly sized, perfectly cut, perfectly sewn blocks do not match up with each other and the whole quilt is not going to go together like it should.

    It is so discouraging, I haven't been in my sewing room for over two weeks. I feel like I am just not capable of improving.....

    My DH said to just throw the fabric and the pattern out and start over on the next project. And I was surprised that he said that so I know he is really supportive of me, bless his heart. I just hate failure. And the fabric was so pretty and I was so excited and proud.

    I don't know what I want to do at this point. Have you ever been in this spot?
    Enjoy your day,
    Jan

    A fat quarter is not a body part!

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    385
    You definitely have my permission to dump the project but maybe there's a way to salvage a portion of it for a bag front, pillow top...or maybe a way to cut down each block matching centers before trimming? It would help to know how the mistake occurred. If you cut and sewed correctly, then the problem must have been w/ the squaring up to 8.5. until you know what went wrong, it will shake your confidence for your next project, but yes i know we've all been there...i googled the pattern and it looks difficult to me...what i saw was a tumbling block variation? if you have more than 3" pieces...just dice it up and save the scraps for something else! Over. Done. And you can move on.
    mea

  3. #3
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Round Rock, TX
    Posts
    1,409
    Jan,

    I worked on a project of my daughter and the pattern called for 287 5.5" squares. I did get in a rush and stacked the fabric to make the half square triangles so they did come out uneven. Long story short, I got a 4.5" square ruler, squared them off and put them together. The ones that didn't square up to 4.5", I set aside, I ended up putting 50 of them aside, so chances are your project can still be "saved".

    In my MOST HUMBLE opinion, if they match up or not, the time and effort put into it is worth every stitch upon completion. I haven't been sewing very long myself but I've noticed improvement after moving on to the next project.

    Happy Sewing/Quilting Jan!

    Monique
    Family is a priority, not a convenience!
    Take time to be friendly... It's the road to happiness.
    Take time to give... It is too short a day to be selfish.


  4. #4
    Super Member nanna-up-north's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    2,998
    Oh, I'm so sorry that your excitement just got flattened!! I would love to SEE the problem so everyone can offer some ideas for a solution to salvage the project. We have all had that one quilt (or more) that was so perfect until 'the horror' happened and we had to change plans in some way. But there is usually something that can be done that will make the project livable, if not lovable. So, post a picture or two so we can offer our help.

    Having said all that, I threw out the 1st quilt I ever attempted because after getting it half done, I hated the way it was coming out. But, I've never had to do that again. Lesson learned! That was 40 years ago and I don't know how many quilts since.

  5. #5
    Banned
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Keene, New Hampshire
    Posts
    4,270
    Trash it, cut it into slices and make a Mile a Minute, continue it remembering that only God is perfect - just keep going girl - we all have made our share of wonky quilts.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Swan Song's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    405
    I agree with nanna. Post some pics of your problem and let us see if we can find a way to help salvage your quilt. There is so much experience on this board that I am constantly learning and everyone is so helpful. If we can't find a way to fix it maybe we can suggest a way to transform it. There are never mistakes in quilting just design opportunities.
    You haven't had enough coffee until you can thread a sewing machine while it's running.

    Those who wish to sing, always find a song. ~Swedish Proverb

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Waynesboro, Tn.
    Posts
    859
    I'm with Swan Song, post a picture, let us help!

  8. #8
    Super Member barri1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Woodmere, NY
    Posts
    1,420
    I wouldn't trash it. I don't trash, I reinvent. I don't like wasting. I will repurpose. I would take a picture for those in the know to figure out what can be done. It also would help if you went on to something else temporarely. Another thing I have in my head is I don't use other people's patterns. I prefer to make my own. I have seen many patterns I like, but will create my own design.

  9. #9
    Senior Member kristakz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    908
    A couple of thoughts. If it's the picture I saw, and your problem is that the points don't match, perhaps you could add some sashing between each block? Then the point matching won't be so important. You might still lose a few points, depending how you trimmed, but it won't be as obvious.

    For you trimming issues - pictures would help, but I think the problem was that as you said, you can't center a block. Rather than trying to do that, you should check when you are trimming that all the points you expect to have when done are exactly 1/4" from your trim line. That should keep everything square and easier to line up when you are ready to assemble.

  10. #10
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    1,257
    When I need to center a trimmed block I measure from the sides to center it. Try this next time.
    For now, finish your quilt top. We learn from mistakes. After its quilted it may not be as noticible as you think.

  11. #11
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Southwest Kansas
    Posts
    4,829
    You're probably looking at it waaaaaaaaaaaaay too close. Just sew your blocks together. If they don't match perfectly at the edges, scootch them so the centers match and don't worry about the seam allowances too much. And don't forget, even if a few points get cut off it'll still be beautiful and nobody but you will notice anyway.

    You might look around and see if there's a quilt shop in your area that has beginners classes. It can be extremely helpful to have somebody show you in person how to do things. For that matter it never hurts to take classes if you get the opportunity. No matter how long you've been quilting you're likely to learn at least one or two new tips every time you take a class.

  12. #12
    Super Member luvTooQuilt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    A Hop from Heaven, a Skip from Sanity and a Jump from the Good Life....
    Posts
    7,119
    Blog Entries
    1
    Quote Originally Posted by goldsberry921 View Post
    .............they did come out uneven. Long story short, I got a 4.5" square ruler, squared them off and put them together. The ones that didn't square up to 4.5", I set aside, I ended up putting 50 of them aside........

    Monique
    I do the very same thing.. I square up, use the ones that are usable and put aside the ones that are not 'even' - those uneven, wonky ones will usually end up matching and end up being the shams, pillow cases...

    Quote Originally Posted by barri1 View Post
    I wouldn't trash it. I don't trash, I reinvent. I don't like wasting. I will repurpose..
    I agree with Barri- if you cannot salvage them for the quilt, make pot holders, a table runner, or even a wall hanging.. Dont trash it, RE-PURPOSE it..

    Quote Originally Posted by kristakz View Post
    A couple of thoughts. If it's the picture I saw, and your problem is that the points don't match, perhaps you could add some sashing between each block? Then the point matching won't be so important. You might still lose a few points, depending how you trimmed, but it won't be as obvious.
    Kristakz has a wonderful idea that so many of us do, Sashing and rick rack help hide many, many mistakes... Many of my quilts were intended to NOT to have the sashing... but in the end it was made with love, hard work and determination and a lil bit of tweaking to conceal the mistakes..

    Dont be so hard on yourself.. Keep striving to be better and remember we all learn from our mistakes... Hang in there.. Even the most experienced of quilters make mistakes.... IMHO mistakes add character....

    Keep on Quilting...

  13. #13
    Moderator sharon b's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Northern Indiana
    Posts
    20,411
    Blog Entries
    10
    You can also just it aside- do something fun , small and simple to get some good vibes going

    Now you understand why quilters have so many WIPs ( Work in Progress) - it is ok to let it sit until you decide to tackle it again, let it sit in a corner forever, cut it up, give it away
    To keep your mind fresh- learn one new thing a day !

  14. #14
    Power Poster
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    29,652
    The quilt in my imagination is always better than what I sew. Don't look at it as a failure but as a design opportunity. If your blocks don't match up you can sew it together as intended or maybe add sashing between the blocks? How about offsetting the blocks in a brick pattern? It may not look like you planned but it can still be a nice original quilt.

  15. #15
    Senior Member MissSandra's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Melrose N.Y. Troy Area
    Posts
    899
    Blog Entries
    1
    I would take my squares to the local quilt shop and ask for help with it they may show you whats going wrong and help you succeed I always do this when i'm stuck and i'm stuck alot ... don't trash it go ask for help.
    Warm Regards,
    Sandra

  16. #16
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Western NY
    Posts
    783
    I agree. Go ask for help and see where your oops happened. Use this as a learning tool. That way you won't make the same mistake again.
    Marilyn

  17. #17
    Super Member patchsamkim's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Fox Valley Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,937
    Sorry that you are struggling this this project. I hope you can find a way to salvage it...or give it away to someone...always hate to hear of someone throwing something away. When I am squaring up pieced blocks, I usually put tape on my ruler for a registration point that will line up with a certain part of the block...that helps all the blocks turn out the same.

  18. #18
    Super Member jlm5419's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    My Sewing Room
    Posts
    1,184
    Blog Entries
    1
    JMHO, but I think you should go ahead and finish. Even if you hate it (and I seriously doubt if you will), someone will love it and appreciate your efforts.

  19. #19
    Super Member Deborahlees's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Wine Country-Southern California
    Posts
    1,455
    Would sure be nice to see pictures so we can see what you are seeing. I think you need to step back and think, which is of course what you are doing by asking for help. I have seen sewing and quilting for well over 50 years, I still make mistakes, there are many a time my blocks don't match....You may be trying 'too hard' to be perfect, this is certainally not a perfect craft.....we are all humans, not machines.....some of your pieces must be on the bias for them to get 'wonky' that happens.....AGAIN POST PICTURES SO WE CAN HELP YOU....
    Yes that is a real picture of my hometown Temecula, California. We feature premiere Wineries, World Class Golf Courses, Pechanga Indian Casino and Hot Air Balloons

  20. #20
    Power Poster
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    29,652
    Okay, I looked up the Shadowplay pattern and if it the same one it is like a giant tumbling block pattern. if this is the one, I would resquare my blocks to a smaller size and you should be fine. Get a square ruler that you can put a line on the center seam. Square the block smaller keeping the line and seam in the center.The blocks will be smaller but you should be able to recreate the original design but on a smaller scale. When you have the center sewn together, increase the size of the borders to go on the smaller center to get the quilt up to a bigger size. Good luck.

  21. #21
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    7,167
    Blog Entries
    3
    you are not the problem.
    the instructions are the problem.

    instructions written with the expectation that your blocks will not be the right size if you follow those instructions?

    phooey on that.

    if i want my blocks to be the wrong size, i don't need instructions.
    i can accomplish that on my own. LOL LOL LOL

  22. #22
    Senior Member Pat M.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    NM
    Posts
    642
    This is a opportunity to soar!! 1. Put borders around them, 2. Put them on point, 3. Cut down the middle and cross-way then rearrange. Three different ways to get a totally different quilt you made. Do you have a square ruler? Center the ruler on your squares, figure out where the 8 /1/2" square is and then cut. After looking at the pattern I think you can save the quilt by just cutting a smaller square, go down to a 8 or 7 1/2" square, remember to center the ruler on the block.

  23. #23
    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Cadillac, MI
    Posts
    6,583
    Blog Entries
    19
    Three things come to mind when a block isn't the size it was intended. First is the ever so hard to accomplish - the perfect 1/4 seam. I can't do one without the metal attachment that screws to the bed of the machine. Even the 1/4" foot didn't work for me. Second is distorting the block with the iron when you press it. You need to press by lifting the iron when you move it - not sliding the iron. Third -should be first - is are your cuts exactly the correct size? I had to buy the June Tailor Shape Cut Ruler as I tended to go wide at the end of a cut. Another problem for me is not sewing 1/4" all the way to the end of the seam - I tend to veer to the right the last inch, but I'm working on it.

    I am only six months ahead of you in time spent quilting, so my advice may not worth what an experienced quilter's is, but these are my problems. A block should need very little squaring - HSTs are a different story as I deliberately make mine a little large so they need it. I'm doing a log cabin type baby quilt now and the blocks have been perfect at every round - no squaring needed, so there is hope if you address the 1/4" seam and the pressing, IMO.

    If a block isn't the right size, figure out why and resew it. I wouldn't cut it down unless there's no other way. Being a perfectionist makes quilting harder, but that's the way I am and I'm too old to change.

    I love Shadowplay - it's on my bucket list, so I think it's worth working on. Can you save the blocks that are off for another project and replace the fabric to finish the quilt or follow Pat M's advice and resize the blocks? Good luck.
    Last edited by irishrose; 08-18-2012 at 08:43 AM.

  24. #24
    Super Member alfosa421's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    up to my eyeballs in UFOs
    Posts
    2,345
    Blog Entries
    3
    I know it's hard not to beat yourself over it but there is such a learning curve to quilting. As others have said you can reinvent this quilt and may even wind up with a quilt we would all like to copy off you.At the very least it could be modified and donated for a child or cancer patient somewhere Pictures would certainly help us help you. Don't fretE
    HAVE SOME CHOCOLATE!!!!

  25. #25
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Western Wisconsin
    Posts
    11,878
    Blog Entries
    1
    This is when the creativity aspect of quilting really comes into play. My first thought was to add narrow sashing between the blocks. My second thought was to cut the blocks diagonally and put them back together with solid fabrics. My third was to cut them into strips and create a strip-pieced quilt. There are usually multiple solutions to every challenge! It would help a lot to be able to see a photo of the blocks, though.

    Yet another option is to put the top away and come back to it later, when you are more experienced. Ever wonder why so many of us have UFO's?

Page 1 of 5 1 2 ... LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.