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What I learned today..suggestions please..saga of making a block..machine rebellion..new techniques

What I learned today..suggestions please..saga of making a block..machine rebellion..new techniques

Old 09-20-2009, 06:28 PM
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Note*** I wasn't sure just where to post this...it is a finished picture, a kinda sorta tutorial, a whine/pity/kick my self in the rear, heads up, have any other suggestions/ideas for a future mistake like this kinda post...LOL Admin and Moderators, I leave it up to you to leave it here or move it to where you think it should be :wink:

Here is my story...please feel free to add suggestions/ideas on what else you would have done or tried...I know this will not be the last time I encounter some or all of these same issues! :wink:

I had finished a paper pieced block for MsSage. Upon close inspection about 3/4 of the way through the block, my stitches were loose, and not properly formed. I was sick as this block had turned out soooo well, until this catastrophe!!

I sat and stared at it last night and again this morning...and then it finally dawned on me, clean your bobbin case!!! I had changed needles...rethreaded, changed bobbins, changed thread...spent an hour doing everything BUT the obvious...another "hard knock" lesson learned. :oops:

But still that did not solve the loose stitch problem on the completed block. By now I had also noticed that I did not follow the piecing sequence consistently on a couple of the white pieces and had sections that were off looking!!! While it was not glaring, by any means...I seen it, it was there, and it added to my frustration....

Then I remembered seeing somewhere on the web, a woman who took a traditional pieced block and added some decorative stitching to it BEFORE it was sewn into the quilt top or quilted...combining crazy quilt blocks with more traditional...sadly I did not bookmark her site or remember where I seen it.

The wheels started turning, I thought what have I got to lose? So I top stitched around the white pieces with white thread, and used a blending varigated on the colored. I used an open toed foot, moved my needle way over and used the inside of the foot as a guide to keep my stitching straight. It still can be SID very nicely as I made sure to avoid all of the ditches, as stitching there would not have "strenthened" the seams anyway...another reason to make sure when pressing to swirl the seams all in the same direction, it not only makes the blocks all lay nicer, quilting to look better, but fixing mistakes easier. LOL

Question: When using cotton threads we know they will shrink. The varigated I used here will not, so I used a cotton thread in the bottom thinking it would help pull the varigated down after being washed and dryed. Was this a "real" concern or just me being paranoid after the other mistakes I had just made? :roll:

Now came the surprising parts.... Even though I made a mistakes in the piecing sequences, I mimic-ed (is that even a word?) where the stitching "should" have been while topstitching, and my piecing mistake kinda blended in and is way less noticeable...I can now live with this fix. Also, the many seam junctions on the back that don't always want to lay nicely??? Well they were tamed in the process...the whole block lays much flatter and nicer, too. The stitching in the star to me, gives it a little more contemporary or old fashioned look, depending on how you see it...I also stumbled onto learning the .5 stitch length on my machine will work as a lock stitch 8)

I did not think to take a before picture...as I was half sure that it would end up in my pile of "practice/turned out wrong size/what was I thinking/etc... pile when I started out to fix it. The thought of sharing this, came after I had already started sewing on what I will now call "my unplanned embellishments" to MsSage/Joy's block LOL

Please share any comments on how you would have tried fixing this block, or whether you like the look, whether you see that I may have made an additional problem come up by doing this, or anything else about the block.... I promise, scouts honor :wink: you will not hurt my feelings!!!! :D :D :D




Close up of the topstitching of the white blocks
attachment-48662.jpe

MsSage's Block, It is straight, honest!!! I took the pic with it on the back of a chair and it is a little rounded
attachment-48810.jpe
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Old 09-20-2009, 06:30 PM
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These do not have a ridge where I topstitched, I think the lighting is the culprit
attachment-48649.jpe
Attached Thumbnails attachment-8962.jpe   attachment-8963.jpe  
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Old 09-20-2009, 06:37 PM
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It's beautiful! Don't see any problems!! Not sure on your thread issues...when I paper piece, I sized down my stitch length...I go down from about 2.5...to a 1.5...makes ripping the paper later easier. Other then that...they loook super! Skeat
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Old 09-20-2009, 06:37 PM
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I love it! It looks gorgeous! What was the question again? LOL

It gets my brain spinning actually... I never thought of doing crazy patch embellishing on a traditional block. What a darn fine idea!
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Old 09-20-2009, 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Skeat
It's beautiful! Don't see any problems!! Not sure on your thread issues...when I paper piece, I sized down my stitch length...I go down from about 2.5...to a 1.5...makes ripping the paper later easier. Other then that...they loook super! Skeat
Thank you :D

I use a 1.8 stitch length when paper piecing also, the problem was that because my bobbin area was too linty, the stitches were not forming quite right. It caused them to look "loose" in the seam lines...if that makes sense. Anyway the stitches themselves were weakened because of that.

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Old 09-20-2009, 06:55 PM
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Looks good to me.
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Old 09-20-2009, 06:59 PM
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OK I am tired so maybe I am missing it...........what was/is wrong with the block???
To me its wonderful. I love the decorative stiching :D
I will look again tomorrow.
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Old 09-20-2009, 07:03 PM
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i love it. to me it looks like an applique block.
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Old 09-20-2009, 07:04 PM
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WOW Talk about taking lemons and making lemonaide :mrgreen: Looks fabulous to me :thumbup:
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Old 09-20-2009, 07:23 PM
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Amma, what an amazing job you did "covering" the problem - it looks fantastic. I'll try to remember to do that next time I mess up (which won't be long, that's for sure!!)
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