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Thread: What am I doing wrong with Tumbling block quilt

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    Super Member quiltingfan's Avatar
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    What am I doing wrong with Tumbling block quilt

    I have been working off and on. ( ok More off then on) on this quilt for my son since May. I have cut a lot but now that I am putting it all together I am afraid I am doing something wrong. I have taken a lot of pics, hoping you ladies can help me out. Not only see what I am doing wrong but also to get some motivation to finish.
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    Last edited by quiltingfan; 09-25-2012 at 07:23 AM. Reason: pictures wrong

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    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    well here is some info on them-
    http://quilterscache.com/T/TumblingBlocksBlock.html
    http://www.hgtv.com/decorating/tumbl...cks/index.html
    ( I am going to see Marci Baker next week at my sewing machine store)

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    Super Member quiltingfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nativetexan View Post
    well here is some info on them-
    http://quilterscache.com/T/TumblingBlocksBlock.html
    http://www.hgtv.com/decorating/tumbl...cks/index.html
    ( I am going to see Marci Baker next week at my sewing machine store)
    That is so cool. I am using her book. By next week I will know if I hate her or love her... Just kidding. Love the book. ;-)

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    Senior Member kristakz's Avatar
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    I'm not sure why you think something is wrong. It looks fine to me. The picture of your design wall looks lovely, and I think if you follow the layout you're going to have a wonderful quilt when you are done. Is there something specific that you are concerned about?

    Oops, I do see one mistake (?). In the strip you have separate on your table - you have 2 white triangles sewn together. I think the left-hand section (the 2 pieces you had with a white triangle that is now on the right) should have been turned 180 degrees before you sewed it together. See circled section below.

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    Last edited by kristakz; 09-25-2012 at 08:05 AM.

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    Super Member quiltingfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kristakz View Post
    I'm not sure why you think something is wrong. It looks fine to me. The picture of your design wall looks lovely, and I think if you follow the layout you're going to have a wonderful quilt when you are done. Is there something specific that you are concerned about?

    Oops, I do see one mistake (?). In the strip you have separate on your table - you have 2 white triangles sewn together. I think the left-hand section (the 2 pieces you had with a white triangle that is now on the right) should have been turned 180 degrees before you sewed it together. See circled section below.

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    Ok I see that. What about the fact that the points don't really match up, and that there is sections that hang out more than others? Is that a problem in the over all quilt?

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    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    The tumbling blocks I made are all 60 degree diamonds not triangles. I haven't made this version.
    Got fabric?

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    ​It is going to look awesome! You have it on your design wall so do 1 row at a time to keep straight. It does look difficult but you can do it! When sewing triangles together, you have to have the little dog ears bypass each other by the same amount. I would pin my pieces and flip them open to check the placement and then sew them. This might be a time when the Elmer washable glue might assist in proper placement?

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    Quote Originally Posted by quiltingfan View Post
    Ok I see that. What about the fact that the points don't really match up, and that there is sections that hang out more than others? Is that a problem in the over all quilt?
    For me, it would be - but that's me.

    If your sewn together pieces are laying flat enough to suit you and you can live with cut off points, finish it off and call it a learning experience. If this is done consistently, then it will look 'the same' throughout the quilt top and you can say that you planned to do it that way.

    For next time, when you sew the shapes together, the triangle tips should end up being 1/4 inch from the edge - it looks like on most of them on this one, the point/tip is at the edge - and then when the strips are sewn together, the point disappears.

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    Super Member quiltingfan's Avatar
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    thanks everyone. Bearisgray, that is what I was wondering about the most. I will finish cleaning the bathroom and then will work on it some more.. huh I hope it works. I sure have a lot of pieces cut that I did not even take pics of.

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    Senior Member kristakz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quiltingfan View Post
    Ok I see that. What about the fact that the points don't really match up, and that there is sections that hang out more than others? Is that a problem in the over all quilt?
    I didn't even notice. I do tend to have trouble with points, and don't really notice if they aren't perfect on quilts. I think other's addressed this already - sewing triangles/diamonds together is quite tricky. The alignment to make sure that your point ends up 1/4" from the outside edge can be difficult, and in my experience it's a case of trial and error until you get used to it. In any case though, I think you should proceed, and work to improve your alignment as you move forward.

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    I've learned to put dots at where the seam intersections should be and then match up the dots - when working with triangles and diamond shapes, there are sometimes dog ears sticking out - and that can be confusing to a newbie.

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    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    did you look at the quilterscache one? it shows how they are put together in larger triangle units. and pressed very nice and flat too. good luck.

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    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
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    Have you considered trying this?
    Practice sewing them together using several of the cut triangles which you have NOT already sewn together and ripped out.

    1. Mark your seam allowance on (the wrong side of) both pieces of 3-4 pairs of triangles.
    2. Sew a pair together noticing where the intersections of the seam lines meet and making sure they meet on both pieces of the pair.....you'll have to turn it over to check.
    3. After you've done this a couple of times, just mark the intersection of the seam lines with a dot, and try sewing 2-3 pair again. Are you still matching the dots on both sides of the pair?
    4. If you are matching the sides properly, you can now likely eyeball where this seam allowance intersection is, notice how much point of each triangle hangs over, and can sew the rest of them together without much trouble.

    Best luck!

    Jan in VA
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    Super Member Teacup's Avatar
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    Don't know if it would help, but this might be a time to try the Elmers School Glue and glue your points in place prior to sewing. Just a thought.

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    Super Member jmoore's Avatar
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    funny, my son chose the same pattern and I started his last fall... luckily for me, he only picked three batik colors so my tumbling blocks were easier to kep together. I took the summer off from quilting but am now ready to pick up the pieces (or strips in my case) and start sewing them together. Yours will be lovely when you get it finished.

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    you need that 1/4 extending beyond the edge for there to be a turning ease so to speak, otherwise the points won't line up.
    if you decide to not go back and fix the others, i'd make them the rows on the bottom and top of the quilt, equal number if possible so it can look intentional and then make the body of the quilt with your points showing.

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    Senior Member bobquilt3's Avatar
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    Neat. Thanks for sharing.
    Quote Originally Posted by nativetexan View Post
    well here is some info on them-
    http://quilterscache.com/T/TumblingBlocksBlock.html
    http://www.hgtv.com/decorating/tumbl...cks/index.html
    ( I am going to see Marci Baker next week at my sewing machine store)

  18. #18
    QM
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    First, you have made good fabric choices. Just keep in mind that each strip should go the way you have on the strips you joined, right leaning diamond, triangle, left leaning diamond, repeat. As Kristakz said, the cutting and seam allowances need to be exact for this to work.

    If you are not comfortable doing that RIGHT NOW, do another project and come back to this one. I am not suggesting giving up on it, merely postponing it until you have a few more projects 'under your belt'. Recently, I tried an 'impossible' UFO and found it was NOW really easy for me.

  19. #19
    Super Member ArtsyOne's Avatar
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    I've made a few tumbling block quilts, and what I see with yours is that you don't have a "light source". The blocks should always consist of three fabrics - light, medium and dark, and those should always be in the same position on each block. The fabrics can be totally different, like a scrappy quilt, but the tones always need to be in the same position. I love your blues and it'll turn out great.
    A fabric stash is always missing that one fabric needed to finish the quilt on which you're working.

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    One pt when sewing diamonds together is placing the pieces so that 1/4 inch is off set - you do not line up the corners like you would in sewing a square together - look on line for a tutorial on sewing triangles or diamonds together.

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    Senior Member stillclock's Avatar
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    triangles are so stretchy and add in the points?

    meltdown time for the perfectionist.

    (that's sort of why i am working on a log cabin after doing a lone star followed by a pin wheel. and you know what? some of the damn logs are wonkavatored. i'm honeybadgered about it though. it's for me

    your colours are lovely. it will all work out just fine (after the crying.)

    aileen

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    Senior Member stchenfool's Avatar
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    ok, so think of a tumbling block as the light shining down from the top of the cube with the lightest on top, med. and then dark on the bottom - just like the sun. I hope this makes sense it will make the cubes really pop! Lots of luck!
    Love 4 stchen

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    What I learned when I did a tumbling blocks quilt is keep the light diamonds on top and you've already done that. I think it doesn't look right to you because it's still segmented and once it's together it's going to be a good-looking quilt. Mine was all diamonds; I ordered pre-cut pieces from Paper Pieces.com because I enjoy English paper piecing. It was easy and I liked doing it. Keep going, you're going to be happy with it when it's finished.

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    I think it is awesome. I love your color choices. Sometimes my points and corners don't exactly match but then when I get it back from the long arm quilter I cannot find them!

  25. #25
    Senior Member collady's Avatar
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    I download free graph paper from the internet. You can find the paper that has hex shapes. Then I take colored pencils and color out the shapes. Next with a dark marker I draw a line between each strip. Finally I follow the colored graph to sew the quilt together.

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