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Is it time to call it quits?

Is it time to call it quits?

Old 06-19-2011, 06:15 AM
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Location: Rhode Island
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ok, I'm having a crisis of ability.

I WANT to be a quilter. I understand that cutting is the foundation that quilts are built on and that accurate cutting leads to accurate piecing leads to accurate block sizes leads to quilt tops that lay flat leads to quilts that rock.

I'm making blocks for my first swap and am ready to put them in the bonfire. The points don't line up no matter how many times I take them out and put them back togehter. I've made sure all the seams are pressed correctly - I think I have used a whole bottle of Best Press on 12 not-yet-assembled blocks!

Maybe it's time for me to admit that for the first time in 46 years I've tried to do something that is just beyond me. I keep thinking this should be the perfect fit for me - I love, love, love Math (I have a degree in Applied Math!) - and jigsaw puzzles - if one is out I'm banned from the room it's in because my family knows I will stay up all night finishing it!

There may be a giant de-stash sale hitting the classified board today ....

:cry: :cry: :cry:
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Old 06-19-2011, 06:17 AM
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Oh nooooo don't give up i struggle also, horribly yet i still plow on perhaps you should give paper peicing a try, its the one thing I can do with out so many issues, but cutting fabric lining this up is a huge headach for me and I don't enjoy it but PP gives me something to enjoy with great lines.
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Old 06-19-2011, 06:19 AM
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So sorry you've hit a "road block." Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day. :-D
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Old 06-19-2011, 06:21 AM
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I wish I could help...I have never been properly taught to rotary cut, but just do the best I can from what I see/ read online. I know they are off at times and I have no clue how someone squares up big pieces of fabric/ quilts!! I believe this is why I have yet to do anything but a rag quilt, because I know it will be a disaster and the disappointment will be too much. I hate when I can't do something perfectly-Grrr
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Old 06-19-2011, 06:22 AM
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Don't be so hard on yourself. It does take some time and practice, but every time you do a project, you'll get a bit better.

As far as perfection - well, it's over rated. I'm not suggesting that you do shoddy work, whether it's for yourself, a swap or a gift. Look at the overall piece, rather than a point or two that is missing or floating when it shouldn't be.

If you really don't think your work is up to par at this point, explain that to the hostess, then use the blocks to make a charity quilt. If you can relax a bit so that you enjoy the process, some day you'll look back and be glad you didn't give up.
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Old 06-19-2011, 06:23 AM
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Don't give up! I learned to sew as a child and I remember many times shedding tears while I was using the seam ripper because Mom wasn't happy with the job I'd done. What you need is a mentor. Go to your local quilt shop and sign up for a class, if that's not an option there are lots of excellent teachers here on this site. Maybe do a variety of different blocks, not all with points, till you get to a better comfort zone. www.quilterscache.com has lots of free block patterns. We all have different parts of quilting that we like the best. Don't give up, you will find your favorite. PM me if you like. Hugs, Terry
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Old 06-19-2011, 06:26 AM
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Paper Piecing might be just the thing to encourage you - the points and seams line up no matter what you do. But you also need to remember that quilting is a journey, not a destination and much of that journey is spent improving our skills. You are not going to be perfect immediately and you need to give yourself permission to be less than perfect.

I started quilting in 1989 and still screw up plenty. Seams that don't match up or a block that is a little smaller than it should be. Like you, I usually do things with ease but quilting keeps me humble. :wink:

Stick with it - you're going to be just fine.
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Old 06-19-2011, 06:28 AM
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Please do not give up!
If your fabric is unwashed and you spray your blocks/block pieces with water or starch and then press, your fabric may shrink and give you problems.

If your fabric is prewashed, and you wet the pieces with water or starch, it is also easy to distort them, no matter how hard you try to press correctly.

I only starch before I start cutting my fabric, leaving the fabric dry during the piecing process.
I may add a drop of water to an intersection or dampen my finger and lightly wet just the seam area to conquer a stubborn seam that doesn't want to lay nicely, but that is all that I ever dampen.

If you can post pictures of this block and what you have so far, we can help walk you through it too :D:D:D
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Old 06-19-2011, 06:29 AM
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If you use Eleanor Burns methods, which you cut bigger and cut down to size, you wont have a problem.
If I cut to size mine will not turn out right either.
I belong to a group of quilters and all our blocks have to be a certain size and now I dont have a problem.
Please dont give up, it is a learning curve so be sure and try Burns methods. Her shows are on http://quilterstv.com and at her website http://quiltinaday.com
Quilting keeps your brain in tune also.
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Old 06-19-2011, 06:30 AM
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I admire your persistance thus far. There are really two keys for precise blocks, and cutting is the first.

The second key is the accurate 1/4 inch seam. I struggled for years with my blocks and didn't know why. I cut perfectly. I had a 1/4 inch foot on my machine. Blocks were not right and I redid each one several times. Then one day, I measured my seams. They were too big. It occurred to me (by reading my owners manual for the machine thoroughly, and by reading a few magazines) that there was a way to move my needle over two clicks to the right. This realization, in conjunction with my 1/4 inch foot (which only guides the material along) has made the whole difference.

Before you throw in the towel, try this: sew two strips of fabric together. Say your strips are cut perfectly at 2.5" x 6". Sew them together along the long side. Open, and press, then measure the width of the two strips together. The width should be 4.5". If not, then see if you can adjust your needle position.

I also love the applied math aspect of quilting.

Good luck.
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