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Thread: UFO's

  1. #1
    Member charmednmissouri's Avatar
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    UFO's

    When I began quilting 3 years ago, I wanted to practice, using real patterns, like most of us would. I found this cute pattern that I thought I could easily do. And I could now, LOL! But upon going thru my UFO's, I found these blocks, all 16" in size, using lovely fabrics. My sewing was terrible at that time. Seams do not match, half of the blocks are as much as 1/2" larger than the other the other half of the blocks. What should I do with them? Should I get out the seam ripper and do them correctly? Should I cut them into 4 peices and try to make a "disappering block"? If you encountered this, what would you do? I would hate to throw them out, and the idea of using my seam ripper to rip up all this block just goes against everything in me, LOL! The disappering blocks could be an option, but I would have to chop one up to see how it looked. Has anyone else discovered this situation? What did you do? Or, if you were in my shoes, what do you think I should do? I know this sounds like a silly problem, but I truely am stumped as to what is the best solution. Any ideas would be appriciated!

  2. #2
    Super Member SusieQOH's Avatar
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    Hmmm. .... not sure what to tell you.
    Okay what I would do? If I absolutely love the fabrics I may try to redo them. Sometimes I like a project like that.
    If not I would just say to myself "learning experience" and move on.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Chester the bunny's Avatar
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    Could you post a picture of the block? That way we could see what options you might have to cut them down, or up or add to them to make them all the same size. Just need to see if there are points that might get cut off.
    Don't worry, someone will have a solution
    Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little.
    Edmund Burke

  4. #4
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    If the pieces in the 16 inch blocks were fairly big, I would take them apart and either redo the pattern or find another pattern that I could cut them for.
    I do not use a seam ripper, I use my little pointed thread snips and snip every 3-4 stitches on one side of a seam and then pull out the thread on the other side. I think it causes less distortion and once ironed, the pieces are almost as good as new.

  5. #5
    Member charmednmissouri's Avatar
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    I will post pics tomorrow. No points in the blocks, all pieces are either squares or rectangles. That's why my newbie self thought they would be so easy...& would be if I made them today. But 3 yrs ago, they didn't turn out quite straight. Pictures tomorrow!
    And thank you for the advice!

  6. #6
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    if you have the time, rip, rip, rip. nice fabrics deserve to be used well. have fun and let us see later.

  7. #7
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    If they are no points to cut off, I would just trim them all down to the smallest square size. Join block to block, or add sashing.
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
    Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

  8. #8
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    Another option is to border all the blocks and then square them up trimming the borders as needed. Add a little more width than you want so you have some wiggle room

  9. #9
    Junior Member AmyBible's Avatar
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    Honestly I don't think you should unsew & re-do them. Embrace them. You could use your idea of making them a disappearing block - 16" is certainly large enough to do that... are they all different blocks? Could look interesting.

    What I would do is make them the same size & put them together - either sew a narrow border on each one so you can trim to the same size OR, just trim to the same size. If they are all squares & rectangles who is to say what the block "should" look like? Some pieces might end up smaller than they "should" but it's who is to say you did not make a creative decision to alter the original pattern?

  10. #10
    Power Poster RedGarnet222's Avatar
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    Are the blocks supposed to fit together to make a pattern? If not I would just cut down the oversized ones and finish it up for myself or a charity donation. That is a lot of fabric to waste.
    RedGarnet222

    "Take your needle, my child, and work at your pattern ... It will come out a rose by and by. Life is like that ...one stitch at a time, taken patiently."
    *Oliver Wendell Holms

  11. #11
    Super Member Teen's Avatar
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    I would square them up the same size, sew them up, and donate, use on a picnic, put in your RV...lots of used for a not so perfect quilt. If you have a dog, it would do great for a doggie bed as well. I saved the monstrosity of my first quilt made in 1987. It's lovingly stored with my heirloom quilts. It's a great reminder of how much I've grown in the craft.
    Quilting therapy for the therapist...
    My Summertime Swap blocks: https://www.quiltingboard.com/member...bums19923.html

  12. #12
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AmyBible View Post
    Honestly I don't think you should unsew & re-do them. Embrace them.
    This is exactly where I land. Assemble it, finish it, and keep it as a proud memento of how far you come and how much you've learned! Use it to celebrate yourself.

    Ricky Tims does a wonderful and generous thing - he displays his first quilts right along with his "show" quilts. I think this is fabulous for a couple of different reasons:

    1. It shows the rest of us that everyone has promise, and if we allow ourselves to make mistakes, explore new concepts and techniques, and say "what if" to ourselves, we too can make some fabulous pieces!

    2. It shows us that we don't need to be ashamed of how awful we were when we started. If Ricky is proud, we can be proud.

  13. #13
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    No! No! Don't donate it. It is your first quilt . Finish it. I like the bordering idea, maybe even setting them wonky. Save it and use it so you can see how far you have come. I have been at presentations where quilters show their first quilts....how fun. Wish I had saved mine. I think it was one made of bandannas and cotton batting. Didn't tie closely enough and when I washed it (it was for my first born), all the batting sunk to one end.....wish I still had it to help me see progress (and remind me of when my babies were babies , 47 and 45 now!)

  14. #14
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I would trim all to the same size, either sash each block or just sew them all together. Put a border or two on and finish it up.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

  15. #15
    Super Member quiltingshorttimer's Avatar
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    just keep those blocks as is! I have several of those that I tell my beginner class are not "blocks of shame" but instead "blocks of progress"--cause I've gotten much better. But they are a tangible reminder of how I have come in my piecing abilities. So, yes--embrace them!

  16. #16
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    I would do one of two things. I would keep them 'as is' just as a reminder of your quilting journey and enjoy them for that reason alone. Or, if I did not find pleasure in that memory, I would take them apart and redo them and enjoy them for the progress you have made since you started to quilt. If you do the later, maybe you could set aside 30 minutes a day to take them apart so it isn't a huge burden. And, like mentioned above snip the line of stitching every few stitches and gently separate the layers so you don't distort the fabric dimensions. Then, re-do them.

  17. #17
    Super Member DebraK's Avatar
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    I usually end up finishing the assembly as best I can and then use it for practice on the long arm. If I’m still unhappy with it, I turn the quilted top into some great looking tote bags. I get so many positive comments when I go grocery shopping. They make great gifts or gift wrapping for other quilts as well.
    I have chosen to be happy because it is good for my health - Voltaire

  18. #18
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    Finish them! If you really don't care for them give them away. We often see our problems where others don't. Someone will love to have them.

  19. #19
    Super Member Kitsie's Avatar
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    If you DO decide to tear it apart, take pictures of it as is!! Then you will always have the "memory" of how far you have come!

    I have several saved blocks that show me just that!
    http://s1248.photobucket.com/albums/hh485/KitsieH/
    Never regret growing older, its a privilege denied to many.
    Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.

    Kitsie

  20. #20
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    I would square up the blocks and add sashing. Sometime you may teach a friend or loved one to quilt and showing them your first attempt might be just the 'boost' to keep them trying. Your quilt is full of your memories.


    Recently I was given a 'gawd awful' quilt. First thought...pitch it. No......I squared up the blocks, added sashing and some scrappy strips and it didn't turn out bad at all. You know that 'one man's trash is another man's treasure'. The quilt will go to a homeless person.
    Last edited by trolleystation; 03-01-2018 at 11:04 AM. Reason: added info

  21. #21
    Super Member Daylesewblessed's Avatar
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    I wouldn't rip either. I would cut the same size, sash if you think that helps disguise differences, and go with it. If you liked the fabrics, it will be pleasing to you. After it is finished, you can decide whether to keep it, give it away, donate to charity, etc.

  22. #22
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    If you want to see what a disappearing block might look like, take a picture of the block and print it. Cut up and rearrange the picture rather than the actual block.

  23. #23
    Super Member petthefabric's Avatar
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    My first quilts were for Christmas presents the year we were married. I was still in university, trying to live in a university town where graduates were a dime a dozen. My new husband worked 60 hr/wk at minimum wage. And by January we'd found a cheaper apartment and I went to work full time, also minimum wage. Finally we were in the black. My husbands Christmas present to me was a pair of new pants.

    So I made due with material I had to make quilts. They weren't pieced. Just 2 pieces of fabric with batting, quilted and bound. They were well loved. Over the years, the reciprients aged and died. The quilts came back to me. They're thread bare and the quilting is mostly gone. BUT, they were my expression of love for my new in-laws, new step mom, and gmom-in-law. Maybe 10 yrs later, I again picked up quilting and started with quilt-rules on a traditional quilt. And it reminds me of a beginner. Maybe 15 yrs later I got around to finishing. The front was blocks of the same size. The back contain the odd size and was creatively pieced with all the leftover's

  24. #24
    Super Member Doggramma's Avatar
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    Personally, if it was me, I'd only put any effort into them if I really loved the blocks/fabric enough to spend time working them into something. For me, I got rid of my learning/not good blocks and unfinished projects. But everyone's different.
    Lori

    *********

  25. #25
    Super Member Aurora's Avatar
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    I would and have unsewn several projects from my early years and completed the projects now that I have more knowledge and skill than I had initially. It is always gratifying to see how far my efforts have improved. I know that if I completed it "as is", I would eventually toss it -- that is the only way it would ever leave my sewing room.
    Aurora

    "A dying culture invariably exhibits personal rudeness. Bad manners. Lack of consideration for others in minor matters. A loss of politeness, of gentle manners, is more significant than is a riot." -Robert A. Heinlein

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